WATERFALLS AND COOL POOLS ARE THE ORDER OF THE DAY – IF THE DRIVE TO REACH THEM DOESN’T PROVE TOO HAIRY
MAUI AND BIG ISLAND
Having gone up a dress size after overindulging in pretty Paia, we need an adrenaline fix. Hawaiians are real water babies – perhaps the ensuing endorphins after a chilly freshwater swim are another reason for their happiness? We certainly fall in love with swimsuit culture, and are rarely out of the water. Some of the best natural pools can be found along the infamous (thanks to its hairpin bends) 64-mile Hãna Highway, which begins in Paia, but you need venture along it for only two miles to find the alluring pools of Twin Falls. Here, we wander into the forest and negotiate the rocky path for less than five minutes before the staggeringly blue pool comes into view. Although the falls are a popular stop, we’re the sole swimmers.
You’ll need a hire car on all the islands bar traffic-choked Oahu, but you might want to practise before tackling the road to Hãna: it’s difficult to see what’s coming, the loops can be stomach-churning, and the locals drive at speeds that make my eyes water. It is worth it, though, for the spectacular ocean views, secluded pools and quaint stalls selling fresh coconuts, pineapple and banana bread. We manage the drive in a day – albeit a long one, thanks to multiple photo stops.
Our favourite waterfall is still to come on Big Island (which isn’t actually that big – it takes us just three hours to drive across). It is a truly otherworldly morning, listening to ukelele bands on local radio as the arid, almost lunar landscape flashes by. Big Island’s active volcano has been erupting on a relatively stable basis for years, and a section of it is now a National Park, where you can hike along the side of a huge crater.
The town of Hilo has a British-seaside vibe, with buzzy cafes, calm beaches and ice cream. We drive up a winding hill lined with macadamia-nut orchards to The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls, which has its own waterfall. Our room is one of the cheapest, yet has a private patio with views of the falls. Falling asleep to the sound of flowing water makes for a blissful night’s sleep, and after breakfast we nip down and have the wild water all to ourselves.
THE INN AT KULANIAPIA FALLS, waterfall.net. B&B from £120
THE MODERN HONOLULU