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Hawaii's Natural Beauty: A Photo Essay

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai.

Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai.


I have just returned from my very first trip to Hawaii. No offense is intended to any Hawaii fans or natives, but Hawaii was never a place I aspired to go to. My husband has wanted to take me for a long time because he has already been there. And many of my friends have been and raved about it. So, I went and tried to remain objective about my opinion on Hawaii until I had seen it with my own eyes.

Our Cruise

The trip was a cruise to four Hawaiian Islands, Maui, Oahu, The Big Island of Hawaii, and Kauai. My favorite island of all was the island of Kauai. It is full of natural wonders including the Waimea Canyon, which has been dubbed, ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. And also the Spouting Horn, which not only spouts water but lets out a roaring sound shortly after the water goes through it.

Unfortunately, we only had one day on each island, so we had to be choosy about the sites we saw. The day after we left the last island, I downloaded my pictures onto my computer and was amazed at the natural beauty I saw before me. There were sights before me that took my breath away. I had to remind myself that I had been there and seen those sites with my own two eyes, not just the picture before me.

One of the things that amazed me most about Hawaii was the beauty of the flowers we saw there. I was not fortunate enough to see any rainbows while actually in Hawaii, although I had heard it was the land of rainbows. Nor did we see any waterfalls, which I had also hoped to see. We also didn’t see any volcanoes which are so prevalent in Hawaii. You may be wondering after all that we did not see, what was left to see? There was plenty of beauty left for us to discover. The sights we did see, and I was able to capture with my camera, will always remind me of what a land of natural beauty Hawaii is.

Recommendations

If you are planning a trip to Hawaii and really would like to see it up close and personal, I would plan to stay there on at least one of the islands for a few days. I love cruising, but on a cruise most often you are only in a certain port for one day, which boils down to 6 or 8 hours. You can't really see much of Hawaii that way.

But there are cruises that start and end in Hawaii. You may want to look into staying in a hotel for a few days before or after your cruise so you can spend more time in this beautiful U.S. state. Often cruise lines offer cruise tours where you can do just that: arrive early or stay after the cruise and it is factored into the cost of the cruise. Or you can do it on your own.

Photos

The pictures that follow are only of Hawaii’s natural sites, not of anything man-made. I hope you enjoy Hawaii as much as I did. I hope to return one day and spend more time on the island of Kauai, and capture even more of Hawaii’s beauty.

The Spouting Horn in Kauai

The Spouting Horn in Kauai

On the coast of Kauai, near the Spouting Horn

On the coast of Kauai, near the Spouting Horn

Bougainvillea on Kauai

Bougainvillea on Kauai

A palm tree loaded with coconuts.

A palm tree loaded with coconuts.

The largest banyan tree in the United States is located here on the island of Maui.

The largest banyan tree in the United States is located here on the island of Maui.

From a park in Lahaina on Maui

From a park in Lahaina on Maui

Photo from a park in Lahaina on Maui

Photo from a park in Lahaina on Maui

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From the rain forest looking out to the ocean on Oahu

From the rain forest looking out to the ocean on Oahu

Another view from the rain forest.

Another view from the rain forest.

Interesting tree trunk on Oahu

Interesting tree trunk on Oahu

The moon over the island taken just after sunset leaving Kona  on the big island on the way to Kauai.

The moon over the island taken just after sunset leaving Kona on the big island on the way to Kauai.

Coral Creeper is a common sight on Hawaii.

Coral Creeper is a common sight on Hawaii.

Just one more picture of Waimea Canyon because it's too beautiful not to include twice!

Just one more picture of Waimea Canyon because it's too beautiful not to include twice!

Want to Know Where to Shop for Hawaiian Made Clothing? Read on...

© 2012 Karen Hellier

Comments

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on February 19, 2013:

Hawaiian Scribe,

Thank you so much. It is beautiful there and my husband and I hope to go back someday. The trouble with going on a cruise is that there is only 1 day at each port stop and Hawaii needs more time to be explored. Thanks for all your votes and the share.

Stephanie Launiu from Hawai'i on February 19, 2013:

Voted up, beautiful, awesome, interesting, pinned and tweeted! Just found your beautiful hub, and so glad you finally got a chance to visit Hawai'i. Do hope you will carry Hawai'i with you wherever you go. Aloha, Stephanie

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on January 02, 2013:

cabmgmnt,

Aw, what a sweet comment. Thanks so much. I received a new camera from my husband for my birthday last summer just so I can take good pictures for hubs. What a good idea he had huh? The camera has brought me a lot of joy, not to mention very clear and beautiful pictures of places we have visited!

Corey from Northfield, MA on January 02, 2013:

Your photos make me want to visit Hawaii again and again. Thanks for the inspiration.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 06, 2012:

teaches12345,

Thanks for stopping by. The Banyan tree is beautiful but I am not sure how peaceful it would be to read under because it's a big tourist attraction and lots of people go there to have their picture taken. Supposedly it's amazing at sunset because a whole flock of birds go there and sing before retiring for the night. Now that would be something to see...uh, I mean hear, LOL. Unfortunately our ship left at 4:30 so we could not stay for the concert!

Dianna Mendez on December 05, 2012:

That Banyan tree is majestic and I would love to sit underneath it to read a book. Great photo tour of this beautiful country.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 05, 2012:

shiningirisheyes,

Thanks for stopping by. I very fortunate as of late to be able to travel and bring along my new camera that my husband got me for my birthday...specifically so I could take pictures for my hubs because my old camera didn't take clear enough pics for hubs. As you can tell, I have been using it often. Maybe you should go visit your friend in Hawaii more often? And treat yourself to the same view!

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on December 05, 2012:

What a stunning adventure you were treated to. My good friend lives in the beautiful land and I often envy her vistas. Great photos as well.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 04, 2012:

Danette,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, the natural beauty of Hawaii is something to behold. I think you really have to actually go there to appreciate it. If you ever go to Kauai, go to the Waimea Canyon. I think it's even better than the grand Canyon because although it's not as big, it's greener and the added color makes it so gorgeous.

Danette Watt from Illinois on December 04, 2012:

My son was stationed in Oahu HI up until last Aug. and before he left on a tour to Iraq in 2008 (2009?) we went to see him. Like you, HI was never on my list of "must see" places but now that I've been there, I so want to go back. We only were on Oahu and took a 1-day side trip to the Big Island. If I ever make it back, I'd like to go to a couple of the other islands, esp. Kauai for the reasons you stated - all the natural beauty. Would love to go hiking there. The water spout reminds me of a similar place on Oahu that our son took us to.

Very nice photos, voted up and beautiful!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

Well sir, it isn't night for me. I am actually traveling with my husband on business and am currently in Amsterdam. It is 8:55 a.m. here and while he teaches, I have a whole day ahead of me to write hubs!!! You can bet there will be some hubs coming on Amsterdam! By the way, I forgot you had asked about the blog. Here's the blog address, but I must warn you, I am not an HTML expert and I couldn't figure out how to separate the days during the cruise so it may be hard to decipher the days of the cruise entries. I suppose you must be getting ready for bed since you said good night so sleep tight and rest up for more writing tomorrow!

http://secondmarriageromance.blogspot.nl/

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on December 03, 2012:

OMG! You're kidding me?

One of my favorite women in the world, now deceased, was my mother-in-law, Irmgard, and she, too, was born on July 27th!

So was Alex Rodriguez!

Wow, no wonder there was this--and I mean this with great respect--leonine pull between us. Oh, my word! Well, I certainly appreciate you bringing that to my attention. : )

Moorea...hmm, if I'm not mistaken, in the remake of Mutiny on the Bounty several years ago, more like three or four decades, actually...the one with Marlon Brando playing Fletcher Christian...I do believe Moorea formed a lot of the Tahitian backdrop. Yes, stunningly beautiful, kinda like Hawai'i used to be before all the beaches and pastures were converted into hotel real estate. A very good choice, indeed, Karen, for the writing of your novel, the one entitled, "We Shared the Same Birthday," or something like that. LOL!

Have a good night's rest! See you back in Hubsville tomorrow!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

My Dear Hawaiinodysseus,

I am so glad also that I finally got to see the beautiful land of Hawaii. I can see why you would be homesick. Washington state seems quite far away, geographically as well as environmentally from your original home. As far as writing, have you ever been to the French Polynesian island of Moorea? We toured Western Samoa and I couldn't figure out why Robert Louis Stevenson would ever choose such a hot and humid place to write in. But when we got to Moorea, also hot and humid on the inland area, but beautiful and breezy on the shoreline, I knew I had fallen in love and had found a place I could write in. Maybe I would feel the same way about Kauai if I had more time to spend there and explore, but Moorea was so beautiful it really took my breath away. How did you know I do plan to write a book someday...or 2 or three? So many subjects twirl around in my head though I can't seem to figure out where to even begin to choose a subject for my first book. Ah, maybe someday I will figure it out one day. Until then, we have Hub Pages!!! By the way, I was looking back at one of your other hubs, and was wondering if your birthday is July 27th which would be the same day as mine?

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

wetnosedogs,

You are welcome. It was a pretty amazing place and I didn't even really get to see the beaches, etc. We did go on to the Polynesian islands and I also saw some beautiful sites there...another hub perhaps?! LOl! Anyway, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Always appreciated.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

Mhatter99,

You are most welcome. It was my pleasure to share the beauty I saw. Thanks for your comment.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on December 03, 2012:

Awesome pictures. Thank you for sharing.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on December 03, 2012:

Well, good evening, my young lady friend on the East Coast! I am ecstatic that you finally had the opportunity to go to Hawai'i and that you loved it! Good for you!

You made wonderful use of your camera, capturing gorgeous and memorable sights of Paradise. I get homesick every single time I see photos of the islands, especially those of Kaua'i.

The tour conductor and his team did a fabulous job of helping you and your husband and your fellow travelers receive an optimal view of the major islands. My earnest prayer is that you do indeed go back someday and, at your leisure, chronicle the sights, sounds, and laid back lifestyle at your own pace and to your heart's content. I guarantee you, Karen, as long as you had the energy, you'd be writing every single early morning or late evening because there'd simply be so much to journal about and share with the rest of the world.

One of the books you write someday needs to have Hawai'i as either its setting or your place of residence while you write. Not that I have to persuade you too much, but I heartily suggest the north shore of Kaua'i as a fantastic place to inspire those creative juices.

Speaking of juices, were you able to savor any of the island cuisine as you toured?

I'm smiling because I'm sincerely happy that you now have this wonderful adventure under your belt. Good for you, Karen!

wetnosedogs from Alabama on December 03, 2012:

Spectacular pictures. I can see why you want to go back. Thanks for sharing such beauty with us.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

innerspin,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, there is plenty more to see but since we were on a cruise ship, we only got 1 day on each island. Next time we are hoping to stay longer, at least on Kauai. I heard Maui is beautiful too but we only stayed in the port town there.

Kim Kennedy from uk on December 03, 2012:

Great photos, I especially like the huge banyan tree, and Waimea Canyon. Sounds like there's plenty more to see for another visit. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

That's right, I had forgotten that you went there. I know one of your trips Jayne had a mishap that I am sure didn't make the trip much fun. I bet if you went back someday with your digital camera, the pictures would be truly amazing as you are such a good photographer, as evidenced in many of my hubs!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

Ghaelach,

Ok on the seat. Do you like cruises? The scenery was absolutely beautiful. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

Ghaelach,

Ok on the seat. Do you like cruises? The scenery was absolutely beautiful. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by!

Ghaelach on December 03, 2012:

Hi Karen.

A wonderful story and the photo's are absolutely beautiful. Next time you go, I'm booking a seat with you.

An amazing group of islands.

LOL Ghaelach

David Hellier on December 03, 2012:

Thanks for sharing some of your photo memories. It reminded me of the several times Jayne and I were blessed to be able to go to HI. We spent time on each of the islands you mentioned and especially liked Kauai as well. It was before the digital camera age but we took loads of picture. Hard to capture the actual beauty but they are reminders of the "being there" experience. LB

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 03, 2012:

Carol7777,

Thanks so much. The pictures did come out so well I couldn't resist sharing them with everyone. Even though I wasn't all that keen on going to Hawaii, I now want to go back and spend some more time there! Thanks for stopping by.

carol stanley from Arizona on December 03, 2012:

Absolutely gorgeous photos.. You did an awesome job..Will have to try to paint one of these. Voted up for absolute beauty and bringing it to hubpages.

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