The Hawaiian Islands contain some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Outdoor adventures on these islands can be as short as a few hours or last several days and nights. Because the islands formed, and continue to grow, through volcanic activity they harbor many plant and animal species that don't exist anywhere else in the world. Each island supports many miles of beautiful public beaches, and because of this there are many campgrounds available to the public.
Kauai is the farthest north in the chain, which makes it slightly cooler than the others. Much of Kauai's northwestern coast and interior is maintained as forest preserves and state parks and such, has amenities for camping and backpacking. Some of the places to camp, like Anahola Beach lay on the eastern shore of Kauai. The beach is very protected in Anahola Bay, as it lies on the southeastern side of the bay. Anahola is a small community that is not geared toward the tourist industry. The park itself lies on Hawaiian Home Lands, which have been designated for purchase by native Hawaiians.
Oahu lies south of Kaua'i moving eastward. This island is teeming with tourist attractions and is highly developed. Honolulu, the capital and largest city in Oahu, lies on this island's southern shore. Bellows Field Beach lies in southeastern Oahu this site is open during the weekends to civilians (it's a military base beach). A natural area adjoins the long beach which is very popular. Conditions at this site are good for beginning board and body surfing. A campground on site is administered by the county, from whom permits are required. Swimmers should be aware of the occurrence of Portuguese man-of-war.
The largest city on Maui is Kahului on the northern shore. Lahaina on the western shore is a historic whaling port and historic district. Between these two communities lie The West Maui Forest Reserve. The eastern side contains Koolau Forest Reserve, Haleakala Park and Kahikinui Forest Reserve. one of the camping spots is Camp Pecusa and lies in Olowalu on west Maui's southern coast. The camp includes areas for tents and vehicles as well as six cabins. The tent camping area lies close to the beach in a shaded area. Camp Pecusa lies on a narrow stretch of beach that provides good swimming conditions. There are good views of off shore islands and the Maui mountains from this site. Visitors may also catch humpback whales in the waters of this beach. Binoculars are recommended for viewing whales if traveling during the winter and early spring months.
Molokai is the least developed of the islands and it lies in the middle of the chain. The dense wilderness area of Molokai Forest Reserve lies on the eastern portion as does Kalaupapa Historical Park. The western half of the state is agricultural land surrounded by beaches and reefs. There is also a State Park called Pala'au, that is available for camping in this paradise.
Lanai is the smallest island that will be described here. This is the Pineapple Island that was once occupied by pineapple groves of the Dole Fruit Company. Dole sold its portion of the island in 1995 and development has occurred since then. Today visitors come to the island and its resorts for water sports and humpback whale watching. You'll need to check with hotel concierges on availability for camping and make sure that it is a viable option campgrounds are not cataloged by the National Park System on this island and we have been unable to locate their whereabouts if they exist.
The Big Island of Hawaii is twice as large as the other islands combined. Hilo is the largest community and lies on its eastern shore. The southern area contains the beautiful areas of Volcanoes, Haleakala , Laupahoehoe, Punalu'u and Mahukona Beach. The roads through here are open to hikers and make for some wonderful travelling though the woods. Plenty of hiking and biking too, for the whole family.The western shore of Hawaii supports many small communities and three Historic Sites, There is also some really great fishing available here. Either inland in one of the many rivers (by permit only) or from the deck of your boat looking for the "big one".