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How Many Hawaiian Islands Are There?

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The Hawaiian Islands are a mysterious paradise engrossed with culture, language, food, beauty, and ever expanding diversity on its unique landscapes. Holding a piece of paradise is a hot commodity and something many individuals around the world can only dream of. But what’s stopping you from ditching your suburban life and permanently vacating yourself in paradise?

Many people foreign and even native to the Hawaii ask the simple questions, “How many Hawaiian islands are there? Which Hawaiian island is the most popular? Which island is Honolulu on? Where is Honolulu located in Hawaii?” The Hawaiian islands, lone in the middle of the Pacific, are filled with a rich history that is ever so evident to this day.

How many Hawaiian Islands are there? Unbeknown to many, there is a grand total of 136 beautiful Hawaiian “islands”. 7 out of the 136 islands are inhabited, and the remaining 129 are composed of small islets, atolls (which are coral islands circling a lagoon), and coral reefs. Each and every island was formed by hot spots within the Earth’s crust, causing them to rise to the surface deep in the middle of the Pacific.

Which Hawaiian islands are the most popular?
For many of you that vacation to Hawaii, you’re most likely familiar with Maui, Kauai, the island of Hawaii (also known as the Big Island) and Oahu, but the seven islands, which are inhabited are:

Oahu
Hawaii (The Big Island)
Maui
Kauai
Molokai
Lanai
Niihau

HOW BIG IS OAHU?
Oahu has a total area of 596.7 square miles, ranking in as the 20th largest island in the United States. The island can be categorized into five
main areas: Honolulu, Waianae Leeward, Central Oahu, North shore, and East Windward. To bring it to scale, it takes about three hours to drive
around the island. This drive will essentially take you around 2/3 of the island because the shore of Kaena Point near the North Shore remains
impassable by car.

Oahu is known as “The Gathering Place” for obvious reasons. Oahu is by far the most populated island, even though it is only the third largest of the major 7 islands, with a grand total population of 953,207.

Hawaii (The Big Island) is the largest in square miles of the Hawaiian islands and the United States, totaling at 4,028 square miles you would never know you were on an island. Because the big island was the most recently formed, it is the only island in which their are still active volcanoes, thus why this Hawaiian island is less populated than some of the smaller islands. The major volcanoes are Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and the Big Island’s highest peak Mauna Kea which remains dormant. (What does dormant mean? Dormant means “having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time.” Thesaurus: idle,
asleep, inactive). The Big island has a population of about 149,000 and most popular cities are Hilo and Kona (formally called Kailua-Kona).

Maui
Beautiful Maui is the second largest island within the chain of floating Pacific landscape, totaling 727 square miles and a population of 117,644. It’s most populated city is Wailuku. Maui is world renown for its gasping landscapes of beaches, valleys, mountains, with its highest point Haleakala coming in at 10,023 feet. This island thrives on tourism and agriculture and if you’re unfamiliar to Hawaiian products: macadamia nuts, sugar, papaya, mango, pineapple, coffee is produced largely in Maui.

Maui has two major airports Kahului Airport (OGG) and Kapalua (JHM). Kahului airport is the main airport used in Maui and is close to Wailea (South West Maui) and Kaanapali (North West Maui) which are considered two luxury neighborhoods abundant with vacation or second homes.

Kauai
Kauai is the fourth largest island totaling in 562 square miles. Supposedly this island is the oldest of the major eight. Kauai is covered in mountainous landscape and coastal cliffs, its highest point being 5,243 feet. The main airport is Lihue Airport (LIH) located on the south east side of the island.

Molokai
Molokai is a smaller more dessalate island with a total area of 260 square miles. In fact, if the weather is clear enough you can see Oahu and Lanai from Molokai, only being 25 miles away from Oahu. In order to get to and from Oahu one can travel the Kaiwi Channel. Molokai is also a volcanic island with two major ridges divided up into east and west, but luckily these volcanoes are extinct.

How Many Hawaiian Islands Are There? was last modified: February 13th, 2017 by Hawaii Living
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