Welcome to the tropical paradise known as Hawaii! Situated in the Central Pacific, this archipelago consists of eight main islands, each offering unique landscapes and breathtaking beauty. From stunning beaches and lush rainforests to towering volcanoes and cascading waterfalls, Hawaii is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. In this article, we will delve into the size of Hawaii, exploring its land area, coastline, and notable geographic features. So, grab a lei and join us on this journey to discover just how big Hawaii truly is.

1. Overview of Hawaii’s Geographical Location

Hawaii is situated in the Central Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,400 miles southwest of California. It is the only U.S. state located outside of North America, making it an intriguing destination for travelers from all over the world.

2. The Land Area of Hawaii

Hawaii spans a total land area of approximately 10,931 square miles. This includes all eight main islands: Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. Despite its relatively small size compared to other U.S. states, Hawaii’s islands offer an astonishing diversity of landscapes and ecosystems.

3. The Coastline of Hawaii

Thanks to its numerous bays, coves, and indentations, Hawaii boasts a remarkable coastline that stretches for approximately 750 miles. This extensive shoreline provides ample opportunities for water activities such as surfing, snorkeling, and swimming.

4. The Main Islands of Hawaii

Hawaii is comprised of eight main islands, each with its own distinct character and allure. Let’s take a closer look at these islands:

4.1 Hawaii (The Big Island)

The largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii, is also known as the Big Island. It covers an area of approximately 4,028 square miles, making it larger than all the other islands combined. The Big Island is home to diverse ecosystems, including active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and lush rainforests.

4.2 Maui

Maui, known as the “Valley Isle,” spans approximately 727 square miles. It is renowned for its stunning beaches, scenic drives along the Road to Hana, and the majestic Haleakala National Park.

4.3 Oahu

Oahu, the most populous island in Hawaii, covers around 597 square miles. It is home to the state capital, Honolulu, and world-famous attractions such as Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, and Diamond Head.

4.4 Kauai

Known as the “Garden Isle,” Kauai spans approximately 562 square miles. Its lush, tropical landscapes, including the awe-inspiring Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon, have made it a favorite filming location for Hollywood movies.

4.5 Molokai

Molokai covers an area of approximately 260 square miles. This island is known for its serene and unspoiled beauty, offering visitors a glimpse into Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage.

4.6 Lanai

Lanai, spanning around 141 square miles, is renowned for its luxury resorts, rugged landscapes, and tranquility. It offers a secluded retreat for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

4.7 Niihau

Niihau, often referred to as the “Forbidden Isle,” is a privately owned island covering approximately 69 square miles. Access to Niihau is restricted, preserving its pristine and untouched environment.

4.8 Kahoolawe

Kahoolawe, the smallest of the main islands, covers an area of about 45 square miles. It is primarily uninhabited and serves as a cultural and archaeological reserve.

5. Notable Geographic Features in Hawaii

Hawaii is renowned for its diverse and breathtaking geographic features. Let’s explore some of the most notable ones:

5.1 Volcanoes: The Fiery Heart of Hawaii

The volcanic activity in Hawaii has shaped its landscape over millions of years. Mauna Loa and Kilauea, both located on the Big Island, are among the most active volcanoes in the world. Visitors can witness the power and beauty of these volcanic wonders in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

5.2 Rainforests: Verdant Wonderlands

Hawaii’s abundant rainfall nurtures lush rainforests teeming with unique plant and animal species. The Hoh Rainforest on the Big Island and the Waimea Valley on Oahu are just two examples of the verdant wonders awaiting nature enthusiasts.

5.3 Beaches: Pristine Sands and Turquoise Waters

From the world-famous Waikiki Beach on Oahu to the secluded shores of Hanauma Bay, Hawaii offers an array of stunning beaches. Whether you’re a sunbather, a surfer, or a snorkeler, you’ll find a beach to suit your preferences.

5.4 Mountains and Valleys: Majestic Landforms

Hawaii’s mountain ranges and valleys captivate with their grandeur. The towering peaks of the Ko’olau Range on Oahu and the awe-inspiring Waimea Canyon on Kauai are just a glimpse of the natural beauty awaiting exploration.

5.5 Waterfalls: Nature’s Cascading Beauty

The cascading waterfalls of Hawaii are a sight to behold. From the iconic Akaka Falls on the Big Island to the breathtaking Wailua Falls on Kauai, these natural wonders provide moments of serenity and wonder.

6. The Unique Biodiversity of Hawaii

Hawaii is a hotspot of biodiversity, hosting numerous plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth. The islands’ isolation contributed to the evolution of unique flora and fauna, such as the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and the vibrant hibiscus flower.

7. Human Settlement and Development in Hawaii

Throughout history, humans have settled and thrived in Hawaii. From the ancient Polynesian voyagers who first discovered the islands to the multicultural communities that exist today, Hawaii’s cultural heritage is a blend of diverse influences. The modern development of tourism and infrastructure has provided visitors with a comfortable and enriching experience.


Hawaii’s size may be small in terms of land area, but its natural wonders and rich biodiversity make it larger than life. From its active volcanoes and pristine beaches to its lush rainforests and majestic mountains, Hawaii offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the Aloha spirit, and embark on a journey to discover the unparalleled beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How many islands make up Hawaii?

A1: Hawaii is comprised of eight main islands: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.

Q2: Which is the largest island in Hawaii?

A2: The largest island in Hawaii is Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. It is larger than all the other islands combined.

Q3: Are the Hawaiian Islands all volcanic?

A3: Yes, the Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic activity. The islands are home to both dormant and active volcanoes.

Q4: Can I visit the privately owned island of Niihau?

A4: Access to Niihau is restricted, and the island is primarily privately owned. Public access is limited, preserving its unique and untouched environment.

Q5: What is the best time to visit Hawaii?

A5: Hawaii enjoys a pleasant climate year-round. However, the months of April to October generally offer the best weather for outdoor activities and exploring the islands.

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