Maps of the Hawaiian Islands
The Hawaiian archipelago consists of eight main islands: Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai, Niihau, Kahoolawe, and Hawaii (also known as the Big Island). The nearest continental landmass to Hawaii is over 2,000 miles away, making the Hawaiian islands some of the most remote on the planet.
The Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanic activity originating on the Northwestern part of the state, starting with Niihau and Kauai and moving down the island chain. Next is the island of Oahu, which includes the state capital of Honolulu. Also in the more central part of the state is the County of Maui, which includes the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe. Finally moving down to the “youngest” island, the Big Island of Hawaii, on the Southeastern tip of the chain. As a result, the only active volcanoes in Hawaii are on the Big Island and there is even an underwater volcano to the Southeast called Loihi which is currently about 1,000m under the surface of the Pacific. But don’t hold your breath – experts predict that it will take thousands of years before we see another official Hawaiian Island break the surface.
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You’ll find that each island in the Hawaiian chain has it’s own particular flavor and personality, and often a visit to one island can be completely different from the next! Many people choose to visit more than one island because of this, so keep this in mind when looking for airfare to hawaii.