Ever wonder what each of the Hawaiian Island names mean? Hawaii has a total of 8 islands and each one has its own name. And each one has its own nickname too. Let’s explore each island and find out why each is named the way it is.
Hawaii – The Big Island
Let’s start with the biggest island whose name is Hawaii. Now that’s the name of the island, not the state. This is the only island with the same name as the state. People call it The Big Island, as to not to confuse it with the state of Hawaii. And of course, it’s the big island because it’s larger than the rest of the islands in the state.
Maui – The Valley Isle
Maui is called The Valley Isle because of the numerous valleys you see covering the island. The volcanic eruptions from hundreds of years ago caused these valleys to develop. Maui is the only island with the most valleys.
Oahu – The Gathering Place
Oahu is The Gathering Place. It is the central place where all imports come into the state before going out to the other islands. The capital city of Honolulu is located on Oahu. And it’s the only island where international flights can fly into.
Kauai – The Garden Isle
Kauai is The Garden Isle. It is bursting with lucious green forests, jungles, and gardens everywhere you look. The island receives about 444 inches of rain per year. This moisture helps keep Kauai the most beautiful out of all the islands.
Molokai – The Friendly Isle
Molokai got its name of The Friendly Isle by the people who live there. They care about their people. They value family, history, and culture. Nearly half of the people who live on this island is of Hawaiian descent and they really do live the true aloha spirit.
Lanai – The Pineapple Isle
Lanai became known as The Pineapple Isle after James Dole purchased the island in 1922 where he began his pineapple plantation. Lanai City, the only city on the island, was later built to accommodate the workers. Dole Pineapple was soon producing 75% of the worlds pineapple.
Niihau – The Forbidden Isle
Niihau is called The Forbidden Isle. It is not accessible by the general public. There’s only 250 residents, mostly of Hawaiian descent, who live on the island. Niihau is dedicated to preserving the Hawaiian culture. There are no roads, hotels, or restaurants. And no electricity either.
Kahoolawe – The Target Isle
Kahoolawe is the smallest of the Hawaiian Islands and is called The Target Isle. It has been used in the past as a training ground for the U.S. Military. There is no toursim, no city, and no population. Military training is its only function.