North America

Best of North American Travel
The ultimate Grand Canyon travel guide
For many, Grand Canyon National Park is a sightseeing coach stop, a natural tonic for the lights of nearby Las Vegas and a ‘been there’ photo opportunity. But the world’s most famous canyon in Arizona, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a national park, deserves better. As you’ll see here, it’s been home to people for thousands of years, and it took millions of years for the Colorado River to expose billions of years of geological history as it scoured a path down into the bedrock.   Bordered by several Native American reservations, the World Heritage site is steeped in Navajo, Havasupai and Hualapai culture and you can spend days walking trails with vistas of unparalleled scale. Perhaps you should pop to Vegas for a day and spend a week here instead… Getting there The Grand Canyon is split into two distinct zones, the North Rim and the South Rim.   It’s about a four-and-a-half-hour drive to get from one rim to the other, so ensure you  plan your trip accordingly. [caption id="attachment_47355" align="alignleft" width="600"] Toroweap Point – a jewel of the North Rim[/caption] If you’re keen to visit the North Rim, your best bet is to fly to Las Vegas, then drive the four and a half hours to the park.   If you're heading to the South Rim, from Phoenix it’s a three-and-a-half-hour drive.   For those without a car, the Arizona Shittle runs vans from Flagstaff to to the village three times a day. When to visit The best times to visit the Grand Canyon are March through May and September through November, when the crowds have shooed and daytime temperatures are predominantly cool.   If you decide to visit during the summer (the park's peak season), be prepared for hordes of tourists and very limited lodging availability. What to bring When travelling through Grand Canyon National Park, it's best to over prepare with your packing. We suggest sunscreen, a water bottle, optimum snacks, a camera, a small first-aid kit and a backpack to carry it all in. What to see Fit these natural and woman-made wonders into your Grand Canyon itinerary. Havasu Falls You’ll need to reserve a permit to hike to this natural spectacle in the Havasupai Indian Reservation.   A 30-metre waterfall cascades into a brilliant aqua-blue plunge pool that owes its colour to the high levels of calcium carbonate in the water, forming a stark contrast with the steep ochre cliffs of the creek. [caption id="attachment_47356" align="alignleft" width="600"] Havasu Falls – a view from the top[/caption] The 16-kilometre trail to the campground takes four to seven hours to hike, passing through the village of Supai. Horseshoe Bend See the Colorado River at its dramatic best from this vantage point on the rim of the Grand Canyon.   A view of the river carving a tight meander through the red rock, it’s perhaps the best spot to see how the power of water has hewn the steep sides of the Grand Canyon over millions of years.   Just outside the northern confines of the park, take a short walk from the highway to reach Horseshoe Bend and get snapping. Mary Colter architecture You wouldn’t think that architecture should be on your Grand Canyon agenda, but you’ll find the works of architect Mary Colter, who designed gift shops and other tourism structures sympathetic to the landscape here in the first half of the 20th century.   One of the few female architects of her day, she was the pioneer of a rustic style that incorporated Native American touches and traditional pueblo design. Make sure you head to Colter’s Hopi House and Desert View Watchtower. Tusayan Ruins Having marvelled at 20th-century faux Pueblo Indian architecture you can see the fascinating remains of the real thing at the 800-year-old Tusayan Ruins, a snapshot into the lives of people here before European settlement.   The low stone semi-circular walls of the main living area, storage rooms and a kiva, a ceremonial space, can be explored with a guide or by yourself on a short trail.   The Tusayan Museum here is a reconstruction of a Hopi Indian house. Whitewater Rafting One of the most spectacular places on the planet to go rafting, the Colorado River surges and at times sedately pours past gargantuan cliffs. Take a multi-day trip with experts in the field like advantage. Go Hiking The South Kaibab Trail gives you a taste of the gradients that make this place so special, rewarding you with the best views for your efforts.   It winds down the canyon to a campsite on the Colorado River, taking about four to five hours each way. [caption id="attachment_47353" align="alignleft" width="600"] Views from a hike in the Grand Canyon National Park[/caption] Desert view drive Rent a convertible for this one, a scenic drive that affords sweeping vistas of the Grand Canyon dotted with pull-over viewpoints along the way.   Plus it takes in the Tusayan Ruins and Museum, and Mary Colter’s Desert View Watchtower. Animal spotting Mountain lion You’ll be fortunate to spot the biggest predator in the park, aka the cougar; don’t worry, they’re not interested in humans. Tarantula The Aphonopelma behlei, a species of the world’s biggest spiders, lives here. Watch you don’t step on the four-inch beasts. Gila monster Like miniature Godzillas, these lizards have orange and black blotchy scales and lounge around in the surrounding deserts. Tiger salamander Look out for this striking black and yellow amphibian in pools and creeks around the Grand Canyon’s rim.  
Los Angeles Hollywood Sign
13 of the best film locations you can visit in Los Angeles
Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood by visiting the bars, hotels, restaurants and precincts featured in 2019's most talked about films and television shows. Los Angeles is the undisputed entertainment capital of the world. It has served as the backdrop to countless award-winning films and television shows since Hollywood first became the central hub of the emerging U.S film industry in the early 1900s. This makes L.A. the perfect destination for film and television buffs looking to experience the locations featured in the most talked about films and shows of 2019. [caption id="attachment_46929" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Virgil features in A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.[/caption] A Star Is Born Could there be a more perfect location for a film about a love story between a rock star and aspiring singer than the city where dreams are made? Locals and visitors to Los Angeles can find the locations of some of their favourite scenes in the movie. [caption id="attachment_46930" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Virgil is the set for first time Jackson watches Alley sing.[/caption] The Virgil – The popular East Hollywood bar is the location where Jackson first watches Ally perform La Vie en Rose at the drag show.   Address: 4519 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles [caption id="attachment_46931" align="alignnone" width="600"] Ally perform La Vie en Rose at the drag show at Los Angeles' Virgil bar.[/caption] Greek Theatre – Jack attempts to convince Ally to come with her to his next concert at none other than the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park. Ally decides to take a risk, quits her job and flies to the Greek where Jack convinces her to sing Shallow on stage.   Address: 2700 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles [caption id="attachment_46932" align="alignnone" width="600"] A cosier side to The Virgil that we didn't see as much of in the film.[/caption] Chateau Marmont – Ally and Jackson share a moment in their hotel room, filmed at the Chateau Marmont, just before the launch of her album while looking out at her billboard on Sunset Boulevard.   Address: 8221 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles [caption id="attachment_46933" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Chateau Marmont is the setting for the scent in A Star Is Born when Ally and Jackson look out over her billboard just before her album launch.[/caption] This Is Us The award-winning television show may be set in Pittsburgh and the New York tri-state area but it is filmed in the City of Angels. You can find the locations of the show's most heartwarming and tear-jerking scenes throughout Los Angeles. [caption id="attachment_46935" align="alignnone" width="600"] Nickel Diner in Downtown Los Angeles serves up some mouthwatering sweets.[/caption] Godmother's Saloon – 'Froggy's' may be the name of Rebecca and Jack's local Pittsburgh hangout in the show, but Godmother's Saloon, located in San Pedro, is the actual filming location.   Address: 302 West 7th, San Pedro [caption id="attachment_46936" align="alignnone" width="600"] Nickel Diner also happens to be the very diner that Kevin and Sophie share their first kiss in This Is Us.[/caption] Nickel Diner –Downtown Los Angeles's Nickel Diner is the place where Sophie and Kevin had their first kiss and where Kevin attempts to win Sophie back in season one of the show. Customers will be transported back to the 1940s in this vintage-style restaurant.   Address: 524S Main Street, Los Angeles  [caption id="attachment_46937" align="alignnone" width="600"] Nickel Diner is also the same diner Kevin tries to win Sophie back in season one of This Is Us.[/caption] Hotel Café –It is the location of Rebecca's Valentine's Day show in season one and the venue is a Los Angeles musical landmark in Hollywood. Some of the Hotel Café's most notable performers include Coldplay's Chris Martin, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran and John Mayer.   Address: 1623 ½ North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles  [caption id="attachment_46938" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Hotel Café is the location of Rebecca's Valentine's Day show.[/caption] Insecure [caption id="attachment_46941" align="alignnone" width="600"] Openaire is located on the LINE Hotel's rooftop in Koreatown.[/caption] The HBO hit series has received countless accolades for depicting a more positive side to life in South Los Angeles than what viewers generally see in mainstream television shows or films. The majority of scenes are filmed in the South L.A. neighbourhood but there are a few hangouts for Issa and friends sprinkled throughout the city. [caption id="attachment_46940" align="alignnone" width="600"] The restaurant was the location of Molly and Issa's brunch in season two of Insecure.[/caption] Mavericks Flat –The location of where Issa runs into Daniel in the very first episode of Insecure. Artists such as the Temptations and Marvin Gaye performed at this Leimert Park landmark, and it was once known as the 'Apollo of the West' during the '60s and '70s when it was one of the foremost jazz, soul and R&B venues in the city.   Address: 4225 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles  [caption id="attachment_46942" align="alignnone" width="600"] Openaire is Josiah Citrin's new restaurant (formerly known as The Commissary).[/caption] Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant – The city's oldest Ethiopian restaurant plays host to Issa's birthday party in another episode, starring in a scene between Molly and Issa. Located in Los Angeles's Little Ethiopia district, this intimate establishment is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal.   Address: 1036 ½ Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles   Openaire – Josiah Citrin's new restaurant (formerly known as The Commissary) is located on the LINE Hotel's rooftop in Koreatown. The restaurant's distinctive greenhouse decor makes it instantly recognisable as the location of Molly and Issa's brunch in season two.   Address: 3515 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles   GLOW Netflix's original comedy pays homage to the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling variety show of the 1980s that was originally set in Las Vegas. Netflix decided to move the show's location to Los Angeles and as a result it gives us a look into the city's colourful history.   The Pink Motel – To prepare for the show the ladies of GLOW are sent to live at the Dusty Spur, which is actually the Pink Motel in Sun Valley. The retro hotel has also appeared on shows such as Dexter and Drive, and while it is closed for business you can still get an outside look at the location before popping in next door to Cadillac Jack’s Cafe, another popular filming location for GLOW.   Address: 9457 San Fernando Road, Sun Valley [caption id="attachment_46947" align="alignnone" width="600"] Ruth and Sam stopped in at the Mayan in Downtown L.A. in GLOW, but you'll also recognise it from scenes in The Bodyguard and A Night at the Roxbury.[/caption] The Mayan – When scouting for locations to shoot GLOW, Ruth and Sam stopped in at the Mayan in Downtown L.A. The historic theatre is intricately designed with Aztec features and has also appeared in The Bodyguard and A Night at the Roxbury. It now operates as a nightclub.   Address: 1038 South Hill Street, Los Angeles [caption id="attachment_46948" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Hollywood Palladium's interior is used as the fictional Hayworth Hotel in GLOW.[/caption] Hollywood Palladium – The women of GLOW decide to film the first episode at the fictional Hayworth Hotel, which uses the interior of the Hollywood Palladium. The exterior of the Palladium was also used in a different episode of the show as a movie theatre screening Back to the Future.   Address: 6215 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood [caption id="attachment_46949" align="alignnone" width="600"] The exterior of the Palladium was also used in a different episode of the show as a movie theatre screening Back to the Future.[/caption] Bird Box Sandra Bullock stars in the chilling Netflix movie Bird Box. The 2019 film has taken over Australia’s screens (and memes!) and travellers will be pleased to learn they can visit the Monrovia home from the film, which is located in Los Angeles County. Monrovia House – Monrovia is located 32 kilometres north of Los Angeles, and this seven-bedroom property is the home of Sandra Bullock and her children in Bird Box. The suburb is also the location of numerous other iconic films, including Legally Blonde, American Pie and Never Been Kissed.   Address: 304 North Canyon Boulevard, Monrovia Travelling to Los Angeles? Here is how you can spend a perfect 48 hours solo in the City of Angels.
People dancing with drummers
The other side of Washington, DC you need to know about
Known for being the capital of the states and a cultural centre; there are few cities in the States where history, diverse cultures and eclectic neighbourhoods intersect the way they do here. Forget politics – here’s the real buzz you need to know about in Washington, DC. Neighbourhoods: the lay of the land There are a couple of dozen neighbourhoods patchworking together the map of DC, each with a very distinct feel. Once you’ve walked the chic streets of Downtown, get your shop on in the endless boutiques of cobblestoned Georgetown, spurred on by its exquisite landscape of historic houses, fine art galleries and waterfront. [caption id="attachment_46572" align="alignnone" width="600"] Relax with a sunset kayak on the lake.[/caption] Get funky (and foodie) in left-of-centre Shaw, stay up late on U Street, and of course, get your walking shoes to tour infamous massive monuments, such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol, on the National Mall. And don’t miss nightly free shows at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, set amongst the green space of university area Foggy Bottom. People & culture: get immersed Washington, DC’s mere 700,000-odd residents enjoy neighbourhood after neighbourhood of cosmopolitan facilities and a depth of culture born of thriving artistic communities and multicultural traditions. One must-see, in the eclectic, once-industrial NoMa district, is the mid-century food hall-turned-hip centre Union Market; stroll amongst the street art, craft distilleries and vintage clothing stalls and fall in love. [caption id="attachment_46570" align="alignnone" width="600"] Wander through the markets and discover local artists.[/caption] Then head over the Penn Quarter and Chinatown and catch a basketball game – the Washington Wizards and Mystics teams both call Capital One Arena home, with the surrounding streets filled with sophisticated eats and a neverending neighbourhood buzz. Insider’s secret Scope out historical and mural-lined Blagden alley for bars and restaurants beloved of locals. Culinary experiences: the must-eat list Things can get a bit spicy in a town like DC, sure, and that includes the food. Run, don’t walk, to Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, take a leaf from the book of Barack Obama himself and order a half-smoke; it’s DC’s signature sausage, smoked then grilled, and served up hot-dog style with onions, cheese and chili sauce. [caption id="attachment_46574" align="alignnone" width="600"] Don't miss the trendy Maydan eatery and bar.[/caption] At the more rarefied end of the scale, there are no less than 16 DC eateries sporting Michelin stars; for the full three-star experience, hand over your wallet and your heart at the impeccable The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia.   To experience your own Washington, DC, call Qantas Holidays on 1300 443 485 or visit qantasholidays.com.au/destination-dc
Holland America Line
Journey Alaska by land and sea with Holland America Line
Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys let you extend your Alaska adventure into the wild interior of Alaska and the Yukon. And who better to show you the Great Land? Holland America Line’s experiences are carefully crafted to reflect the best of Alaska, and even allow you to choose your own path. A Land+Sea Journey may take you to the foot of mighty Denali or venture further to the unspoiled reaches of the Yukon (an experience offered by no other cruise company). The Land+Sea Journeys program allows Holland America Line to focus on this majestic destination and experience while offering guests its renowned combination of elegance and adventure in Alaska and the Yukon. [caption id="attachment_45283" align="alignnone" width="600"] Big brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the mountain[/caption] Need to know Holland America Line is the only cruise company that takes guests to the unspoiled reaches of the Yukon. For the ultimate Great Land getaway, combine an Alaska cruise with Denali National Park and the wild frontier of the Yukon Territory. Ride on the McKinley Explorer glass-domed railcars, pan for gold, or even cruise the Yukon River on a sternwheeler. Located at the very gates of Denali National Park at the magnificent 24-hectare McKinley Chalet Resort, Denali Square serves as both hub and retreat for guests exploring the park, and features cosy fire pits, perfect for gathering around on cool Alaskan evenings as well as outdoor seating to enjoy the scenery in summer. You’ll also find shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaskan native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park. [caption id="attachment_45284" align="alignnone" width="600"] Mountains of Denali[/caption] Klondike Spirit Yukon River cruise Step aboard the Klondike Spirit and embark on a cruise to a bygone era on the only operating paddlewheeler in the Yukon Territory (at an additional cost). As you make your way through breathtaking landscapes along the Yukon River, the third-longest river in America, keep an eye out for abundant wildlife, including moose, bears and bald eagles. Tundra landing via helicopter Explore the hills just outside of Denali National Park on this short ride (at an additional cost). Keep your eyes on the horizon to see Denali, North America’s tallest peak, or Mount Deborah, her impressive sister. Just moments after take-off, you will be deeply immersed in Alaskan back country. Your pilot will set down on the soft, alpine tundra, giving you the amazing opportunity to step out into this scenic landscape.   Experience the authentic Alaska you’ve always dreamed of with the cruise line that is the undisputed leader in Alaska Cruises and Land+Sea Journeys. For more information call 1300 987 322, contact your travel professional or visit www.hollandamerica.com/alaska
Eat up!
Hawai‘i Foodie Guide: 7 Hawaiian dishes to try (and where to find them)
From Lau Lau to shaved ice. This is the essential list of Hawaiian dishes you need to try! Fried shrimp Ultra-fresh shrimp (prawns to us Aussies) show up on menus across the Hawaiian Islands, but arguably the favourite crustacean-based dish is fried shrimp. The true quality of a plate of fried shrimp comes from the amount of buttery garlic sauce that comes with it; the more the better.   Try it at: Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp Truck on the North Shore of O‘ahu. Malasadas Introduced by the Portuguese when they came to Hawai‘i in the 19th century, this doughnut without a hole is golden brown on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and coated with sugar.   Try it at: Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu, O‘ahu, which has been making these sweet doughy balls since 1953 leonardshawaii.com Lomi Lomi This salad is a traditional side dish, made from cured salted salmon chunks, fresh tomato and sweet Maui onions that are combined, or massaged (lomi lomi means massage in Hawaiian), to meld the flavours. [caption id="attachment_45874" align="alignnone" width="600"] A incredibly mouthwatering, fresh dish you HAVE to try[/caption] Try it at: Umekes in Kona, Island of Hawai‘i. umekesrestaurants.com Plate lunch Mix and match it however you like; the Hawaiian plate lunch is two scoops of white rice, macaroni salad and entrée – usually kalua pig, chicken lau lau (wrapped in taro leaves) or lomi lomi salmon. Can’t choose? Get a mixed plate and sample everything! [caption id="attachment_45876" align="alignnone" width="600"] A little something for everyone...[/caption] Try it at: Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina on Maui, which serves up incredible ocean views with its traditional plate lunches alohamixedplate.com Lau Lau This dish is considered to be soul food in Hawai‘i, so beloved it is. Meaning ‘leaf, leaf’ in Hawaiian, the name refers to the traditional process of wrapping meat (usually pork or salted fish) in taro leaves (luau) and then steaming it (wrapped in a ti leaf, which can withstand high cooking temperatures). It is now used to refer to the dish itself, which is usually served with a side of rice. [caption id="attachment_45877" align="alignnone" width="1024"] You'll never be hungry![/caption] Try it at: Highway Inn, O‘ahu, has been serving up Hawaiian food since 1947  myhighwayinn.com Kalua pig The main attraction at any luau and a component of the plate lunch, kalua pig is cooked in an imu (underground oven) for several hours resulting in smoky, succulent meat.   Try it at: Poi By The Pound on Maui poibythepound.com Shave Ice This frozen confection differs from a snow cone, which is made of crushed ice; shave ice soaks up the syrup better creating a fluffier texture. It was brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Japanese sugar plantation workers in the mid 19th century, and it is a huge hit all over the state.   Try it at: Wailua Shave Ice on Kaua‘i wailuashaveice.com    
Poke Bowl.
Hawai‘i foodie guide: culinary experiences in the Aloha State
Think Hawai'i is all about surfing and beaches?  Think again, Hawai'i is the capital of food cool with cocktails plenty and quality local produce. In high spirits With a tropical climate that lends itself to a sundowner or two, these distilleries are brewing up something great.   It was the Polynesians who initially brought sugar cane to Hawai‘i, and the first sugar mill was established in Lāna‘i in the early 1800s; commercial cane fields were established at the town of Koloa on Kaua‘i in 1835. Since then the crop has been used to make everyone’s favourite island tipple, rum.   Even if you’re not a rum-lover, a visit to the Koloa Rum Tasting Room and Company Store at the historic Kilohana Plantation in Lihue will set you on the path to appreciation. Koloa’s rums are premium, single-batch, made using the kind of sustainable practices that are fast becoming the standard for businesses across all of the Islands of Hawai‘i. [caption id="attachment_45869" align="alignnone" width="320"] You won't want to miss a tasting session at the popular Koloa Rum Tasting Room[/caption] Meanwhile, on the island of O‘ahu, Manulele Distillers at Kunia has a farm-to-bottle philosophy when it comes to producing its celebrated Kō Hana Agricole Rum.   The heirloom varieties of sugar cane (kō in Hawaiian) used to produce its small batch, single variety white, barrel-aged and cask strength rums are all hand-harvested before being pressed for juice and distilled with care. The resulting spirits, considered to be some of the best pure cane rums in the world (many mass-produced rums are made with molasses, a by-product of sugar production), are presented in sleek cube bottles with glass stoppers and hand-numbered on site.   Hawai‘i’s abundant sugar cane is not just utilised to produce rum; on the island of Maui, sustainable, select harvested organic sugar cane is combined with deep ocean mineral water, sourced some 900 metres below the Kona Coast off the Island of Hawai‘i, to produce a uniquely Hawaiian vodka, Ocean Vodka. The water used is purified and desalinated through a natural filtration method that ensures it retains its rich mineral content, while no GMOs or pesticides are used. The bottles resemble antique glass fishing floats.   From paddock to plate With a growing focus on utilising sustainable farming practices, as well as its abundant natural resources, Hawai‘i has earnt a reputation as a destination creating quality food and drinks from its deliciously fresh produce. [caption id="attachment_45870" align="alignnone" width="600"] Hawai'i's famous Farmer's Markets.[/caption] This kind of attention to detail and respect for the environment is encapsulated in places like O’o Farm, located at 1066 metres on the slopes of Haleakala in the upcountry farming community of Kula on Maui. The passion project of surfing buddies Louis Coulombe and Stephan Bel-Robert, who purchased the land here in 2000 with a citrus and stone fruit orchard and a few coffee trees attached, O’o Farms is now a thriving ‘no-till’ farm growing Hawaiian coffee, fruit trees, garden vegetables and greenhouse tomatoes, flowers and herbs. [caption id="attachment_45872" align="alignnone" width="600"] Hawai'i is earning a growing reputation for its quality produce[/caption] Given the cornerstone of Hawai‘i’s unique cuisine is island-fresh local produce and ingredients, it should come as no surprise that there is also no shortage of farmers’ markets to visit. Some of the best on offer include Hilo Farmers Market on the Island of Hawai‘i (Wednesday and Saturdays, 6am – 4pm); KCC Farmers Market across from Diamond Head in Waikiki (Saturdays 7.30am – 11am) or Hale‘iwa Farmers Market on the North Shore (Thursdays, 2pm – 6pm); Kaua‘i Culinary Market at Poipu on Kaua‘i (Wednesday, 3.30pm – 6pm); and Maui’s Upcountry Farmers Market in Pukalani (Saturdays, 7am – 11am).   The best way to see (and taste) the traditions and practices of farming on Hawai‘i first-hand is on one of the many farm tours available across the Hawaiian Islands at places like the Surfing Goat Dairy in lower Kula on Maui, which supplies its award-winning cheeses to restaurants across the island, and Big Island Bees on the Island of Hawai‘i, where you can take a beekeeping tour and join in on opening a bee hive. And for the sweet toothed, Garden Island Chocolate on Kaua‘i produces organic dark chocolate (85 per cent cacao) which you can sample on its guided chocolate tour.   Another way to experience Hawai‘i’s paddock to plate ethos is on a rambling culinary home tour, which gives an irresistible taste of the island lifestyle. Home Tours Hawai‘i on the Island of Hawai‘i offers its guests the chance to enjoy a progressive 3-course ‘farm to fork’ brunch using fresh ingredients and prepared in private homes. What is poke? [caption id="attachment_45871" align="alignnone" width="600"] The famous poke bowl - A crowd favourite and a must-try when you're in Hawai'i[/caption] One of the most delicious culinary exports from Hawai‘i food exports is poke (‘to slice’ in Hawaiian), which originated when local fishermen seasoned off-cuts and ate them as a snack. Traditionally served as an appetiser or main dish (the cubed fish is seasoned with salt, soy and sesame oil and mixed with Maui onion, ground candlenut and algae), it has evolved into a popular salad served with accompaniments ranging from avocado to coleslaw to rice. Caffeine culture Hawai‘i has a reputation for growing great coffee beans. Coffee arrived in Hawai‘i in 1817 and after a few years of patchy success at growing, plants were successfully introduced onto the Island of Hawai‘i in 1828, with the first commercial operation starting up in Koloa on Kaua‘i in 1836.   As sugar cane became less profitable many farmers started growing coffee beans instead; now more of Hawai‘is farmers grow coffee than any other crop across Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and Island of Hawai‘i. So it’s not surprising that there are some serious brews to be had; here a few coffee spots to hit up for a heart starter on your next visit. The essential go-to's Little Fish Coffee Poipu and Hanapepe, Kaua‘i Order hand-brewed coffee using organic Hawaiian beans and feast on dishes constructed of locally grown produce. littlefishcoffee.com   Akamai Coffee Co. Maui Housed in a light, airy space in Kihei, the coffee here follows a seed-to-cup process, serving up 100 per cent locally roasted Maui beans. akamaicoffee.com Island Vintage Coffee - Waikiki and the North Shore, O‘ahu With three cafes on O‘ahu, this consistently good coffee, made with Kona beans, is a must. islandvintagecoffee.com   Kaya’s at Kona Island of Hawai‘i The best organic Kona beans are used in its brews, including the coffee ice cubes in the iced version. kona123.com/kayas.html
Chilled out in Hawai'i
Hawai’i Foodie Guide: Flavours of the Hawaiian Islands
Explore the unique cuisine that reflects a rich cultural history and idyllic tropical lifestyle.  Experience the flavours of the Hawaiian Islands with our Hawai'i Foodie Guide... Using only the stars to navigate, Polynesians arrived on the Hawaiian Islands in their outriggers some 1500 years ago. And while the islands were lush and mountainous with cool, fresh water, these voyagers found little more than fish, seaweed, berries, for food. As they settled the islands, they planted sugar cane, fruits and vegetables such as coconuts, sweet potato and banana, and raised pigs and chickens. With these staple ingredients, early Hawaiian cooking comprised of dishes such as poi (a thick paste made from taro root); poke (raw fish seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and seaweed); haupia (sweet coconut milk and Polynesian arrowroot); and lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves) cooked in an imu (underground oven).   When Westerners arrived in the 18th century, they brought with them other foods such as pineapple, coffee and cattle; and when sugar cultivation hit its peak the following century, workers flooded in from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Portugal, introducing their flavours to the region. So, the Hawai‘i’s cuisine that we know today was born from a medley of cultural influences. Unique dishes such as Saimin (a Chinese noodle soup), Spam Musubi (essentially Spam sushi, with sticky rice and seaweed), and Malasadas (Portuguese doughnut) became local favourites.   In 1991, 12 chefs established ‘Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine’, a culinary movement where they partnered with local farmers to showcase and utilise the best of Hawai‘i’s produce and created a contemporary cuisine that blended fresh Hawaiian ingredients with flavours from around the world. Today, this philosophy continues as the Hawai‘i’s food scene thrives, with many restaurants touting menus focused on Hawaiian flavours. [caption id="attachment_45867" align="alignnone" width="600"] Giovanni's paved the way for the thriving food truck scene on O'ahu's North Shore[/caption] Street food is growing in popularity with roadside stalls and food trucks serving local delicacies made fresh to order. The laid-back town of Hale‘iwa on O‘ahu’s North Shore is ground zero for food truck cuisine, where trailblazer Giovanni’s, which started serving fried shrimp out of a converted 1953 bread truck in 1993, has been joined by trucks serving up everything from Hawai‘i’s comfort food to burgers to acai bowls. Cafes are making really good coffee that Australians will enjoy, and there’s a burgeoning brewery and distillery scene. [caption id="attachment_45866" align="alignnone" width="600"] Cruising the food trucks of O'ahu's laid-back North Shore is a culinary treat![/caption] An ever increasing number of Hawai‘i-based chefs are serving up noteworthy food using locally sourced produce in worth-going-out-of-your-way-for restaurants. One such chef is Hilo native Mark Pomaski at Moon and Turtle, where the constantly changing menu (sometimes daily) inventively makes the most of local seasonal produce and ingredients including ocean-to-plate (or sea-to-service) seafood.   Food festivals Kapalua Wine and Food Festival Maui – June Located at the beachfront Kapalua Resort on Maui, partake in cooking classes, wine and food pairings, winemaker dinners, and evening galas hosted by winemakers and prominent chefs from Hawai‘i and across the globe. kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival The Island of Hawai‘i, Maui and O‘ahu – October More than 150 international masterchefs, culinary experts, winemakers and mixologists converge over three islands for three weeks of events, including wine tastings, pool parties, cooking classes for kids, and food and wine pairings. The event raises money for sustainability, culinary programs and agriculture, so while you’re indulging, you’re also doing good. hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com Kaua‘i Chocolate & Coffee Festival Kaua‘i – October The historic town of Hanapepe comes to life with farm tours, workshops and Q&As with growers and experts, live entertainment and the best part, sampling glorious chocolate and coffee. Kaua‘ichocolateandcoffeefestival.com   Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Island of Hawai‘i – November Celebrating and preserving Kona’s 200-year-old coffee heritage, this festival includes farm experiences and coffee picking, barista training, beer, wine and coffee pairing, latte art competitions, as well as art exhibits, concerts and parades. konacoffeefest.com
arvo-cafe-oahu
Hawai‘i Foodie Guide: Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu
Nestled in between Ala Moana and Downtown Honolulu, Kaka‘ako is O‘ahu’s coolest neighbourhood with a buzzing food scene. Here is a snapshot of some of the best places to sate your appetite. Bevy Inspired by the speakeasies of the prohibition era, Bevy is a brooding little bar with a vintage industrial interior. The curated menu of crafted cocktails is the hero (created by award-winning mixologist Christian Self), with a European-style farm-to-table menu. See bevyhawaii.com Piggy Smalls From the team behind Chinatown’s The Pig and The Lady, this playful spin-off located in Ward Village serves a menu inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine. The unique desserts are a must-try, such as the Hanoi-style egg coffee and seasonal slushies. See thepigandthelady.com [caption id="attachment_45821" align="alignnone" width="600"] Piggy Smalls has got the Southeast Asian cuisine covered, you'll definitely be coming back for more![/caption] Butterfly Ice cream Be sure to stop by for a scoop of this artisanal small-batch ice-cream made using natural and seasonal ingredients. You can’t go past the Hawaiian flavours such as Kona coffee, Lehua honey and Poi banana bread. See butterflycreamery.com [caption id="attachment_45820" align="alignnone" width="600"] Get your ice-cream fix and try some signature Hawaiian flavours[/caption] Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room Beer geeks and novices alike will get their kicks at Village, which stocks more than 500 craft beers from Hawai‘i and across the globe. It has 16 rotating taps for sampling on-site and oenophiles have a pick of eight wines on draft, too. See villagebeerhawaii.com Arvo With a name like Arvo and a menu including flat whites and Vegemite toast, Aussies will feel right at home in this beautiful cafe. The interiors are bright and colourful (it shares its space with Paiko, a gorgeous botanicals and décor store) and takeaways are available at the little hole in the wall. See arvocafe.com [caption id="attachment_45823" align="alignnone" width="600"] Needing your caffeine fix and American-style just won't do? Arvo serves up a range of Aussie coffees and flavours to keep you satisfied[/caption] Pow Wow Enough food? Be sure to hit the pavement and explore the cool and colourful artistic side to this urban hub. Thanks to artistic network Pow Wow, the streets of Kaka‘ako are adorned with some 50 vibrant murals, making it an Instagrammers’ playground. See powwowhawaii.com [caption id="attachment_45822" align="alignnone" width="600"] When you need a walk after devouring your lunch, hit the streets of Kaka‘ako and check out some of the many vibrant murals[/caption] Eat the Street You’ll be spoilt for choice at this food truck event where more than 40 vendors cook up the likes of burgers, shrimp and tacos, as well as island-inspired cuisine such as plate lunch, shave ice and loco moco. This event takes place at Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park on the last Friday of every month, 4pm–9pm.

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