Coleman / They say we’ll have some fun when it stops raining

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Four Mile Beach at the Big Island’s capital Hilo.

WHAT’S the best thing to do with a month off between jobs? Assuming you accrued a bit of leave in the old job and managed to save a few dollars, a quick trip isn’t a bad idea.

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman.

Then, with tickets to Hawaii on offer for under $600 return just after you’ve handed in notice…  it’s aloha, here we come!

This isn’t a travel review, I’ll save that for a podcast (“Travel First” available soon from all good podcast providers). Instead, here are a few things where the ACT, a legislative island in NSW can be compared to the US island state in the Pacific.

When buying anything in Hawaii, you can’t get a plastic bag. Not even a heavy duty one. They gave plastic bags the flick a few years ago and all that’s on offer are paper bags. And it seems most of them are made from recycled paper. Worth looking at as part of the review of the ACT plastic bag ban. One to Hawaii.

Many of the restrooms in Hawaii have an automatic flush capacity, activated by sensors. American toilets flush differently from ours, they start with an almighty rush as negative pressure beyond the S-bend empties the bowl before more water is piped in.

When this initial suction rush happens unexpectedly a fraction of a second after you sit down it’s not terribly enjoyable. A point to Canberra there.

Hawaiian highway driving is a wonderful experience for a Canberran. You know all those times you’re on the parkway, trying to do the right thing by staying in the left lane to allow faster drivers past on the right, only to see slower drivers sitting in the right lane? In Hawaii, the slow drivers are supposed to stay in the right lane.

Of course, more often than not, their system works about as well as ours does. We’ll call that a draw.

This article comes after a week on the actual Island of Hawaii, which is home to two magnificent attractions: the mountain Mauna Kea and the volcano Kilauea, neither of which we got to experience properly due to the weather.

I’ll admit I arrived on the Big Island at about the same time as the wet season, so I was expecting rain, but this was rain on a biblical scale. I admired the way most residents continued on during the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen as though it was nothing, but it closed off the road to the mountaintop and the only view available at the volcano was of cloud. Thick, all-encompassing, grey cloud.

Canberra gets over the line here by virtue of all-weather access to most things. 2.5 to 1.5

This provisional scorecard may be updated once I’ve seen more islands, but it does perhaps underscore why Canberra was rated so highly in a recent international travel survey.

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