The Word’s Enchanted Island Playground: A vintage Hawaiian holiday

Continuing on my ‘let’s escape from winter!‘ theme, let’s go on a vintage Hawaiian holiday.

One of the fascinating things I discovered in researching in old magazines in New Zealand is how early Hawaiian holidays from New Zealand were advertised.  This advertisement for the Union Steam Ships Hawaiian holiday sailings appeared in the New Zealand Home magazine in 1932:

A Hawaiian escape thedreamstress.com1

It might be 1932, it might be the middle of the Great Depression, your holiday might be 6 weeks long, but there was enough of a market to advertise it!

It’s fascinating to see what the ad features: a bit of ‘Old Hawaii’ (looks like they are making poi!), surfing (made popular around the world by actor and Olympian Duke Kahanamoku), the beaches, the famous statue of King Kamehameha the Great in front of AliÊ»iōlani  Hale (now the state Supreme Court), Akaka  Falls, pineapple pickers (Dole’s tinned pineapple advertisements of the ’30s focused heavily on Hawaii, so this makes more sense in context), some tropical flowers (Hylocerius Undatus), Diamond Head, and, of course, Waikiki beach and the Pink Palace of the Pacific itself: the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

For some further eye-candy, here is a (very sweet and innocent) pin-up from a 1945 magazine promoting Hawaii  in the post-WWII era:

A Hawaiian escape thedreamstress.com1

I’d like to be where the Trade Winds blow…


  1. Lyndle says

    Love this! I had no idea Hawai’i would have been a Destination from
    NZ in the 30s. It’s a long way to go. The pin up poster is lovely too. Hope you can get home soon.

  2. MJ Ruisi says

    tikioasis.comWow …how incredibly timely for Me …Mid century Tiki is a major thing among my social group….this Year My Boy friend & I are attending this…http://www.tikioasis.com/2015/ have you heard of it?

  3. Ariana says

    Maybe not right now. The trades have died back, it’s humid and even south shores are getting rain every day. It could be worse, it could be Kona weather.

    Ariana, in Aiea

    • Kona weather isn’t fun, but I like humid and rainy, any it’s definitely better than Wellington in winter! 🙂

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