The 11 Best Documentaries about Hawaii

Jul 12, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, History

Hawaii is an amazing destination that offers travelers golden-sand beaches, stunning waterfalls, towering mountains, active volcanoes and tropical forests. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the top items on many people’s bucket list. From family-friendly islands like Maui and Big Island to chemical free sunscreens for protecting coral reefs – there are plenty of reasons to visit Hawaii! But before you plan your trip, get familiar with the destination by watching some great documentaries about Hawaii. Here are a few recommended ones that will give you a glimpse into this beautiful paradise.


True Hawaii (2023)

The breathtaking scenery of Hawaii is brought to life in this captivating documentary. Dive deep into the history and culture of this unique island chain, where ancient traditions and modern lifestyles merge together. From the fiery eruptions of Kilauea to the rich heritage of its people, discover the hidden wonders that make Hawaii truly one-of-a-kind.






Breath of Life (2012)

In the not-so-distant past, Hawaiians lived in complete unison with Mother Nature. Their way of life was centered around balance and respect for oneself, others, and the Earth. Love was embodied by the word “aloha”, signifying a deep connection with all living beings.






Kīlauea: Hawaiʻi on Fire (2020)

Kīlauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, has been erupting for over three decades. In 2018, it caused a series of violent eruptions that shook the entire island of Hawaiʻi.






Sharks of Hawaii (1982)

Explore the depths of Hawaii’s waters and discover a world teeming with over 40 species of sharks. Using advanced technology, witness remarkable displays of collaboration, unheard of hunting strategies, and captivating insights into these fascinating creatures.






Hawaii – Inside Paradise (2011)

Unleash your inner explorer as you embark on a journey to the tropical haven known as Hawaii. This stunning group of islands, though officially part of the United States, exudes a unique and captivating aura that sets it apart from any other destination in the world.





A Tour Through Hawaii (2012)

Experience the untouched paradise of Hawaii through this tranquil video postcard. Immerse yourself in the stunning natural sights and sounds of Eternity Beach, Ioa Valley Park, Blowhole, Rainbow Falls, Kawaiola Bay, Lotus Flower Ponds, Jungle Waterfall, Makapu’u Tide Pools, Maui Twin Falls, Kaeohe Bay, Tunnels Beach at Hanalei, Waimoku Falls, and Haleakala National Forest.







The 11 Best Free Documentaries about Hawaii


1. Hawaii and The Rise of Kamehameha

Discover the fascinating history of Hawaii and its captivating story of Kamehameha. Explore this beautiful archipelago, known for its breathtaking beaches, rich culture, and unique traditions. In this documentary we uncover the nation’s rise to power under Kamehameha’s rule! From his military strategies to his legacy that lives on today, take a deep dive into Hawaii’s past and learn more about this amazing place!


2. Discovering Hawaii: Travel/Discovery/History

Discover the amazing beauty of Hawaii in this unique documentary! Uncover the history and culture of these beautiful islands, from their basic information to why they are a world-class destination for surfers. Explore some of the nation’s best travel destinations that you won’t want to miss as well as places to avoid. Learn all about what makes Hawaii special and get an insider’s view into its people, culture, and more. Don’t forget your camera – be sure to have a memorable travel experience with this fascinating documentary about Hawaii!


3. Oahu: The Heart and Soul of Hawaii

Explore the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii with this documentary! With its fascinating diversity and overwhelming natural beauty, it is no wonder that almost eight million foreign travelers come to visit every year. Discover the traditional flower decoration called Leis, which is still an important part of Hawaiian culture. Take a journey into the heart and soul of Hawaii – Oahu! Its seclusion and peace make it perfect for anyone looking to escape reality. This documentary will show you why people fall in love with this place over and over again.


4. The Hearth of Hawaii: Oahu Island

Welcome to Oahu, the heart of Hawaii! This beautiful island is a paradise for surfers, freedom-lovers and active holidaymakers. It’s home to young fashion firms, galleries and hip cafes that add a modern flair. But it doesn’t stop there – this documentary will show you everything local and visitors should know about this stunning archipelago. Get an inside look at its cultural and economic center as we explore all the visual delights it has to offer!


5. How America Stole The Land Of Hawaii

Have you ever wondered how America came to own the land of Hawaii? This video will explore the history and explain why a once independent nation was illegally taken over by the United States. Discover how this archipelago has become a military base, while sovereignty groups are fighting for its legitimacy. We’ll also look at what could happen if these efforts succeed in restoring the rightful owners of Hawaii’s land.


6. The Fight To Take Back Hawaii

For more than a century, Hawaii’s destiny has been in the hands of outsiders. But now, native Hawaiians are asserting their rights and reclaiming their culture, language and land. This video follows the fight to take back ownership of this island paradise as they strive to restore its beauty for generations to come. Watch and learn how they’re making strides towards restoring Hawaiian heritage!


7. How Hawaii Became America’s 50th State

Hawaii is a unique state with its own complex history. From an independent nation to part of the United States, this documentary dives into the controversial nature of Hawaii’s statehood and how it ultimately became America’s 50th State. Uncover the story behind Hawaii’s control at the hands of the U.S., and explore how it went from an isolated island chain to one of our most beloved states in our union!


8. Aloha Aina: Love of the Land

Love of the land is a powerful thing. It’s something that can bring communities together and help them to thrive. This documentary explores the concept of Aloha Aina, which means love for the land, and how it has shaped Hawaiian culture and its people over generations. Learn what it means to honor your environment, build community connections, and discover why Aloha Aina is essential for sustainable living!


9. The Hawaiian Documentary They Want Hidden From You

Uncover the truth about Hawaii that they don’t want you to know. In this documentary, we take an inside look at what has been hidden from public view and explore the secrets of one of America’s most beautiful states. From stories of political corruption to tales of environmental destruction, this film uncovers it all! See why some powerful people are trying their best to keep these secrets under wraps and learn what you can do to help protect Hawaii for generations to come.


10. Hawaii’s Hidden Darkness

Hawaii, a paradise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, hides a dark secret. In 1893, Hawaii and its monarchy were illegally overthrown by the United States of America. Since then, many sovereignty groups have been fighting to reclaim their legitimacy as an independent nation. This documentary reveals how Hawaii has become a military base that threatens world peace, and follows those who are struggling for their freedom and independence. Dive into this hidden darkness behind one of the most beautiful places on Earth!


11. Hana, the Heart of Hawaii

Take a journey to Hana, the Heart of Hawaii! See what makes this small remote town so special and unique. Get an in depth look at life in this tight-knit community and explore its deep-rooted Native Hawaiian culture. Visit the Piilani Hale Heiau, one of the largest stone temples in all of Hawaii. Discover traditional thatched huts and fully restored Hawaiian fish ponds teeming with fish. Experience outrigger canoes paddling through Hana Bay and locals practicing hula dancing in parks – these are just some of the amazing sights waiting for you when you visit Hana!



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David B