“The history of Hawai’i may be seen as a story of arrivals.”

–Susanna Moore

First, there were the plants and animals that made their way to the Hawaiian Islands unassisted by humans. Then, the Polynesian voyagers who became the first human inhabitants of the archipelago. Next, the European explorers of the late 18th century and the missionaries who followed them. And then, the waves of immigrants who came to work Hawaiʻi’s plantations. All of these arrivals influenced the direction of the Hawaiian Islands, as author Susanna Moore observes.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the major arrivals and events that have shaped Hawaiʻi as it exists today. It’s tough to do the islands’ fascinating and complex history justice in a few thousand words. However, if you’re planning a move to Oʻahu, Maui, the Big Island, or Kauaʻi, this timeline will give you a foundation for understanding how things work in the Hawaiian Islands.

Ultimately, we hope this is only the start of your journey toward understanding the history of Hawaiʻi.

To continue to deepen your knowledge, we recommend:

Hawaiian Antiquities

By David Malo, the first in-depth written history of the islands and its people

A Brief History of the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi, from Then Until Now

As you can see, the history of Hawaiʻi is complex, multi-faceted, and fascinating. By understanding the broad outlines of the islands’ human history, you’ll have a better understanding of the way the Hawaiian Islands work—especially if you continue your learning journey with a few good books.

We’re proud to be part of the fabric of Hawaiʻi since we opened our first office on Oʻahu in 1982. Since then, we added offices on the Big Island (2001), Maui (2001), and Kauaʻi (2005). With the capacity for local, interisland, mainland, and international moves, we can help you get to or from any location in Hawaiʻi. To get started, reach out to our team for a complimentary quote.

Tell us about your move!
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.