Hawaii holidays on hold

Travellers bound for Hawaii's Big Island are being urged to check in with their travel agents before hopping on a plane.

Hurricane Lane is sweeping through, forcing tourist attractions to be closed.

"We can often work with the airlines and the hoteliers to see if people can delay their departures," says House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas.

"But once you're on the site, there's very little that can be done."

Mr Thomas says it's best to register with SafeTravel, in case of an emergency.

SafeTravel, run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says Kiwis on the islands should "follow the advice of local authorities at all times" and seek shelter.

"It is generally considered sensible practice not to venture outdoors and remain well away from the sea," SafeTravel said in an update on its website. "It is also important to keep family and friends in New Zealand updated on your welfare."

The storm has wreaked havoc on the state's Big Island, with torrential rain causing flooding.

"The thing about a hurricane is typically, they do pass reasonably quickly - a day or two and they are gone," says Mr Thomas. "Hopefully it causes very little damage to the infrastructure so therefore people can get on with their holidays."

Hawaiian Airlines is letting travellers to change their flight reservations without charge, while Air New Zealand has issued a travel alert and cancelled a flight to Hawaii on Friday. The New Zealand airline says it's "offering flexibility" to those booked to fly in this weekend.