US President Barack Obama greets well wishers upon his departure from Honolulu to return to Washington after a two-week vacation in Hawaii January 4, 2014.

Honolulu - US President Barack Obama late Saturday ended his vacation in sunny Hawaii and boarded Air Force One for a flight back home to chilly Washington.

Obama arrived in his native Hawaii on December 21 along with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia, 15.

Obama left Honolulu's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just before 9:00 pm (09:00 SA time Sunday) with his daughters, who likely have school on Monday, but not Michelle.

“As part of her birthday gift from the president, the First Lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday,” a brief White House statement said. Michelle Obama's birthday is on January 30.

The president and his family stayed at a rented house near a US Marine Corps base on the northeastern coast of the island of Oahu, located about a dozen miles (20 kilometres) from the state capital Honolulu, where Obama was born.

The president played several rounds of golf at the Marine base with friends and colleagues including White House chef Sam Kass.

On Thursday he also played golf with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, a rare vacation encounter with a foreign dignitary. - Sapa-AFP