Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog. Sorry I haven't been very active lately, life has been a little hectic but I have just returned from Hawaii and a number of people have been asking me about the trip so im excited to share my Hawaiian experience with you all. Click on the Pink for the link!
Today I will be talking about the island OAHU. We spent 10 amazing days on this island and boy was it AMAZING.
Beaches, waterfalls, mountains, jungles, world class diving and waves. Where do I even begin! Lets start with Waikiki beach (love at first sight) We spent most of our time in Honolulu. Its the home of the worlds famous Waikiki beach. This place truly has it all. Girls trips, guys trips, family trips and honeymooners. It really is a tropical paradise that caters to everyone. Im currently writing this blog with a big smile from ear to ear reminiscing on our magical time spent here.
When I first started to research Honolulu I did have my doubts (I obviously was drunk that day) At first glance it seemed really busy and Waikiki beach looked over crowded. In saying that it was pretty busy and there was always a lot of people around BUT it didn't effect us at all and it actually added to the Waikiki feel and I would not have changed a thing. Even tho it was busy it was still very relaxing and we always found a good spot on the beach. TIP : Head to any ABC store (they are everywhere) and pick up an airbed, they will even pump them with air for you. We had so much fun on them and stayed in the water for sunset and it was just magical.
Straight out of the water and a few steps away was our hotel, we where totally spoiled with the location. I loved the fact that from the back of our hotel we had a beautiful white sandy beach with turquoise water and from the front a pristine city with everything you could think of to eat, drink and shop. We had the most spectacular view of Waikiki beach and diamond head from our balcony at the Moana Surfrider. This hotel surpassed all our expectations and we would return in a heart beat.
The Moana Surfrider is also know as the first lady and has a great deal of history attached to her dating all the way back to 1901. In my opinion it has the best location in Waikiki with an unbeatable classic Hawaiian vibe. We walked around to all the other resorts and we where 100% happy with our choice. The hotel ticked all the boxes for us, from chilling out on the rocking chairs, drinking cocktails under the Banyan tree to fine dining/high tea on the veranda that includes a birds eye view of Wakiki beach. Heaven right!!
You can still enjoy all the hotel has to offer even if you are not staying here so make sure and pop down and have a cocktail under the famous Banyan tree and enjoy their delicious cocktails and daily live music. The grounds of the hotel are stunning both during the day and at night.
If you plan on eating in the resorts for all your meals be prepared to pay 5 star hotel prices (dont forget your 20% tip on top) If you take a wonder outside of the main strip you will find more bang for your buck. It really just depends what you are looking for, there is something for everyone's budget so enjoy.
Swimming with the turtles is a popular activity in Hawaii and we loved it. They are the most spectacular and graceful animals. It really was such a pleasure to watch them swim in there natural habitat. You will see the boats docked on Waikikis shores, trust me you wont miss them.
They offer day trips like swimming with the turtles, sailing and sunset cruises. You can book on the day or a day in advance. I highly recommend you jump on board the swimming with the turtles cruise, its reasonably priced at just ($50pp) with drinks included for 2 hours. Best 50 bucks I have ever spent.
The shopping of course has to get a special mention with everything from Prada, Chanel, Saint Laurent to Urban Outfitters and the amazing Victoria Secret, its all there. A wide variety of shops and restaurants lined across beautifully paved walkways with fire torches that light up the streets at night, it was almost like a Hollywood vibe. Not to mention a beautiful fireworks display by The Hilton Village every Friday night.
I really enjoyed Victoria Secret on the main strip, they took their pink theme to a whole new level, even hubbie was like oh god where is she bringing me now ha ha, it was great...
Shopping is much cheaper then Australia so bring that extra empty bag and fill it with lots of goodies. I got lost in the Ala Moana Shopping Center and was later found with lots of bags attached to me. This shopping center is the biggest outdoor shopping center in the world and has every shop you could possible think of. There are also other outlets however we didnt get to visit them as we where blessed with amazing weather on our visit and didnt want to miss out on the rays.
Waikiki might get all the attention and it certainty does deserve it, but Oahu has more then 125 beaches so do yourself a favor, hire a car and get exploring. We set aside two days to do a road trip around the island. Hubbie hired a mustang so he was happy out driving everywhere and anywhere! I recommend you take time out of Waikiki and explore the rest of the island it honestly took my breath away with its beauty. Its not a very big island you would drive around it in a few hours but obviously you want to stop at all the beautiful places along the way. We explored one side of the island and then the next day we explored the other side.
Go snorkeling, see the beauty of the underwater world. My two favorite places on our road trip had to be Hanama Bay and Laniki beach. We spent a lot of time in both of these places. At Hanoma Bay we went snorkeling and it was just an all round brilliant experience. It was up there with my top snorkeling spots, so calm and peaceful watching all the different types of fish feeding on the coral. You will watch a 10 minute video before you are allowed enter Hanoma Bay. This video educates you on how important the coral is and how we should never touch it or stand on it.
Lanikai Beach is ranked among the best beaches in the world, Lanikai meaning heavenly ocean and it certainly lived up to its name. Its almost a hidden treasure, there is no sign posts to say you have arrived at Lanikai beach. We actually passed it out and had to ask the locals to direct us so just keep that in mind if you do visit. You really are in for a treat when you drive around this beautiful island as it has the most amazing beaches with white powdery sand and clear blue water.
Next up is the Diamond Head. The World’s Most Recognized Volcanic Crater. This is another popular tourist attraction in Oahu. We really enjoyed this trek and it wasn't overly long. It can be completed in 1.5 - 2hrs from the entrance but we walked from our hotel so it was a good work out. The view is worth every step. Try avoid going when the sun is at its peak as it can get extremely hot. Dont miss the last set of stairs is a 99-step climb that eventually leads to a World War II bunker. At that point you have reached the very top so just enjoy the moment as you witness the finest panoramic views in Oahu.
Before I wrap it up I will just quickly mention Turtle Bay and Waimea Falls.
Turtle Bay is located between Protection Point and Kuilima Point on the North Shore of the island of Oahu. The bay is named after the large number of green sea turtles that inhabit the area and who used to lay their eggs in the sand on the beach years ago. We were very lucky to witness a turtle come onto the sand at Laniakea Beach and also watch him swim in very shallow waters. You can also snorkel here. Another 5 minute drive to the most northern tip of Oahu is the Turtle Bay Resort. A beautiful resort to take a walk around and admire its beauty. The film forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed here.
Waimea Valley - A beautiful one mile stroll through lush botanical gardens, that lead up to the grand Waimea waterfall. Its worth a look when you are visiting the north shore along with the Polynesian Cultural Center which we unfortunately didn't get a chance to visit.
I really could go on forever about beautiful Hawaii. I also dont want to overwhelm you with information so im going to finsh up with this. Hawaii is amazing in every way possible. I feel very blessed and grateful to have witnessed the Aloha spirit in all its glory. If you happen to visit Hawaii I promise you will not be disappointed.
I will list a few links below of restaurants we really enjoyed during our stay and also some places to put on your to do list. I hope you found this blog helpful, thanks for stopping by.
TO DO LIST
Turtle Boat Cruise
Friday Night Fireworks
Diamond Head State Monument
Ala Moana Shopping Center
North Shore Road Trip
Polynesian Cultural Center