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Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
240 posts
19 reviews
16 helpful votes
Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

Flew out of Sydney on the 9:20pm Hawaiian Airlines flight. Nice airline – good service and food.

Arrived about 10:30am, made quick contact with Mark from Hawaii 23 for our transfer. He was obviously well booked and he got his cousin John to take us with another couple. We got a discount so that was okay.

We stayed at the Waikiki Resort Hotel. Nice place, fantastic location. Will post a review for it. Our room was ready so they let us up. We had room 1706 – mountain view, two double beds, away from the elevators and up nice and high.

After we dumped our bags and changed into our shorts, t-shirts and thongs, we went wandering. Found ourselves a phone place and bought a SIM card for our mobile. We’d left our kids at home and there were lots of things happening with them so we needed to be at least in txt contact with them. The SIM cost us $60 but it was unlimited texting which was great we thought because our daughter is a txt-aholic.

We then went wandering the streets and beaches - soaked up the sights and relaxing atmosphere. Had dinner at the International Market Place – Choi’s. The food was good and inexpensive.

Day 2:

We designated this as our heavy-duty shopping day. We caught the bus to the Ala Moana Centre where we shopped. We then ambled up to the Ward Centre and shopped some more. Found some really great bargains and pretty much got everything that the kids had on their wish lists. The only disappointing thing for us was that we didn’t really find anywhere but Champs where we could buy MLB t-shirts for our mad baseballing kids.

Caught the bus back to our hotel to dump all our shopping and went wandering the beach again.

We had dinner that night at the MaKittii Sanrio World Buffet – all you can eat for $18.99 on Kuhio Ave. It was okay – just. They had quite a variety of food but it’s somewhere where I wouldn’t eat again or really recommend to anyone.

After dinner we wandered the streets, enjoying the sights and the atmosphere.

Day 3:

Got up nice and early and caught the bus down to the Dollar car rental place. The bus stop took us all the way to the front of the rental place – so convenient. We got a Kia Soul with a sat nav and the best insurance they had. It cost us AU$313.00 for the 3 days so I don’t know whether that was good or not. Petrol cost us $40 in total and we went around the island twice.

The weather was a little iffy so we headed to Pearl Harbour. We got there at 8:15am and got tickets for the 9:00am launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. This gave our time to have a good look around. Going out to the USS Arizona was a very moving experience.

Unfortunately we were with a local high school group who showed very little respect. This was really disappointing – these children and their teachers joked, pushed each other, laughed and were extremely loud the entire time. I was very shocked by this as I was always under the impression that Americans were very respectful of their servicemen and women. I am a primary school teacher and we take 120 10 and 11 year old children to our War Memorial in Canberra every year. We educate our students to be respectful and mindful of the other people around them. They manage to keep their respectful silence throughout our tour so it was very sad to see this group of high school children who could not and their teachers who did nothing to kerb their noise. We were not the only ones disturbed by these children as most of the adults on the tour were looking pretty upset. Anyways, enough said about that.

Once we returned to shore, we decided to do the tour of the USS Missouri Memorial. It too was a very moving and interesting experience.

Next we drove up around the island, taking our time and just doing some general sight-seeing. We had booked a horse ride with Linda at the Kahuku Kai Horse Ranch. I had spoken to Linda when the evening before and she gave us very clear directions to her place. She was very good and matched us up to our horses very well. Her friend, Susan, took four of us out on our ride. My husband really loved this activity. He has always wanted to ride a horse on a beach and we got to do just that. Most of our time on our ride we spent on the beach and he got to gallop his horse along the beach and wander through the water with him. I am not as confident a rider so my little horse and I were happy just to poddle along. The only bit of nose to tail riding we did was through a little path way to the beach – other than that it was real relaxed and go at your own pace. Susan was great and took some lovely photos of my husband and me riding along together on the beach – it’s an experience that neither of us will forget.

That night we were pretty buggered so we just ate at McDonalds which was just a half a block away.

While on the topic of McDonalds – we had breakfast there everyday because it was so convenient and cheap. I was in heaven because I got to have their SPAM, eggs and rice breakfast platter every morning. $3.99 + 79c coffee + tax – can’t beat that!!

Day 4:

The weather today was really rainy and yuck so we decided to do another shopping day. This time we drove so we could load up the car a bit and put a mighty dent in our credit cards - hahaha.

We had lunch at Bubba Gump’s at the Ala Moana Centre. It was a bit of a must-do thing because we saw the one at Santa Monica Pier being built and never got to eat there. My son is a big Forrest Gump fan so we knew we had to go visit for him  . The service was great and the food was really nice. I had the ¾ lb of shrimp – half Cajun and half garlic & butter. Hubby had the shrimp sampler. Very tasty!!!

In hindsight we should have done the Punchbowl Cemetery and Diamond Head Crater today but we didn’t. We kind of ran out of time on our trip to do these but it gives us an excuse to come back.

Dinner was at the Aloha Center Café which is just diagonally across from our hotel. Nice food – we both had steak and lobster tail which was inexpensive and very nice. They had an entertainer singing there and it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere to enjoy an evening in.

We then went for a wander along the beach and had ice-cream from the Haagen-Dazs. Big clue – go the small serving because they are huge.

Day 5:

It was raining again quite heavily but we wanted to go to the Swap Meet at the Aloha Stadium. We forgot the rain ponchos that we had packed but luckily it stopped raining for the entire time we were there. The stalls are a little repetitive but we got some bargains. Just as side note – we managed to find some Aloha scrubs for our son who is a nurse. He loved them!!

We then went up to the North Shore and slowly made our way along the towns and sights. The weather was yuck but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. My photos would have been so much nicer if there was sunshine sparkling off the water but nevertheless we have photos.

Along the way we stopped and saw some turtles. They weren’t on the beach but just at the water’s edge feeding. Every now and then they would surface and pop their heads out of the water. Quite a sight!

We ate lunch at Romy’s Prawn and Shrimp place. It was really busy there but we didn’t have to wait that long for our food – about 15 minutes. We shared a garlic shrimp and rice meal. Soooo tasty!!! I think hubby wished he had gone for one on his own. They were a little messy but that is half the fun. There was a wash basin there with soap so it wasn’t really an issue.

After that we just took our time driving back down. We stopped off at Waimea Valley and had a bit of a sticky-beak around. We didn’t pay to go in because it was raining pretty heavily.

We stopped at the Halona Blowhole. It was blowing quite well and we got some great photos.

By this time poor hubby was getting a little fatigued from all the driving and it was getting late so we decided to head back to our hotel.

We ate at the Seaside Café on Kuhio Ave. I had steak and shrimp while hubby had steak and shrimp fettuccine. The meat was really tender and hubby’s fettuccine was really tasty – he was very impressed with it!

Day 6:

Another wet old day – what to do??? We went for a wander along the beach after breakfast and decided to hop the Aloha Bus for a tour around on their double decker bus. We armed ourselves with rain ponchos because we were determined to sit on the top deck. The bus pretty much went around everywhere we’d already been on foot or car but it was different seeing it from up high. They also give you headphones to listen to a commentary they have. It was pretty interesting and hubby enjoyed it a lot because he didn’t see so much when he was driving.

The people who worked on the buses we caught were really friendly and helpful. One lady we met was an office supervisor sent out for the day to experience what her staff experience. She was saying that the buses hadn’t taken off as well as they had expected and that they had to cut down one of their fleet of 6 to 5 buses because of costs. This meant that instead of the buses coming every 20 minutes it was about every 30 minutes but it was no big deal.

We got off at Hilo Hattie and had a browse around there. We also got off in Chinatown, wandered around and had lunch in some food hall. Let me say that it was of a dubious nature and I would not have eaten it at home, but I figured that it couldn’t be that bad – it was tasty but nothing noteworthy. We did see live bullfrogs for sale for $6.99 a lb – hahahaha…it was a bit gruesome. Being of Chinese decent I asked my parents when we got back to Sydney what they would do with them – my father stated “skin them, cook them and eat them”. Apparently known also as ‘rice-paddy chicken’ and are very nice – ewww…may leave them to it.

That night we ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise. We got a table by the window so we got to people watch while we ate. Nice enough food but nothing fantastic.

Day 7:

Finally the sun came out and shined her warmth on us. We had a beach day which was thoroughly enjoyable. First off we went down to the Star Beach Boys and had a surfing lesson. Phil was our instructor and he was very patient. Hubby and I both stood up on our first waves – so exciting!!!! We had lots of fun but it was exhausting. We bought photos they took of us because we had to have proof that we actually did stand up and surf – the kids would never have believed it otherwise…hahahaha. The photos cost us $60 but there was a squillion of them and we figured we’d never do it again.

After that we went to the ABC store and bought some floaties which they inflated for us. We had so much fun just poddling around in the water. Luckily for us we were sun-safe and used sunscreen and had sun shirts. We saw so many people on the beach glowing red that day!!!!

We had lunch at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers opposite the zoo. Nice burgers and very friendly staff.

For dinner that night we wandered down to the King’s Village to watch the changing of the guards and found the Rock Island Café. The store/café is filled with all old rock and roll memorabilia and played old rock and roll songs. The food wasn’t fancy but it was nice and the service was good.

Day 8:

Today we went to the US Army Museum at Fort De Russy. Free entry although they do ask for a donation. Good displays and very interesting. We spent a good deal of time wandering through and looking around.

Then we had another enjoyable beach day. Poddling around and doing some last minute shopping as well.

We ate at Chilli’s. The service and food was nice but we did get a visit from a cockroach on the wall while we ate. We didn’t make a big deal of it because we appreciate that we are in a warm humid area but we did mention it quietly to our waiter who thanked us for our understanding.

Day 9:

Our last day… we were due to be picked up at 9:00am so we had our breakfast on the beach and soaked in our last bit of Hawaiian sun.

Our 8 nights on Oahu were just enough for us - left us wanting just that bit more. We had a lovely time and look forward to our return trip.

Finally, a big thank you to all the people on this forum that helped us out either directly or indirectly with your contributions. There were many things that we may not have experienced had it not been for all you good folk.

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
30,287 posts
1. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

Nice trip report.

Sorry that it rained so much while you were here.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
55,861 posts
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

I had guests during the time you were here. They, like you, didn't let the rain effect their vacation. I'm glad you had a great time and thanks for the trip report!!

Lisburn, United...
Level Contributor
632 posts
16 reviews
24 helpful votes
3. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

Thanks for a great trip report. It just shows that there is plenty to do no matter what the weather may be.



Level Contributor
53 posts
4. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

Great Trip Report! 3 more days to go....

Level Contributor
326 posts
21 reviews
10 helpful votes
5. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

"the Aloha Center Café which is just diagonally across from our hotel. Nice food – we both had steak and lobster tail which was inexpensive and very nice."

If you remember, I'm curious...inexpensive is different to different people...do you happen to remember the price? This sounds really good!

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
30,618 posts
6. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May


Mahalo for the great TR. I'm glad you didn't let rain stop you from having such a good trip.

Have you started planning your next trip?


Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
30,287 posts
7. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

"If you remember, I'm curious...inexpensive is different to different people...do you happen to remember the price?"


Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
240 posts
19 reviews
16 helpful votes
8. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

TT - the price is normally $25.95 but we got a voucher of some description (I'm so sorry but I can't remember where we found it but I'll let you know if I can track it down) and we only paid $18.95.

Jet - hahaha - kind of - we have our 25th Wedding Anniversary coming up in 2 years and we are hoping to do a big trip to New York City, Washington DC and most probably Hawaii on the way home.

Weather is something no one has any control over and I think that no matter where you travel to, its up to you to make the most of what the location has to offer you. We never worry about the weather - sometimes it works to your advantage because some places are not so crowded. We had some beaches to ourselves on our trek around the island :)

Level Contributor
499 posts
4 reviews
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

great trip report...

was particulary interested in the cost of the car hire as an Aussie. We were considering hiring a car for three days as well on the next trip, but at that cost, I don't think its worth the stress of trying to negotiate traffic and a steering wheel on opposite sides I am used to. As well as the navigations! Especially with the added problem of the driver (me as it would seem) not even getting to see the scenery properly. Think I'd rather use that $$ towards a tour of some sort out of Waikiki and be stress-free.

In all your shopping, you don't happen to recall if you bought or saw the cost of Havianas? I desperately will need a couple of new pairs before I hit Hawaii in August, but if its gonna be cheaper to buy over there, I'll wait til we arrive.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
240 posts
19 reviews
16 helpful votes
10. Re: Trip Report: 3rd May - 11th May

Syd - on hindsight we could have probably done one level of insurance down which probably would have saved us about $45 over the 3 days (I think). I also got the car through Dollar using a coupon which made it cheaper than otherwise. Keep an eye out for them - I used this site

www.ecouponshawaii.com/default.aspx?nid=42. We got a sat. nav. with our car which made life so much easier and relaxed when finding places (especially on me the navigator). Hubby didn't really have a problem driving on the "wrong side" of the road and was pretty relaxed after he made a few turns without errors :). Traffic was not bad - we live in western Sydney and we thought the traffic was much better than trying to negotiate around Parramatta (for example). The locals or other drivers seem to be very patient and courteous so when there was the one or two occasions we got a little confused no road-rage :) Dollar was pretty good to use - they didn't seem too strung up about the car coming back totally spotless. It rained while we had the car and we stopped at lots of places meaning that we had some sand/dirt in the carpet - we shook out as much as we could from the mats and they didn't seem to mind.

I think a lot of people would agree that a car is a great idea - it gives you a lot of freedom to go do things at your own pace without the headache of having to wait for others. While hubby did miss a little on the scenery it was mainly around Honolulu where he was really concentrating on his driving. Honolulu (the city part) is quite accessible by the bus, Aloha Bus and foot which we did later anyways. The country-side driving was okay and he got to enjoy that scenery. We are not big tour-group people and would definitely hire a car again.

I too had planned to stock up on some Havianas in Hawaii but I never saw any in all the shops we went to so it was lucky I didn't have a blow-out over there :) Lots of other brands but I like my Havianas. Not sure if any of the posters know where to get them.

Wow - so jealous of you going there in August. We came back to the cold weather and wished for days that we were back in the balmy warmth. Have a great time.