So here we are, back home in Oz after another great 10 day holiday in Hawaii !!! This was our 3rd trip to the Islands and hopefully we will get back again soon (love it so much) !! LOL
HOTEL: PACIFIC BEACH
We stay here each time we go to Hawaii. It is clean, comfortable and in a great location. Our room was 825 oceanfront in the beach tower with fantastic views across the ocean !!! As usual we encountered no problems with staff from maid service, check-in/out or in the restaurants etc.
We decided to see the ranch as we had not been there before. We did the 1/2 day tour which included return transport from Waikiki, 2 activities and buffet lunch. The cost for this was $90 pp and activities we chose were ATV ride and the Movie-set tour. The buffett lunch was also very nice. We enjoyed the day, however I did not think it was worth the money we paid and was a little disappointed but it was great to see where some of the big hit movies were made.
We really enjoy snorkelling at the bay, so did another trip back. Booked through the hotel tour desk again, this time we had Tommys Tours (Jerry was our driver, very funny guy). Cost for Waikiki return transport, snorkel, fins etc was approx $15 or you could pay a few bucks more for the deluxe snorkels. They had several pick up times available and you could also change your return pick up time to spend more time at the bay. We had a fantastic time again, swimming with the fish & turtles is amazing !!
MAUI DAY TRIP
On previous visits we had seen Big Island & Kauai, so this time we popped over to Maui with Roberts of Hawaii inter-island one day tours. Cost was $260 pp which was return airfares from Waikiki to Maui, return transport to airport, full day trip of Maui with tour driver. When we arrived, our first stop was Haleakela crater, 10,023 feet above sea level. What a view......you are above the clouds !!!! The crater is amazing, it almost looks like another planet. Definately worth the winding drive to the top. Watch out for the cyclists who are coming down the mountain from the top !!!! Our next stop was Lahaina, beautiful town on the waterfront with lots and lots of shops, dining. We only had 2 hours here and you really could spend a few days, so we will definately have to come back for a stay on Maui to see more of Lahaina. After lunch we drove to IAO state park to see IAO needle, a rock feature jutting up into the air....pretty cool. The grounds are beautiful, lush & green with waterfalls with a multi-cultural village at the entrance. Well worth a drive and look to IAO park.
Did the usual haunts.....Ala-Moana, IMP, Swap Meet, ABC Stores and Walmart (love that place). As we dont have Walmart in Australia the only way to explain it to other Aussies would be think of Big-W but 10 times the size !!!! They have everything you can think of and more !!!!
IMP and Swap Meet have the bargins, great for t-shirts and souvenirs. Ala-Moana, fantastic shopping and love that Build-A-Bear shop !!!!
Caught TheBus to Haleiwa to look around, it took about 90mins from Ala-Moana to get there, but well worth the scenic trip. Had shaved ice at Aoki's which was just yummy and shrimp lunch at Giovanni's !!! You just cant get 12 big juicy prawns & rice for $12 here in Australia !! Awesome !!. Looked around all the shops and surfing museum in Haleiwa, great day.
What can you say about the beach, Waikiki has beautiful beaches and make sure you take some time out of your holiday to just chill out and relax on the beach. The water is beautiful and the sunshine is perfect. You can buy blow-up matress to laze around the water from ABC for $2.99....bargin !! Surfing lessions available or do the outrigger canoe rides for $15.
Well we seemed to end up back at some of our fave places....Cheeseburger in Paradise, Planet Hollywood, Rock-Island Cafe (Kings Village), Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Cafe and of course Dukes !!!! Our treat was again Orchids at Halekulani....it is where we had our wedding dinner last year so went back again.
If you like pizza, then try Rock-Island Cafe in Kings Village. They make fantastic homemade pizza's and the absolute best milkshakes....thick and creamy the way they use to be. They even measure the amount of ice-cream in each one !!! They also have some great classic memrobillia to buy like pictures, autographs and bits and pieces.....well worth a look !!
Dukes famous Hula Pie....yum !!! You must go to Dukes, even if it is just for the Hula Pie !! We also had a beautiful sirloin steak marinated with soy & ginger with garlic mash......yum !!!
We really couldnt fault any of the food we had anywhere, they were all fantastic. Also the cocktails.......yummy.....Blue Hawaii's, Lava Flows, Tropical Itch and Sunset.....they were all fantastic.
Oahu is really easy to get around, whether it be hiring a car or using public transport. We mainly used TheBus, which was very convenient and easy to use. Bus timetables are available everywhere and easy to read. Cost for TheBus is $2 per one way fare with 1 transfer available. If you plan to use TheBus frequently then consider buying from the ABC shop a 4 day pass for $20....well worth value. We also used the Ala-Moana shuttle for $2, which was also very convenient for shopping !!!
Well that was another fantastic trip to Hawaii......we will just have to start planning the next one and start counting the days !!!!!