A month ago, we were just arriving home from ten days in Hawaii! Goodness, time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it! I thought it was about time I summed up my favourite bits from our Hawaii trip, before I forget! There were many great memories made, however here is the top five things that come to mind.
My first thing I say when people ask me how our Hawaii trip was is ‘oh it was great, I’d love to go back and visit the other islands though, next time’. Which is totally true, and a bit of a disclaimer – we only visited Oahu and spent most of our time in Waikiki and surrounds, so that is what I base my highlights on, obviously! The second thing I would say is that the people are absolutely lovely and we were lucky enough to spend time with my husband’s family while over there (his late grandmother’s sister lives near Waikele and her family live in the area too) so we heard a bit about how the locals live. Thirdly I would say that due to the Aussie dollar having a bit of a fall before we went, everything was a lot more expensive than we budgeted for, so we didn’t get to do as much as we would have liked. But, it was a lovely holiday and with many memories made. Here are my five favourite highlights!
1. Hiring a car and seeing the Island. My one top tip when travelling to Oahu is to hire a car, especially if you are travelling with small children. We hired a car for three days only, and we wished we had it for longer. The first day we drove straight to the North Shore and had some lunch and shave ice at Matsumoto’s at Haleiwa. It was a great day trip and was perfect for Hannah as she slept in the car the entire way (it’s about 1.5 hours’ drive from the Honolulu airport).
2. Hanauma Bay. Definitely worth the trip, this national park consisting of a phenomenly beautiful beach was a certain highlight of our trip. Visiting the beach cost us $7 per adult, plus $2 for the trolley ride up and down the hill to get there, but it was well worth it. Be sure to take snorkelling gear or be prepared to hire some when you get there (much cheaper to buy your own gear at the ABC Stores, however).
3. Shopping. Although I didn’t purchase as much as I would have liked to, it really is a breeze to shop in Waikiki! The shops are open quite late into the evening and for bargain hunters there’s the outlet shopping at Waikele. These were my favourite, for the Kate Spade outlet alone! I purchased a wallet which doubles as a clutch, which was 40% off, coming down to just under $100. I love it, and for something I use everyday I don’t mind spending a bit more. My husband picked up some casual Vans shoes for about $45 per pair, and we picked up some clothes for Hannah from the cutest kids’ clothing store, Carters. It was also quite an enjoyable trip as we stopped across the road for Leonard’s Portuguese donuts afterwards and a coffee! We also attended the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium on a Wednesday – if you need to buy souvenirs, or local artefacts, or a ukulele or a t-shirt or two, THIS is your place. It has the cheapest prices I found, too. It’s a massive market, so leave a couple of hours, and if you don’t have a car it might be worthwhile organising a shuttle, we used VIP Trans.
4. Music and relaxing: When we were staying at the Outrigger on the Beach, in the afternoons we would wander down to the beach and relax out the front of Duke’s with a cold drink (or ice cream!) and listen to the live band. Hannah could play on the sand while we sat back and relaxed. It was lovely. We did try to grab a table at Duke’s however it is always super busy, and a table is not always best with a toddler anyway!
5. The beach. This sounds obvious (it is Hawaii after all) however I think I really underestimated how beautiful the beach in Hawaii actually is. After all, I personally believe Australia has some of the best beaches in the world! In Waikiki, the water is crystal clear and the water is a lovely temperature. While we were there the swell was practically non-existent so it was actually quite good to swim with Hannah as well.
And that was my top five highlights from our Hawaii trip! If you’re off to Hawaii soon, I hope you find these tips a good start on thinking about what you’ll do in Wakiki. I’ve still plenty of tips to share and I’ll work on sorting these out soon, especially what I’d do differently.
Have you been to Hawaii? If so what were your highlights?