Blue Waters For Miles, Hawaii

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Following on from last week’s Hawaii post, I wanted to share the rest of the places we checked out as well as a couple recommendations of mine…

The photo above was taken from Sunset Beach. We decided to check out the North Shore & see the waves & surfers. There was an onshore breeze blowing so the surf was a bit of a mess but there were still some guys out catching waves! It looked reasonably big to me, the Bossman said it was probably around a 5 feet swell & we found out that it can get up to a 30 foot swell!

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It’s funny, it looks so quiet in the photograph but the beach was actually so. busy. They were setting up for the Vans Off The Wall surfing competition so there was construction noise & platforms & judging areas being set up. There were so many people!

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This was taken at Kahana Bay, a pretty secluded little spot with a striking view of the lush mountains.

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Now for any Jimi Hendrix fans out there, double points to those who know the song ‘Pali Gap’. It’s an instrumental & is a little hard to get ahold of. It was featured in the soundtrack of the 60’s film featuring Hendrix & filmed in Hawaii, ‘Rainbow Bridge’. In one scene, Hendrix & a friend go up to Pali Lookout which is one of the lower points in the mountains. It’s incredibly windy & the song ‘Pali Gap’ is playing. You can’t tell from these photos (obviously!) but it was crazy windy up there!

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This is the view from the Pali lookout – amazing!

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These are the mountains rising up behind Pali Gap & covered in fog…

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After checking out Pali, we drove down the eastern side of Oahu to see the sights. The water was so blue, it was stunning!

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Just looking at these photos makes me want to cool off with a dip in the ocean again…

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Here’s a shot of Halona blowhole, a natural rock formation where water is pushed in by the surf & comes shooting out of the top.

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One of our last spots was Hanauma Bay. It’s a beautiful little bay & definitely somewhere I want to go back to. There’s a whole heap of lava rock in the water so it’s fantastic for snorkelling – in fact we could see schools of fish from right up on the ridge!

Hawaii Recommendations:

Where To Stay:

Moana Surfrider – We stayed at the oldest hotel in Honolulu, the ‘First Lady of Waikiki’. It’s an absolutely stunning hotel, all white & dark wood with beautiful verandahs front & back, a restaurant with delicious food & a beach bar under the banyon tree where we spent most afternoons! We checked out a few other hotels & the runner up would be the Halekulani, but for me, the only place I’d want to stay in Honolulu is the Moana.

Where To Shop:

Ala Moana – This shopping centre is amazing. It has every store you could possibly want & more! We checked it out on our first day & had lunch up on the terrace which was lovely & breezy. The sales on Black Friday were excellent as well!

Waikele Outlets – Fantastic deals everywhere at the Outlets! Make sure if you’re taking the Roberts bus that you book for the 4:30pm ride back to Waikiki, you don’t want to go too early! Also, stop off at the information desk for your Savings Passport for even more deals!

Where To Eat:

Barefoot Beach Cafe – A little beach kiosk with outside & under cover tables that serves all manner of delicious local fare. Our favourites were the French Toast for breakfast & the Kalua Pork plate for dinner. They have live music on Friday nights & of course are a great place to watch the Saturday night fireworks.

Lulu’s – We stumbled across this place on our way to the Barefoot Beach Cafe on Day One. They have a huge menu & we ended up having our Thanksgiving Day dinner there – including watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV’s (something we’d of course never done – they don’t show it in Australia!). The breakfast here was amazing – we tried the strawberry pancakes, fruit bowl & stuffed French Toast (something I have to try at home sometime…). For dinner we came back & had burgers – the perfect way to end Thanksgiving!

Kona Grill – This place is on the top floor of the brand new International Market Place. They do fantastic burgers & the salads are beyond. Both the Mothership & I had salads here (grilled chicken & pear for her, Kona chopped for me) & they were absolutely delicious – the perfect light(ish) dinner.

Duke’s – This restaurant, at the Outrigger Hotel next door to the Moana, is one of those places you kind of have to go to on your first trip to Oahu. The place is all decked out like an old fashioned tiki bar with Duke Kahanamoku memorabilia everywhere. The Huli Huli chicken is great choice for main course & you have to try the Hula pie – something else I’m going to try & remake at home sometime soon!

Bill’s Sydney – It was kind of a funny thing, travelling nine hours in a plane to eat breakfast at a restaurant that has the original location about a fifteen minute drive from our home in Sydney! But we simply had to give it a go! The ricotta hotcakes are huge here – much bigger than the ones you get in Sydney &, if you’re a coffee aficionado, then this place is where you can get an actual cappuccino (although, don’t tell anyone, but the percolator coffee is one of my favourite reasons to go to the States!).

Where To Go: 

Hanauma Bay – We didn’t have enough time to do what I really wanted to do at this bay: pack a picnic lunch, snorkel all morning & lay out under the palms in the afternoon. But it’s definitely on my list for next time! But remember, the bay is closed on Tuesdays.

Pearl Harbor – Initially we weren’t going to check out Pearl Harbor, but we’re so glad we did. It gave us such a thorough understanding of what happened & it was an amazing opportunity & a beautiful memorial to pay our respects to the fallen.

Dole Plantation – Even if you just stop in for a quick Dole Whip, this place is pretty fun!

North Shore – You simply have to check out all of those famous beaches – Log Cabins, Pipeline & Sunset just to name a few. Even when the swell isn’t that big, it’s still fun to watch the surfers out there riding the waves.

Finally, I just wanted to share one funny little photograph. This was at the top of the crater ridge at Hanauma Bay where a little family of…mongooses lives!

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They’re super cute & they have their own little area that’s not open to the public. Make sure you say hi if you’re heading down to Hanauma Bay!