An Oahu Adventure

Earlier this evening I dropped my father off at the airport so he could head off on his three-week trip to Hawaii. This got me thinking about my last trip, where I spent 7 days exploring the island of Oahu.

So I thought I would post our tour diary from the very last day of that trip:

The Tour Diary:

We had an early start to the day, having to be up at 4am and down at a hotel in Waikiki by 5am to meet up without tour guide. We both had no idea what to expect but despite the early morning and lack of sleep, we were pretty excited.

Our first stop was Pearl Harbour Visitor Centre and the USS Arizona War Memorial. We arrived just before 6am and waited out the front until the gates opened and we were allowed in to explore. (Please note the USS Arizona War Memorial is currently close but you can do a free tour of battleship row instead). We were given a ticket for 8am to board our boat to the memorial. A solemn experience but this was one of the drawing cards of why I wanted to venture over to Oahu. I wanted to be able to pay my respects to the innocent men and women that perished in the Pearl Harbour attacks.

Pearl harbour Visiter Centre
Early morning starts at the Pearl Harbour Visiter Centre.
USS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial: marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and commemorates the events of that day.

After our Pearl Harbour experience, we were whisked away to the other side of the island, headed towards the North Shore. On the way we passed farms, townships and familiar landscape. It was during this drive that I realised how similar the landscape was between Queensland, Australia and Oahu. Especially when we passed the sugar cane farms and the eucalyptus trees.

First up on the North Shore, we visited Haleiwa Town. A laid-back surfer town known for its beaches, tasty restaurants, trendy shops and of course, shaved ice. My highlight as wondering one the shops ran by locals and picking up a few souvenirs you couldn’t get anywhere else on the island.

From there, we moved on to the beaches, Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. Both equally as stunning. The only down fall, the waves weren’t piping that day despite it being winter. I do hope to go back someday a when the Benzai Pipeline is showing off its full glory.

Sunset beach
Known for it’s incredible surf during the winter months, Sunset Beach is located on the North Shore of Oahu.

Between all the beach stops, we ended up stopping by a little farmed own market that sold fruit and other items. Here was where we got the full taste of the Hawaiian Culture.

After Sunset Beach, we were whisked away to Kualoa Ranch where we were treated to a tasty authentic Hawaiian lunch. I would have loved to explore around here, especially the movie sites. We did get to see the famous road that was used in Fifty First Dates, that was definitely a highlight since that is one of my favourite films.

With full bellies, we headed off to the site of King Kamehameha the Great’s last battle, Pali Lookout. Believe me when I say, the view will leave you breathless. It’s absolutely stunning.

Pali Lookout
Pali Lookout. The views are breathless just excuse the crazy hair. It got pretty windy up there.

One thing that I did find while exploring Oahu was that once you leave Waikiki, there are cats and chickens almost everywhere you go.

From Pali Look out, we drove back down the winding road and made out way towards the Halona Blowhole which is near Hanauma Bay.

Halona Cove
Halona Cove

This is where time started to catch up on us and at nearly 4pm in the afternoon, we knew out tour would be soon over. Thankfully, we still had one more stop one our way back into Waikiki. Hanauma Bay. A nature reserve on the island, if you’re a snorkeler, this is where you would definitely head. We stayed by the lookout point and even as we looked across the bay, we were treated to some incredible views. Just please note, to get into the bay itself, there is an entrance fee. To find out more about this incredible nature pack, just head over to the Hanauma Bay website.

Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay, Oahu’s prime snorkeling destination.

By the time our tour concluded (I recall arriving back at out hotel, just after 7pm) it was clear everyone was exhausted as we were dropped back at our hotels in Waikiki but all in all, the day was great and well worth the early morning start.

For anyone wanting to do a similar tour, we booked through a company called Grand Circle Island Tour.