Holidaying in Hawaii -lots of questions!
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 2/16/2013 by corinne11 in NSBR Board
 

corinne11
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Posted: 2/16/2013 6:53:34 AM
So, we have been to Fiji 3 times and have decided to try Hawaii for something new and exciting.
Our plan is to stay 5 days on the Big Island, 3 days on Maui and 5 days back in Honolulu.
We hope to fly over a volcano, snorkel, scuba dive, play golf, visit Pearl Harbour and we also like to eat out at beautiful restaurants.
No kids this time just the two of us.

We've got some brochures and we are looking on the net but I would love to get some real life advice from people who have been there.
Any places we shouldn't miss? Any hotels you would recommend? (up to 4 star )
Oh and I would also like to know if there are any scrapbook shops - I am a little bit excited about actually shopping in one of your scrapbook shops as I really only shop online here.

Thanks!
Corinne

janniepea
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:22:02 AM
How fun! There is a scrapbook store in Maui near the airport called Island Paperie, I haven't been there yet so I can't tell you any more about it.

We stay near Lahaina at a place called Napili Kai, it's a small resort on Napili Bay. It's my very favorite place. There are so many other hotels and resorts though - if you can gt a copy of a book called Maui Revealed that will be a huge help! Last year we ate at a restaurant called Mama's Fish House in Paia, near the airport, and it was wonderful! Very expensive but very, very good. We've heard great things about the Old Lahaina Luau but we haven't been there ourselves. I'd love to sometime though!

We love to snorkel and swim there. This year we are going to the Iao Valley State Park to hike, we haven't done that before. Some of my family did the helicopter ride and loved it.

I've been to Oahu but that was quite some time ago. We went to Pearl Harbor - so sobering and so glad we went, I learned so much. We went snorkeling several times at Hanama Bay, beautiful place! We also went to a luau at the Polynesian Cultural center that we enjoyed, but again that was quite a few years ago.

Have fun planning!!

scoobers
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:22:42 AM
There's a good scrapbook store on Maui. It's Island Paperie. We went there in 2011.




bear_mom
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:28:43 AM
We did 5 days on Oahu and 6 on Maui and I wish we had 1 more day on Maui and 1 less on Oahu.

Maui - day long sail/snorkeling trip to Lani - amazing. Zip lining - the only time it rained on our entire vacation, but because we were zipping over a valley there was the most amazing 270 degree rainbow! Trip up to Haleakala which was interesting, we stopped at a little town 1/2 way up and got a sandwhich at a general store (sorry can't remember the name). There is also the road to Hana which is supposed to be a neat drive with lots of neat places to stop, but I get car sick, so we opted out of this. We stayed at the Sheraton by Black Rock which was nice and had great snorkeling right out our door.

Oahu - Pearl Harbor - spent most of the day here (did the whole tour including the Blowfin and Missouri). One morning we hiked up Diamond Head and then continued up the shore line and stopped some neat beaches and rock formations. We spent another day driving up to the north shore. Here was stayed at the Hilton Hawawiian Village.

Emily

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Posted: 2/16/2013 9:40:33 AM
I'm not sure you can do it from the island you'll be at. We were staying on Kauai and did a scuba trip on Niihau (not sure of the spelling - the forbidden island).

There's a monk seal there that comes right up and swims with you and will play with your flippers. Out of this world experience.

chktrk
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Posted: 2/16/2013 9:43:10 AM
There is a great catamaran snorkeling adventure based out of the Hilton Hawaiian Villages. They also do fireworks on the beach every Friday night. We did an all day excursion that included Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation, and The Polynesian Cultural Center. The luau at PCC was so-so but the show was amazing!!






lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 2/16/2013 9:52:33 AM
The big island. We spent more time on the Hilo side. Hilo has some nice restaurants . We went to the Pacific Tsunami Museum. It was very interesting, and informative about a tsunami that hit Hilo .
Of course go to Volcanospark. There is a nice restaurant in the small town of Volcano.

We didn't have time to explore the Kona side because the beaches were closed due to the Japanese Tsunami.

I think the park Stewarts point is interesting and there is whale watching!

Get the books "revealed" - there is too much to list here.

I second Mamas Fish House! Get reservations and you might get a table near the water ( at sunset!)

lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 2/16/2013 9:53:45 AM
Oh, there is a scrapbook store in Hilo. I got some nice papers and mailed them back home.

sunluver
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Posted: 2/16/2013 10:23:43 AM
I'm no help with hotels as we always stay in condos. My daughter and husband always stay at the Hawaiian Hilton Village in Honolulu and love it. In my opinion 5 days there is too much. It's just a big crowded city with very little Aloha spirit. Pearl Harbor is a must as well as the Polynesian Cultural Center. There is also a palace that used to give tours, which was very interesting. Honolulu has a Hop On, Hop off bus that we found worked great for getting around. Driving there is a nightmare....think Los Angeles or Chicago traffic.

On Maui we always stayed in the Wailea area. One of our favorite restaurants is the Waterfront in Maalaea (sp) harbor. Great sunsets, food and service. We also like the Kula Grill in Kula in upcountry for lunch. Don't forget to go to the Hula Grill in Lahaina. Sit in the sand and watch the waves while having your meal. Doing the road to Hanna takes all day. It's a very twisty road with many one way bridges. Be sure to get gas and food before hand. Stop in Paia for sandwiches,etc. Check the local paper to see who is performing at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. We always try to see at least one event while visiting the island. The weekly flea market is fun too. It's held on Sat.

On the Big Island, we spent most of our time In Kona. One of our favorite restaurants there is the Kona Inn. Beautiful setting and the inside is decorated with Koa wood. Lovely. Beaches on the Big Island are nothing like the ones on the other islands. Maui has great beaches, Big Island beaches are very small and rocky. The volcano national park is worth the trip. Try to visit the Place of Refuge too. Very interesting.

I agree, get the Revealed books for the islands you plan to visit. They are loaded with information.

Enjoy your time in Hawaii. Aloha!

scoobers
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Posted: 2/16/2013 10:34:36 AM
We stayed a few nights at the Mariott at Waikiki Beach. It was very nice.


If you have time on Ohau, make sure you go to the palace. It's really cool.



Jillsie Pea
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Posted: 2/16/2013 10:42:59 AM
In regards to Maui, we have stayed at the Weston and highly recommend it. They have an American Express office on-site that can suggest/book activities for you.

As Janniepea suggested, Mama's Fish House is highly recommended. It is very relaxing to dine there after arriving from a long airplane ride.

Sansei Seafood Restaurant also serves amazing food but you'll need reservations.

Stay away from Cheeseburger and Paradise unless you enjoy the risk of food poisoning. Instead, go down a few doors and dine at Lahaina Fish, then browse the various art galleries afterwards.

They also have a Melting Pot and other chain restaurants.

We were told to stop at Casanova's and grab some sandwiches for our hike. The restaurant was closed but the small carry out was open. It looks like a dump but the lunches they packed were delicious! It was pretty crowded.

When at Casanova's, you can go around the corner to Komoda's Bakery for some amazing cream puffs and donuts. It's recommended that you get there early before they sell out.

There are luxury tour buses (seats about 6-8) you can ride up to Hana and take a helicopter back to the airport. The bus will stop at various places on the way and give you time to take pictures or take a dip in the water at one of the waterfalls.

There's also horseback riding in addition to everything else.

If you get a rental car, they will show you the roads you are not allowed to drive on. These roads are only one lane with little or no room to pass another car. We took the drive on the north side of the island and it was a bit frightening a couple of times, but the views were beautiful!

We did some snokeling at Honolua Bay and we were not disappointed at the schools of fish there. Beware though, the rocks on the shore are slippery.

You may see some signs that say, "Kapu". It means no trespassing or stay out.

~lynn~
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Posted: 2/16/2013 10:51:29 AM
I'm heading to Hawaii soon too!

I've been spending lots of time reading the Trip Advisor Hawaii forums, plenty of information there.

Also, if you do a forum search here at '2 peas' under Hawaii, you'll find some great pea advice

I'll be watching this thread for more Pea wisdom, have a great holiday Corinne









~always remember that you are unique.......just like everyone else.

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Posted: 2/16/2013 11:49:09 AM
My sister in law and I spent a week on Oahu in 2006 (we were there during the big earthquake!). She is in the Air Force so we spent a lot of time on military private beaches, but we loved Hanama bay, the Polynesian Cultural center, the north Shore, Diamond head, and my favorite was the Dole pineapple plantation. Unexpectedly a very fun day trip!
I hope to go back one day with my husband, there is so much to see and do!
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finaledition
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Posted: 2/16/2013 12:13:44 PM
When my dh and I went to Maui sans kids for our 20th we stayed for a couple days at the Paia Inn which is a boutique hotel. Paia is the last town before the road to Hana (which we've done several times and decided not to do again). It was great. There were some wonderful restaurants in town, but the famous Mamas Fish House which I consider a must eat restaurant in Maui is nearby Like I said we didn't do the road to Hana but we did an excursion nearby which took us to many hidden pools and waterfalls. It was awesome. Anyway, just a thought if you want something different.
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Posted: 2/16/2013 12:18:54 PM
On Maui, we stayed at a beautiful condo in Wailea. We're going back again later this year.

We did not drive the Road to Hana ourselves - we took a tour with Valley Isle - it was fabulous and I highly recommend them.

We loved Wailea Beach and Polo Beach in Wailea.

Definitely try a lava flow (the most delicious drink EVER!). The best one we had was at Bistro Molokini at the Grand Wailea (very pricey, but worth it).

Not only does Komodas bakery have great donuts and cream puffs, they have to die for coconut pastries.

The Willie K show is highly recommended. We haven't been but are going to one of shows on this year's vacation.

Definitely wander along Front Street in Lahaina. Stop for burgers at Cool Cat's. Great burgers!

I highly recommend getting a rental car on Maui.

We love Maui and can't wait to get back there - a few more months to go!


Nancy


**Colleen**
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Posted: 2/16/2013 2:39:34 PM
I posted some of the same stuff on the other Hawaii thread, so I'll cut and paste:

We go to Hawaii a lot and I know you'll have a great time. You almost can't go wrong. But I'm not a fan of the luau dinner shows. They're really expensive and the food is not that great. I've been to the Old Town Lahaina one and one in Wailea. I do love to watch the dancers though and it's easy enough to catch a free (or nominal fee) show at the mall, museums or Kaanapali Resort.

Haleakala is amazing any time. If you're not morning people, that 7 a.m. start is rough. But if you're coming from enough time zones away you'll probably be up that early anyway! When you drive to the top, make sure to stop and visit some of the small towns--funky and fun. My friend's dad raises coffee on Haleakala and loves to give tours (he even has t-shirts!) of his little operation. Let me know if you're interested and I'll send you his info.

Make sure you take your little guy snorkeling (right off the beach in a lot of places) and bring a blow-up raft or rent a boogie board for him to hang on to if he's nervous.

Best places to eat (imho) are Mama's Fish House (incredible setting), Lahaina Grill, and Haili'maile General Store in the upcountry. I also enjoy the Hula Grill in Kaanapali.

My best tip: There is a Costco right by the airport. Stop and get your drinks, snacks, and breakfast foods.

I will also second Napili Kai -- great place to stay as are the Villas at Kapalua.




peamac
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Posted: 2/16/2013 3:22:20 PM
I posted this in the other Hawaii thread, too.

We're going to Maui and DH wants to see Pearl Harbor. What's the best way to do that? He read that sometimes you can fly to Honolulu, get a long layover (and visit Pearl Harbor) to spend the day there, then finish the flight to Maui. what do you do with your luggage while you're out of the airport?


PeaMac


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Posted: 2/16/2013 4:26:17 PM
On Oahu...if you are a breakfast person, you have to try Cinammons in Kailua. It was a recommendation from locals when we were on the plane flying there. It was amazing. Guava Chiffon pancakes, Red Velvet pancakes and anything (skillet, omelette) with Kalua Pork in it. To die for. For dinner on Oahu we totally LOVED the 12th Avenue Grill...a hole in the wall but beautiful gastropub that specializes in using local product. Amazing.

As far as activities, we did Pearl Harbor, snorkeled on the North Shore, visited the Dole Plantation and the Polynesian Cultural Center. At the PCC see HA Breath of Life, but skip the Luau. We also went to Waikkiki. It was a little crazy there, but entertaining.

On Maui we did the Road to Hana which was amazing! Pack a picnic lunch and stop somewhere scenic along the way. Our 18 year old jumped off a cliff into a deep water hole and loved it.

We took a catamaran to snorkel from our hotel and that was fantastic.

We also did a lot of pool time there because our resort was so pretty and had great ocean views from the pool area.

A must stop is Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop on the highway that goes to Lahaina. Traveling north it is on the right hand side. Great for breakfast or lunch, we grabbed sammies and desert for our road to Hana day.

Aloha Mixed Plates had great "authentic" Hawaiian ... it's in Lahaina at the very north end of the strip.

We have no experience with The Big Island - sorry.

Have a wonderful time. I'm jealous...we can't wait to go back.


dotingmom
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Posted: 2/16/2013 4:26:18 PM
On Oahu...if you are a breakfast person, you have to try Cinammons in Kailua. It was a recommendation from locals when we were on the plane flying there. It was amazing. Guava Chiffon pancakes, Red Velvet pancakes and anything (skillet, omelette) with Kalua Pork in it. To die for. For dinner on Oahu we totally LOVED the 12th Avenue Grill...a hole in the wall but beautiful gastropub that specializes in using local product. Amazing.

As far as activities, we did Pearl Harbor, snorkeled on the North Shore, visited the Dole Plantation and the Polynesian Cultural Center. At the PCC see HA Breath of Life, but skip the Luau. We also went to Waikkiki. It was a little crazy there, but entertaining.

On Maui we did the Road to Hana which was amazing! Pack a picnic lunch and stop somewhere scenic along the way. Our 18 year old jumped off a cliff into a deep water hole and loved it.

We took a catamaran to snorkel from our hotel and that was fantastic.

We also did a lot of pool time there because our resort was so pretty and had great ocean views from the pool area.

A must stop is Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop on the highway that goes to Lahaina. Traveling north it is on the right hand side. Great for breakfast or lunch, we grabbed sammies and desert for our road to Hana day.

Aloha Mixed Plates had great "authentic" Hawaiian ... it's in Lahaina at the very north end of the strip.

We have no experience with The Big Island - sorry.

Have a wonderful time. I'm jealous...we can't wait to go back.


likescarrots
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Posted: 2/16/2013 5:14:35 PM
I would seriously consider staying more days on maui and less on oahu. I like oahu but it's much more like a 'living' place than a 'vacationing' place to me. Maui so far is my favorite of the hawaiian islands, I haven't been to the big island yet, though. If you're staying in honolulu you'll probably have to pay to park your rental. We didn't have a rental when we stayed in waikiki, we took the public transit where we wanted to go, it's slower but much cheaper (and easier in my opinion) than a rental car, but more than a few days there would have bored me a bit.

Nicole in TX
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Posted: 2/16/2013 5:16:06 PM
My big tip would be to avoid the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is so touristy. The luau was so terrible I actually wrote a letter to complain and got my money back. I have NO idea why it is so popular.



corinne11
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:25:16 PM
Thank you all so much!
I told my husband I'd get lots of advice here.

So now we are going to stay on Maui longer, less on the Big Island.
I am going to print out this list and highlight all the places/activities.

We are going in our school holidays which are from July 5th to the 19th.
I'm guessing that is right in the middle of your summer break??
Apparently the average temperature is 30, dry heat instead of humid?

Because we are kid free we may look at some of the more out of the way resorts. Definitely going up for the sunrise on Haleakala and we have found a great snorkelling trip to the reef that's like a raised circle??
The husband is still keen to find golf courses but guessing there will be quite a few.
Island Papiere - I've looked at their website and will definitely be leaving room in my suitcase for a few albums and papers!

We are also going to get Maui Revealed and make a booking at Mama's fish house.

Thank you!
Corinne

likescarrots
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:50:57 PM
We have stayed at the outrigger maui eldorado both times we've been to maui, it's a really beautiful area there and they have a nice cabana right next to the beach, and you can walk toward the weston (kaanapali) and there are some nice reefs there. Once we were sitting in the cabana playing cards and a pack of dolphins came by and they were flipping in and out of the water, really neat! It is also right next to black rock so there is a ton to see snorkeling right there (or in walking distance), and it is right on a golf course if your husband likes golf. We've stayed there twice around the time you will be going, it is steady in the 85(f) degree range and I would not say that it is dry or humid, very moderate.

paigepea
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:51:11 PM
Oh my - stay longer on Maui. You won't want to leave and after Maui, Honolulu is disappointing.

On Maui, stay on the wailea end, or kihei, and you won't regret it.
Paige.






lavawalker
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Posted: 2/16/2013 9:50:37 PM
Maui is great and 3 days is not enough! Of course, this is just my opinion, but I'd skip Oahu and do 8 days on Maui and 5 on the Big Island! Or, if you insist on doing three islands, then I'd do 3 days Oahu, 4 days Big Island, 6 days Maui.

lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 2/16/2013 11:49:29 PM
I was trying to think of Aloha Mixed Plates!
So fun, and a popular place. We had to wait about 10 min but we struck up a conversation with other vacationers and they were very friendly.
Getting the Aloha Spirit?

shirt
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Posted: 2/17/2013 12:46:45 AM
I have been to Hawaii twice. First trip 10 days on Maui with a day trip to Oahu. Second trip, 7 days on Oahu with a day trip to the Big Island to see the Volcano.

If I were you, I would spend more time on Maui. By the end of my 6 days on Oahu, I was getting bored. Now you would think that I could just relax on the beach, but Waikiki seems more urban and energetic. My DH who likes vacations that go go go even relaxed in Maui. There is just something about it. The last 2 days we just hung out on the beach in front of our condo. Leave time in your Maui schedule for at least 1 relaxing day.

Things we did in Maui: deep sea fishing, swap meet (On Sats got our Hawaiian dresses there for $20/each, good place for cheaper souvenirs), whale watch cruise (we were there in March), Haleakala sunrise, horseback riding in foothills of Haleakala, shopping in Laihaina, luau, speed boat ride, Maui aquarium, Iao Needle, drove around north side of island (instead of Hana), snorkels in front of our condo, relaxed. On the day trip to Oahu, we took 2nd flight out, went straight to Pearl Harbor. After that had lunch at Dukes (Hula pie - yum!). Afternoon spent hiking Diamond Head. Ate dinner at the food court in the giant mall. Took the 2nd to last flight back to Maui.

My 2nd trip was supposed to be a wedding for my sister. She changed her mind, but since all of us had tickets already we went anyway. We stayed at the Hale Koa since my Dad is retired National Guard. Something's we did: whale watching (April), shopping at the big mall, Aquarium (it was free the day I went. Don't pay to go there. Not worth it), surf lessons, walked around Waikiki, drove around the whole island (north shore, saw turtles at the turtle beach), went on a tour of the palace, hung out on the beach. Our day trip to the Big Island. We took 2nd flight out to Hilo. Picked up rental car and drove to Rainbow Falls. Saw rainbow before it started to disappear (9am). Drove to town of Volcano, had late breakfast at Lava Rock cafe (only thing open good omlets). Toured Volcano National Park (make sure to drive down to the end of the road where the lava meets the ocean. Spectacular views. Also walk through the lava tubes.) we left about 2:30 drove to Black sand beach and hung out for awhile. Grabbed dinner and then went to the airport to fly back to Oahu.



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Fevvers
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Posted: 2/17/2013 12:56:39 AM
I live on Oahu and can definitely support the recommendations to reduce the days here and add more days to the outer islands. The island's nickname is "The Gathering Place," which is actually kind of an understatement. I guess it comes down to what you are hoping to get out of your time here.

Most of the tourist spots on island exploit an idea of Hawaii (and much of Polynesia, really) that does not really exist. The illusion is key, as tourism is our #1 industry. Everything rests on getting tourists to buy into that illusion as well. You'll sense it immediately in Waikiki -- there's a materialistic hunger that pervades on every street, in every building. Waikiki is a spectacle. The illusion is elsewhere as well. Many of the products sold at Dole Plantation, for instance, are not even from Hawaii, and man, oh, man, are they overpriced, taking advantage of tourists and their pocketbooks. Often the only local people you'll find at most of the luaus and shows marketed to tourists are those who work there. It's an industry.

To me, the "real" Oahu is found far, far away from Waikiki and its numerous ABC stores and overpriced shops.

The most important spots to visit on Oahu are those that tell stories, stories of Hawaii's history and people. These places make you think about where you are standing, and what that means. 'Iolani Palace, for instance, comes to mind. It's where Queen Lili'u'okalani, Hawaii's last queen, was imprisoned during the overthrow. You might also want to check out Kawaiaha'o Church, the Mission House Museum, Bishop Museum, Punchbowl Crater, and Pearl Harbor.

Once upon a time, I suppose the "real" wonder of Oahu could be found in the land itself, but today, much of the island has been overdeveloped. Beaches like Hanauma Bay used to be extraordinary, but the crowds over the years have nearly destroyed the place and the fragile balance of the ecosystem there. There are still some amazing places that exist, though. If you want to snorkle, for instance, consider Shark's Cove instead, on the North Shore. While on the North Shore, consider hiking the Ka'ena Point trail. It's full of indigenous plants and tide pools, and you can even see whales and seals and seabirds.

It doesn't surprise me to see comments on this thread directing you toward the outer islands. Many tourists come here expecting to see something quite different, but have better luck directing their expectations of "paradise" toward the outer islands, where the idea of Hawaii seems a little more "pure."



JessicaL
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Posted: 2/17/2013 1:47:48 AM
I can only comment on Oahu. As a fellow Aussie, I'd say Waikiki is comparable to the Gold Coast. Lots of big hotels, lots of shops, lots of restaurants, LOTS of people! The last time I went we rented a house on the North Shore. More comparable to maybe the Daintree. Beautiful, peaceful, laid-back. Our house was right on the beach, and the beach was only accessible by the houses on that street, so extremely quiet. We had sea turtles swimming around us, and on the last day a Monk Seal came up to sunbake on the beach.

If you stay on the North Shore you will need a car. Get the Sat. Nav.! Driving took a little getting used to, but really wasn't that bad.

We snorkelled at Shark Bay which was perfect. Tropical fish in knee deep water - no need to go out on a boat. Less crowded than Hanauma Bay which is where most tourist sites seem to suggest. Pearl Harbour is excellent - allow a few hours, but book a few days in advance as it does book out. I did it as part of a tour the first time I went, but last time we had a car and just did it in isolation.

I preferred that. There's a food truck in Hale'iwa (North Shore) that has the most amazing fried chicken. There's supposed to be a good shrimp truck as well, but we didn't find it.

Luau's have pretty ordinary food, and can be a bit cheesy, but it's something you'll never go to in Australia, so I say, spend the money and go!

Have a ball! I love Hawaii and can't wait to get back there.

Jess

JessicaL
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Posted: 2/17/2013 1:47:48 AM
I can only comment on Oahu. As a fellow Aussie, I'd say Waikiki is comparable to the Gold Coast. Lots of big hotels, lots of shops, lots of restaurants, LOTS of people! The last time I went we rented a house on the North Shore. More comparable to maybe the Daintree. Beautiful, peaceful, laid-back. Our house was right on the beach, and the beach was only accessible by the houses on that street, so extremely quiet. We had sea turtles swimming around us, and on the last day a Monk Seal came up to sunbake on the beach.

If you stay on the North Shore you will need a car. Get the Sat. Nav.! Driving took a little getting used to, but really wasn't that bad.

We snorkelled at Shark Bay which was perfect. Tropical fish in knee deep water - no need to go out on a boat. Less crowded than Hanauma Bay which is where most tourist sites seem to suggest. Pearl Harbour is excellent - allow a few hours, but book a few days in advance as it does book out. I did it as part of a tour the first time I went, but last time we had a car and just did it in isolation.

I preferred that. There's a food truck in Hale'iwa (North Shore) that has the most amazing fried chicken. There's supposed to be a good shrimp truck as well, but we didn't find it.

Luau's have pretty ordinary food, and can be a bit cheesy, but it's something you'll never go to in Australia, so I say, spend the money and go!

Have a ball! I love Hawaii and can't wait to get back there.

Jess

corinne11
BucketHead

PeaNut 41,525
June 2002
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Posted: 2/17/2013 2:51:56 AM
I am so glad I asked here, these are the "real" answers I'm looking for!
Jessica, I was thinking Gold Coast as some of the hotels are huge with none of the island character our hotel in Fiji has.

We are 49 and 53 so we are looking for a more laid back holiday so will definitely spend more time on Maui.

Looks like we will probably spend only a day or two in Oahu and will definitely pre book our tour of Pearl Harbour.

Our definite things to do are the sunrise tour of Haleakala, drive to Hana (watched a few youtube videos and the driving looks fine. We've driven around the Great Ocean rd in Victoria which can be a bit scary, although this will be on the wrong side of the road!), Pearl Harbour, snorkelling or scuba diving at Mokolini, hopefully see some sea turtles somewhere and a helicopter flight over an active volcano.Other than that we will take it as it comes.

If we miss anything, well we will just have to come back again!
Corinne

Nanner
It only took 11 years

PeaNut 32,283
March 2002
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Posted: 2/17/2013 9:31:46 AM
Corinne, if you want a short snorkelling trip on Maui, Kai Kanani has a 2 hour one that leaves at 6:30 a.m. The crew was fantastic, and it left from Makena in south Maui so it arrived at Molokini before any of the others did. We had it to ourselves. We snorkelled there for about 45 - 50 minutes, then got back on the boat and went over to Turtle Town. The other boats were just beginning to arrive at Molokini when we were leaving. At turtle town, we spent another 45 - 50 minutes snorkelling. We both LOVED it! The length of the excursion was perfect for us. We were back at our car by 9:00 a.m. and still had the entire day ahead of us.

We also spent a day Upcountry. We loved Makawao, but were not overly impressed with the Lavender Farm at all. The area around the winery is beautiful, but the wine is not! Paia is a funky sort of hippie town and prices seemed to be higher there than anywhere else we went. It was really hard to find parking in Paia. That place is swarming with people!!!

Trilogy has a day snorkelling trip out to Lanai, which has RAVE reviews. We are doing that excursion in October.

Someone else mentioned the swap meet on Saturday mornings. I second that recommendation! We found some great souvenirs and the prices of the fruit there was the best we found on the island. One word of advice - don't buy your produce when you first enter the swap meet - the further in you go, the better the price.

We spent 2 weeks on Maui. I don't relax. I can't remember ever having been "completely" relaxed in my life. Until Maui. I relaxed on Maui and it is wonderful.

And the sunsets are amazing.

3 days is just not enough.


Nancy


Tearisci
BucketHead

PeaNut 182,112
December 2004
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Posted: 2/17/2013 10:10:43 AM
We just went to Maui in December and stayed at the Honua Kai just a bit north of Lahaina.

The very best snorkeling we found was at Honolua Bay. It's out of the way and a little hike to get to but it's amazing! You walk through a little jungle area with chickens to get to a secluded area. The beach is super rocky but it's worth it.

Have fun!

TXMary
That's my island!

PeaNut 174,226
October 2004
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Loc: Central Texas/Port Aransas

Posted: 2/17/2013 10:42:11 AM
We enjoyed Oahu but think you will want to cut back your time there. We also stayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village. Loved it!! Pearl Harbor is a must!! We did Germaine's Luau. The food was pretty bad and the show was kinda dumb, but glad we did it just for the experience. I wouldn't do another.

Maui was incredibly gorgeous! Definitely do the Road to Hana. We did a tour with Valley Isle Excursions and it was awesome!! So nice that we all got to enjoy the drive instead of driving it ourselves. I spent a day in Lahaina. Loved that. While I was there, DH golfed Wailea. He LOVED it! One of the best courses he has ever played and he has played a lot.

Kauai was by far our favorite island. We would love to go back there! Well, anywhere in Hawaii but definitely Kauai. It was just stunning!!

Have a great time!! Planning is so much fun!!



LisaEDesign
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September 2009
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Posted: 2/17/2013 3:29:00 PM
We went to the Big Island and Kauai in 2008. (I'd already been to Maui and Oahu many years early with my first husband.) On the Big Island near Hilo is a garden The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden that is gorgeous. We visited it, then spent one night in Hilo and went out to look at the volcano that night and again the next day on the way back to Kona. There is one part of the volcano you see better at night. There isn't much else in Hilo but it was well worth it for those two things. The Big Island is covered in lava rock.

One side, Kona, is very sunny and beachy and Hilo is the rainy side. 5 days may be a bit much unless you plan a lot of beach time.

Hope you enjoy your trip!


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lindywholoveskids
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 168,696
September 2004
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Loc: Northern California

Posted: 2/17/2013 3:39:02 PM
Big Island/ Hilo- has the Merry Monarch festival- lots of hula and music. Our friends live north of Hilo and participate in this festival. I'm not sure what month it's in though.
Yes it does run on the Hilo side, but often it's in the afternoon. And it's warm.
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