Monday 9 May 2016
Our first full day in Hawaii and we are getting to know Oahu. We took the Majestic Circle Island Tour with E Noa Tours and saw some fantastic views and gorgeous coastline.
We started the day with coffee from the hotel’s Aloha coffee shop which is on the outside of the building. Then it was a short walk to our meeting point for a 7:30 pick up.
We were picked up by a bright orange bus. Our driver and guide for the day was Rocky, a very pleasant and knowledgable guy who was born and raised on Oahu.
We drove past the slopes of Diamond Head Crater and the Diamond Head Lighthouse.
We then stopped at Diamond Head Lookout for a great view on the south side of the island. You could see over to the multi million dollar area of Kahala. On a clear day you can see the island of Molokai in the distance but today was not a clear enough day.
The next stop was at the well known snorkelling destination Hanauma Bay and it looked beautiful.
I don’t really like photos of myself and when people offer to take my photo I usually say no. Peter on the other hand is always offering to take other people’s photos. I am usually battling to take photos without people in them.
Driving through the more well off areas and Rocky was filling us in on local real estate, the prices some places are worth now compared to when they were built decades ago.
Then we were driving along the gorgeous rocky coastline. I love rocky coastlines, rocky anything really. Rocky is interesting.
We were soon at the Halona Blowhole Lookout. The beach next to the blowhole area is the beach which was in the movie “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”.
The blowhole was nice to see though I was hoping for a little more blow.
We continued along the coast and stopped for a photo op by Makapu’u Beach. Ahead was the view to Rabbit Island.
To the right you can just see the Makupu’u Lighthouse on the side of the rocky cliffs.
Down below there was more of that rocky coast
On the way to our next destination we passed this jetty which I found out features in many episodes of Magnum PI. I have never watched the show so I wouldn’t know but Peter showed me a clip of it later.
Not long after we left the coast and headed to the hills and the Nuuanu Pali Lookout for some stunning views and a warning.
Good thing there was a sign.
We drove through Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, a cemetery, to get to our next stop the Byodo-In Temple. The temple is a smaller scale replica of a 950 year old temple in Japan. This temple is so gorgeous but it is very difficult to get a photo without people!
There is a bell to the left that you pass on the way to the temple and you are allowed to have a go.
After more driving it was time for a commercial stop at Tropical Farms Macadamia Nuts which is very close to Kualoa Ranch. There was a collective groan. But, Rocky told us there was free coffee and free macadamia nut tasting with many different flavours. Ok, free coffee and free macs, I’m in.
First coffee. It was honey flavoured and was delicious. I had two cups. With the second cup in hand it was time to find the macadamia tasties. There was about nine different flavours and the coffee flavoured were the first I tried. Oh my they were so yummy. There was also cinnamon, caramel, plain, onion and other flavours. My favourite was the caramel followed by the coffee. I bought a bag of each and we had them when we got home a few weeks later. I wanted to share them with our kids. There was also tasties of many different sauces, pineapple mayonnaise and many other things.
Out the back there was this helpful sign for anybody feeling homesick so they know just how far away home is.
These guys were out the front.
Not long after we drove past Chinaman’s Hat
After a lot more driving we stopped for lunch at Fumi’s Shrimp Shack which was right on the highway. We had some yummo shrimps for lunch. The only problem I found with the shrimp shack places in Hawaii was that they weren’t peeled. We had to take the shrimps out of the sauce and peel them and our hands would get very mucky. Any other place I have had shrimps (prawns!) only the tails have been left on which are very easy to slide off with a knife.
They also sold Dole whip here so we decided to have it here instead of later at the Dole Plantation. It is basically pineapple ice cream. It was yum but it was very, very sweet.
After lunch there we stopped off at Sunset Beach on the North Shore which is famous for surfing. The surf looked pretty wild to me but I know nothing about surfing. The beach area was a lot bigger than in Waikiki.
This one is a drive by at a beach not far away, not sure but I think it is Waimea Bay or thereabouts.
Not far away is Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens which also has Waimea Falls. You can walk to the falls, up hill and takes about 20 minutes. As I had badly injured my knee in March I took the option to pay $10US for a return trip on the golf buggy thingy.
Last stop of the day was at the Dole Plantation visitor centre. I wasn’t that interested in this stop so just look in the shop. There was a large garden hedge maze, a train ride through the plantation but no time for any of that. We found a tent area near the visitor centre that were giving out tasties, tried some coffee flavoured peanut butter but couldn’t taste the coffee.
Driving through Honolulu there was a great rainbow. The photo is not so great but you get the idea.
Another gorgeous evening in Waikiki Beach.