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#1 BRB

Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:56 PM

I’m looking for some advise on travel in Hawaii. We are meeting family on Oahu for 1 week in September and would love to use the remainder of our 2 weeks leave exploring the other islands.
Big Island Hawaii for a few days to see Volcanos (my son is obsessed) and sometime either on Maui or Kauai. Has anyone travelled to either of these islands that can share their experience please?

#2 dadwasathome

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:04 PM

DP and DS12 caught up with her family in Hawaii last year (DS16 had exams so.....). They spent some time on both Oahu (Kailua)and the Big Island (Kona), staying in airBnB properties.

They didn't end up doing volcanoes, but did visit the Cook memorial on the Big Island. They did mostly beaches (loved Lanakai) but also Pearl Harbor on Oahu.

#3 wallofdodo

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:11 PM

I don't know about the other islands but we had a great time staying in North Shore on Oahu. There are a lot of places to go around there.

#4 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:21 PM

we only stayed in Waikiki but it was great. we did Pearl Harbour, Hanauma Bay (pretty but crowded. from memory it’s a dead volcano - so, that could be something!), we hired a car and drove up the North Shore which was really good and i highly recommend - saw the famous Pipeline Beach but it was flat as a tack (wrong time of year) - we loved Hawaii and will probably go there again in the not too distant future. we stayed at Embassy Suites Waikiki which were perfectly fine - good location, but my dream is to stay at the Halekulani.


#5 kitkatswing

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:26 PM

Its my favourite place on Earth. Our dog is called Maui.. :)

Hanauma Bay is amazing, but go first thing in the morning before it gets too crowded.

It has been a few years since we have gone and I miss the place so much!

The North Shore on Oahu is beautiful.

Big Island for sure for the volcano's..

I loved Maui as its so pretty, we did snuba diving there.

#6 dadwasathome

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:50 PM

Forgot to add that we may be heading back this year as an extended family. Halfway between us in Sydney and the others in Boston (BOS-HNL is the longest US domestic flight)

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 12 February 2020 - 03:10 PM

My parents hiked to see the lava on the big island. It is a long walk and it's over uneven surfaces, often at twilight on return so you need to take that into consideration.
You can also see by boat, no under 4s allowed and it can get a bit choppy, so if anyone gets easily seasick, it might not be their cup of tea. There's also helicopter flights as well.
My sister and her DS are going for a 2nd trip, this time hanging out on the North Shore and plans to visit the Jurassic Park attraction up there.

#8 fibilly

Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:06 PM

We did a family trip (my siblings and their families and my parents) to Oahu last year. Spent a week at Waikiki and hired cars and visited the north shore.

DP and I spent a day touring the Big Island at the volcanoes national park - great spot but the weather was poor for us so we missed our helicopter tour.

Our second week we spent on Kauai, which is paradise. Next time we’re in Hawaii, I’d just go there - none of the awful Honolulu traffic and tourists and plenty to see and do if you like outdoors - Hanalei Bay is like a mini Byron Bay and is gorgeous, Waimea canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the pacific and is incredible from the air, and Honopu valley in Koke national park, and the NaPali coast more generally is some of the most spectacular scenery Ive ever seen. We even swam with turtles at poipu.

As a general rule, I think Hawaii is gorgeous ( and Hawaiian people are so welcoming), but get off the main tourist track and it’s even better.

#9 sqawk

Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:27 PM

For the remaining week I would do either Maui or big island, prob not enough time for both. Flying between the islands takes time and and doing both in 1 week will not leave enough time. You will prob need to fly back to Honolulu to fly home

#10 DontPokeTheBearMum

Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:44 PM

View PostLucrezia Bauble, on 12 February 2020 - 02:21 PM, said:

we only stayed in Waikiki but it was great. we did Pearl Harbour, Hanauma Bay (pretty but crowded. from memory it’s a dead volcano - so, that could be something!), we hired a car and drove up the North Shore which was really good and i highly recommend - saw the famous Pipeline Beach but it was flat as a tack (wrong time of year) - we loved Hawaii and will probably go there again in the not too distant future. we stayed at Embassy Suites Waikiki which were perfectly fine - good location, but my dream is to stay at the Halekulani.

We have just returned from almost the exact same holiday! I LOVED Hanauma Bay, the snorkelling was excellent. Pipeline had crazy swells when we visited- the beach was closed so no one could go in! We did a day tour of Pearl Harbour and the USS Missouri. A very long day but well worth it.

We did the seven day cruise that stops at all the islands, on The Pride of America. That was fantastic! The cruise line is Norwegian if you are interested in something like that OP. You don't get long at the islands- we got two days in port on Maui and 1 and a half days on Kauai- but it's a really good way to see a little bit of everything. On the last day of the cruise they do scenic cruising along the NaPali coast which was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. The cruise departs weekly from Oahu, well worth it in my opinion. The kids ADORED it, they say it was their favourite part of the trip.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaii Village for two days before our cruise and then at the Embassy Suites after. I would definitely recommend the Embassy Suites over the village- better location, more central to everything.

Waikiki is crazy expensive, especially food. Very touristy and lots of crowds but I still enjoyed it. My husband and I plan on going back in a few years sans kids to do some of the things we wanted to do but missed out on. We spent 18 days in total and there is still so many things we missed out on!

It's my favourite place in the world, so far.

#11 Coffeegirl

Posted 12 February 2020 - 05:11 PM

We’ve done Oahu a couple times and Maui last year

a week on Oahu is plenty.  Hire a car and you can drive all the way around the island in a day easily.  

Go do a tour a Kualua ranch.  It’s about 45 minutes out of Waikiki and so many famous movies were filmed there.  It is absolutely gorgeous and didn’t feel too touristy

Hanauma Bay is lovely and way for beginning snorklers but get there early In busy seasons and be warned there is at lot of shade

definitely do the Pearl Harbour memorial. It’s amazing. You can book online and get a guaranteed time slot for the boat out

We’ve always stayed outside Waikiki in Kahala as DH hates the crowds,   We just Ubered into Waikiki for dinner or shopping and got out again.  About 20 minutes each way in traffic.


We really enjoyed Maui and it was much more laid back than Oahu/Waikiki.    We hired a car (a must really as the resorts are all some way from the airport.) We stayed at the Andaz and it’s very private with its own private beach.   You can walk along to the Four Seasons and lost of other high end resorts.  

drive to the other side of the bay and you have more mid range resorts, and a better range of shopping and food options, but it was more touristy as well.

We also drove the Hana Road and were really disappointed.   It’s quite nerve racking and most of the waterfalls were dried up as they were in drought. So you would hike 30 minutes in and not see anything.  

Next trip we want to do the big island and see some volcanoes.

#12 BRB

Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:41 PM

View PostLucrezia Bauble, on 12 February 2020 - 02:21 PM, said:

we only stayed in Waikiki but it was great. we did Pearl Harbour, Hanauma Bay (pretty but crowded. from memory it’s a dead volcano - so, that could be something!), we hired a car and drove up the North Shore which was really good and i highly recommend - saw the famous Pipeline Beach but it was flat as a tack (wrong time of year) - we loved Hawaii and will probably go there again in the not too distant future. we stayed at Embassy Suites Waikiki which were perfectly fine - good location, but my dream is to stay at the Halekulani.

Oh wow the Halekulani looks amazing!

#13 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:44 PM

i know! i will have to engage in some serious saving....


#14 BRB

Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:44 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 12 February 2020 - 03:10 PM, said:

My parents hiked to see the lava on the big island. It is a long walk and it's over uneven surfaces, often at twilight on return so you need to take that into consideration.
You can also see by boat, no under 4s allowed and it can get a bit choppy, so if anyone gets easily seasick, it might not be their cup of tea. There's also helicopter flights as well.
My sister and her DS are going for a 2nd trip, this time hanging out on the North Shore and plans to visit the Jurassic Park attraction up there.

Thank you, was the long hike worth it to see the lava?

#15 BRB

Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:49 PM

View Postfibilly, on 12 February 2020 - 04:06 PM, said:

We did a family trip (my siblings and their families and my parents) to Oahu last year. Spent a week at Waikiki and hired cars and visited the north shore.

DP and I spent a day touring the Big Island at the volcanoes national park - great spot but the weather was poor for us so we missed our helicopter tour.

Our second week we spent on Kauai, which is paradise. Next time we’re in Hawaii, I’d just go there - none of the awful Honolulu traffic and tourists and plenty to see and do if you like outdoors - Hanalei Bay is like a mini Byron Bay and is gorgeous, Waimea canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the pacific and is incredible from the air, and Honopu valley in Koke national park, and the NaPali coast more generally is some of the most spectacular scenery Ive ever seen. We even swam with turtles at poipu.

As a general rule, I think Hawaii is gorgeous ( and Hawaiian people are so welcoming), but get off the main tourist track and it’s even better.

thank you. That’s what I would like to experience as well..... the less touristy islands and the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the islands. Where did you stay in Kauai?

#16 BRB

Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:53 PM

DontPokeTheBearMum said:

1581489859[/url]' post='18562659']
We have just returned from almost the exact same holiday! I LOVED Hanauma Bay, the snorkelling was excellent. Pipeline had crazy swells when we visited- the beach was closed so no one could go in! We did a day tour of Pearl Harbour and the USS Missouri. A very long day but well worth it.

We did the seven day cruise that stops at all the islands, on The Pride of America. That was fantastic! The cruise line is Norwegian if you are interested in something like that OP. You don't get long at the islands- we got two days in port on Maui and 1 and a half days on Kauai- but it's a really good way to see a little bit of everything. On the last day of the cruise they do scenic cruising along the NaPali coast which was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. The cruise departs weekly from Oahu, well worth it in my opinion. The kids ADORED it, they say it was their favourite part of the trip.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaii Village for two days before our cruise and then at the Embassy Suites after. I would definitely recommend the Embassy Suites over the village- better location, more central to everything.

Waikiki is crazy expensive, especially food. Very touristy and lots of crowds but I still enjoyed it. My husband and I plan on going back in a few years sans kids to do some of the things we wanted to do but missed out on. We spent 18 days in total and there is still so many things we missed out on!

It's my favourite place in the world, so far.

I hadn’t thought about a cruise, that sounds lovely.
We are meeting our extended family at the Hilton Hawaii Village, did you enjoy it?  The pool at the Embassy suits looks small?

Edited by BRB, 12 February 2020 - 07:53 PM.


#17 BRB

Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:56 PM

View PostCoffeegirl, on 12 February 2020 - 05:11 PM, said:

We’ve done Oahu a couple times and Maui last year

a week on Oahu is plenty.  Hire a car and you can drive all the way around the island in a day easily.  

Go do a tour a Kualua ranch.  It’s about 45 minutes out of Waikiki and so many famous movies were filmed there.  It is absolutely gorgeous and didn’t feel too touristy

Hanauma Bay is lovely and way for beginning snorklers but get there early In busy seasons and be warned there is at lot of shade

definitely do the Pearl Harbour memorial. It’s amazing. You can book online and get a guaranteed time slot for the boat out

We’ve always stayed outside Waikiki in Kahala as DH hates the crowds,   We just Ubered into Waikiki for dinner or shopping and got out again.  About 20 minutes each way in traffic.


We really enjoyed Maui and it was much more laid back than Oahu/Waikiki. We hired a car (a must really as the resorts are all some way from the airport.) We stayed at the Andaz and it’s very private with its own private beach.   You can walk along to the Four Seasons and lost of other high end resorts.  

drive to the other side of the bay and you have more mid range resorts, and a better range of shopping and food options, but it was more touristy as well.

We also drove the Hana Road and were really disappointed.   It’s quite nerve racking and most of the waterfalls were dried up as they were in drought. So you would hike 30 minutes in and not see anything.  

Next trip we want to do the big island and see some volcanoes.

thank you for the tips.




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