Aloha, Hawaii!

So we left New Zealand on Wednesday 20th around midnight and landed in Honolulu, Hawaii on… Wednesday 20th! This time it was 9am – Lucky us, we got to have a day twice (without a sleep between – yipee).

This was our first time coming to America… the airport security was a real experience. Definitely the biggest queue we’d ever been in. After taking all our prints, we were cleared and then joined the next big wait at baggage. Feeling rather groggy after the red-eye we made our way to the rental car company and Kadin found himself once again on the wrong side of the car and in control.

Having a bit of time before check-in. We decided to head to the Pearl Harbour Memorial. We didn’t spend too long there -you definitely could if you wanted to join the crowds and read your way through the exhibits. We just strolled along the waterfront and looked at the battleship and submarine moored in the harbour…

The rest of the day was spent organising a sim card for data, wandering around American shops like Walmart, having Taco Bell for dinner and having an early night in our airbnb.

The next morning our airbnb host sorted us out with beach chairs, snorkel gear and an umbrella. We headed north, straight up the middle of O’ahu – stopping at a coffee plantation and then Dole plantation to see where all our pineapples came from. We spent over an hour here looking through the massive shop, taking a train tour through the fields, having lunch and pineapple whip (ice-cream) ending with a quick walk through their maze (apparently the world’s largest)..

Further up the island we reached the coast. We stopped at several places along our way. First we went to Laniakea Beach, known for sea turtles. We saw several turtles swimming in the shore break and a couple chilling on the beach. Later up the road we stopped off at Sharks Cove which was basically a giant rock pool…

To wash off the salt we headed for Waimea Falls. This was a beautiful 3 mile walk through botanical gardens ending at the base of the falls in which Kadin went for a swim…

Our final stop on our northern adventure was at Kuilima Cove. We took our beach chairs (which you can wear like backpacks – super cool invention) and sat on the beach as the sun started to set. We also got our sunset photo on our way back down the coast, quickly pulling over to capture the moment…

For dinner we ventured back down to Honolulu and caught up with my cousin who happened to be in Waikiki from New Zealand at the same time. We also checked out her awesome hotel room overlooking the beach. Our airbnb was 40mins north in suburbia.

The next morning, after eating far too much at IHOP (international house of pancakes -delicious sounding menu, disappointing in delivery), we headed north along the west coast for a day of beaching and snorkelling. The first stop was ‘electric beach’ – right in front of Hawaii’s power station. The power plant uses salt water for cooling and releases the heated water back in the ocean via the pipe which draws in plenty of tropical fish and Kadin even spotted a turtle. At this spot and another swimming beach further up the road we noticed very strong currents in the water – suddenly pulling you out. When we saw flags on the beach we naturally swam between them, after we were pulled along the beach a fair way we jumped out and closer inspected the flags to find out they were really just advertising the rips! Whoops…

Further up the coast the waves increase – so we enjoy time on the sand and battle with the waves to cool off. Kadin got a great shot of me getting pummelled by a wave – make sure you click on the photos… see if you can spot Wally in the last photo…

The next day we woke at 5:30am and headed to the southeast of the island. We arrived at Hanauma Bay for the sunrise – but most importantly, beat the rush and gain a free entry, as the ticket box hadn’t opened yet. We set ourselves up on the beach for the morning. Kadin had some fun snorkelling with the GoPro while I relaxed under the umbrella with my book…

Further up the road we visit the Crater Botanical Garden. Here we see some cool plants and birdlife. A true highlight was when we saw a chicken had laid an egg on the roof of a car in the carpark…

We travel up the east coast for lunch and enjoy more swimming at the beautiful sandy beaches. Then we head back through the mountains to our airbnb. Our four nights on O’ahu went so fast. We are now ready to start our ten day adventure on Big Island. Mahalo!

Have fun at work!

Gemma

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