Oahu Travel Guide
So it was more than a year ago now that I was wandering up to the purple food truck for my Acai bowl (best EVER) followed by watching the boys surf pipeline…
Time and life have got the better of me since then and a whole new digital space has been born, but I still wanted to share with you, my Oahu Travel Guide.
The Hawaii dream became a reality for me in March 2014 when I visited the Island of Oahu for a friends Wedding. We spent 2 weeks exploring this wonderland by car(only way to do it). Here are the visuals and my top 5 from an adventure filled 14 days!
Related: “How to Spend 4 days in the Whitsundays“
Driving along the North Shore of Oahu each morning to check the surf lead to endless inspiration and surreal scenery. I am so glad we spent the majority of our time exploring the North, the mornings consisted of surf checks, followed by acai bowls, admiring the friendly turtles before going on late afternoon hikes.
We stayed in a beach house with the most incredible view perfect for sunset swims and late afternoon beers- you can find similar accommodation here.
I would also suggest going to Pupukea Grill at least once a day, exploring the magical Waimea Bay and the famous Haleiwa.
Although Waikiki is the main destination for tourist with crowds consuming every inch of sand possible the beauty is still not lost. We spent the majority of our time exploring other parts of the islands and ended our trip with 4 nights in Waikiki- which was plenty of time.
Waikiki, unlike the North Shore, has gentle waves and is home to water sports and sparkling turquoise ocean. Amazing food and shopping are plenty in Waikiki making it the perfect family-friendly destination. My favourite part though is the walk up Diamond Head. The picture below is the view from the top overlooking the city of Waikiki and its pristine waters. Tip: For a little extra challenge when hiking diamond head start your hike from your hotel instead of getting a bus to the start.
They say that it is the journey that matters, not the destination. I find that the truest when venturing on a hike. Hawaii is home to some incredible walks that suit all fitness levels and ages. My favourite was the challenging Olomana Hike. I’ll be honest if I had of researched this hike before my trip I probably would have been too scared to part take. Instead, I was travelling with 3 males and pretty much just tagged along with whatever they had planned for the day; something I am thankful for. The Olomana 3 peak hike was my favourite experience in Hawaii. Although a challenging and dangerous hike, you are rewarded with the most unbelievable view. It is around 2.5 km to the first and highest peak (there are three in total), we only did the first one as the course becomes a bit sketchy.
If you like a bit of a challenge, aren’t afraid of heights and can appreciate some moderate rock climbing, then the Olomana hike should be at the top of your list. For something a little less deadly try Hau’ula Loop Trail or Diamond Head.
Crystal clear water against clean white sands makes Oahu beaches some of my favourites. Although North Shore brings in enormous swell making swimming sometimes impossible, it was still wonderful to sit and bask in its presence, appreciating the fierceness and all its beauty. Instead, venture close by to beaches like Lanikai, Waimea Bay and Haleiwa Beach Park for swimming. The island’s coast boasts rewarding panoramic views of the hills and the waves which are not to be missed. For something, a little extra special be sure you visit Hanauma Bay the islands well-known snorkel beach. Tip: Because parking is limited, you should arrive as early as possible because after the lot is full, they just turn people away.
When someone asks me how Hawaii was, I immediately start ranting on about the food. In particular my poke bowl from Pupukea Grill, I had on the North Shore. My partner and I loved it so much, we have replicated the recipe and it is now a dinner favourite. Fresh produce, variety and large serves are something to appreciate in Hawaii. Make sure you try the ‘fish tacos’ on the North Shore, the Acai bowl from the Purple Food Truck, and the Ramen from in Waikiki.
Stay- On the north shore we stayed in a beach house and Waikiki, an apartment a block away from the beach both were booked on Air BnB. You can find some great accommodation here.
Do- Hanauma Bay & Olomana Hike
Fly- Jetstar have sale fares to Hawaii on a regular basis, alternatively, you can search for flights here and here.
Got any tips for our next adventure to Hawaii? Would love to explore some of the other islands- Where should we go?
Want more travel inspiration? Check out this!
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