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84 posts

Master Geek

#255733 26-Aug-2019 16:05
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We're heading to Hawaii for a 10day family holiday next week.  2x adults + 1 8yr boy.  Booked to stay mostly at Waikiki area.


Does anyone have any tips of what we should do?  Definites are Turtle Bay and Pearl Harbour.  I've heard snorkeling can be fun and that gear can be rented fairly easily.


Anyone have recommendations ?  Equally, anything we should avoid?  Mainly interested in activities but advice on dining etc would also be useful.

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  #2306270 26-Aug-2019 16:05
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.


We hope to see you there!


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Uber Geek

  #2306289 26-Aug-2019 16:39
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Snorkeling at hanauma bay is great , there are plenty of tours that will take you and provide gear

USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor is a must


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  #2306290 26-Aug-2019 16:40
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The aquarium at Waikiki is worth a look, and from memory, not too expensive.


We also went snorkelling at Hanauma Bay. Just be aware only basic changing rooms, no hot showers, and nothing to sit on besides towels.


We did a circle island bus tour to get the lay of the land. What we discovered is that there is very little parking for private vehicles at a lot of the more popular spots like Pipeline Beach etc. (And Hanauma Bay). We stopped at Fumi’s Shrimp Farm on the North West shore as part of the tour. Pretty basic looking, but great food.


We were there for Black Friday Sales. While not as manic as the mainland, but still pretty good. Oops, just saw you’re going next week. Disregard Black Friday comment.

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Ultimate Geek


  #2306293 26-Aug-2019 16:55
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If you haven't done pearl harbour then yes go do that.


There is this cool outlet shopping place Waikele I can't remember where it is.. It was cheaper and there was some good stuff around.


Go snorkeling with the turtles. 



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  #2306295 26-Aug-2019 17:01
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Pearl harbour is very cool to visit

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Master Geek

  #2306342 26-Aug-2019 17:24
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If you are reasonably fit a walk up Diamond Head is well worth it for the views. We took the bus there and back so it was a cheap tour. A word of advice if you do go, wear suitable shoes ( no high-heels like we saw from some tourists) take plenty of water and go early in the morning as it gets hot!

We also took an outrigger canoe tour from the beach at Waikiki. You only get two incoming waves but it was cheap and although you had to paddle hard it was so cool. Way better than we thought.

As previously mentioned go to Pearl, it really is a special place. If your tour includes the Missouri be astounded by the fact that she has been updated several times since the Second World War.

Have fun!

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  #2306344 26-Aug-2019 17:25
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There is this cool outlet shopping place Waikele I can't remember where it is.. It was cheaper and there was some good stuff around.


some good deals to be had but also some things that are about the same price as here.


ive spent about a month there in the past couple of years


Walk up diamond head


Dole Plantation


Checkout a Hawaiian Hula Show


There is a couple of nice lookouts and views on Highway 61 and H3


there is also wet and wild if thats your slice of cake.






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Master Geek


  #2306347 26-Aug-2019 17:30
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The city bus service is good if you don't have a car all the time, pay exact change , they take notes and coins. $5.50 for an all day adult pass. From Waikiki you can get to Ala Moana shopping centre, and Best Buy (close to an hour by bus!) 


Dole Plantation is a good typical tourist stop - expensive though. Just down the road is a coffee outlet - with coffee sampling - yes you can bring back the coffee beans to NZ .


Stop an pipleline beach (other side of the island ) on the right day to see some amazing waves 


Walk up Diamond head before the heat of the day, might have been around 40 minutes walk from the main road bus stop, and about  another 40 minutes walk back to Waikiki from there also. 


The beach at Waikiki is good also, a bit of surf, warm water and amazing (crowded) sand. But the others can be off shopping while you and the child spend some time in the water


We ate a couple of times at the Cheese Cake factory , not cheap but the food is good and you know what you are getting. Also


is a reasonable burger type place is a good location . But there's heaps of places 

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Ultimate Geek

  #2306470 26-Aug-2019 21:11
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Everyone has said what I would say however for shopping we used to go tp Pearl Ridge shopping mall


Not a huge mall but it is where the locals go, I sent a friend of mine there and he had bought Levi jeans at the outlet store near Aloe Moana and these were cheaper and first grade ( not seconds )


A couple of activities I remember as an 11YO kid, surf lessons, wave are not huge but worth it to say I have surfed in Hawaii and we did outrigger boating, that was fun, caught these small waves and they really pushed us along.


The second time I was there ( 29 years ago ) I went to a Luau, it was a bit of a have, they were just there to sell you over priced drinks.


There is a good sized stadium there, see if anything is on, the atmosphere would be amazing.


Travel as light as you can, the second time I was there would have been about this time of year, I wore jeans / teeshirt / sweatshirt / sneakers, in my backpack was togs / towel / toiletbag and that was it, I bought everything else over there including a $2 bag to bring it all home on.


As my grandmother would say, halve your clothes and double your money.







I know enough to be dangerous

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Ultimate Geek


  #2306532 26-Aug-2019 23:57
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As others have said, Pearl Harbour.
From memory the Arizona is like a ballot for tickets only a limited number and first come first served, whilst the Missouri you pay to get on board ,some interesting facts and figures , pictures,letters from kamikaze pilots etc.
Jump on a local bus and head up through the island, you can hop on and off and it’s not expensive.
Check out the udon noodles on the Kuhio Avenue across from the Royal Hawaiian Centre, you can’t miss it it’s always got a queue around it .
I personally wouldn’t go back to the Waikele outlets ,you can get a lot of the same stuff in Waikiki at Ross dress for less or TJ Maxx in Ala Moana and you’ll pay a lot less.


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Ultimate Geek

  #2306543 27-Aug-2019 06:43
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We rented a car though Toro that comes with a car park right next to our hotel last time we were there, then bought the Shaka Guide self drive map. It was a fun way to explore the island (you will visit the famous shrimp truck, dole pineapple factory along the way)

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  #2306553 27-Aug-2019 07:17
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Brunzy: As others have said, Pearl Harbour.

I personally wouldn’t go back to the Waikele outlets ,you can get a lot of the same stuff in Waikiki at Ross dress for less or TJ Maxx in Ala Moana and you’ll pay a lot less.


IMHO the outlet malls really just depend on the time of year you visit and what big sales are on. They're somewhere I tend to visit often while in the US but there are times you go to them and find them pretty disappointing and other times end up buying up big. 


In my last few trips I've ended up buying quite a few things from TJ Maxx / Marshalls / Ross, but once again they can just depend on your luck as stock obviously varies so much between stores.


As for things to do I definately recommend the hike up Diamond Head which is well worth it for the views. Buses over there are an easy way to get around.


My only other recommendation would be to check car prices if you planned to hire a car for any reason - rental rates from Waikiki can be super inflated just because they're catering to the tourist market, whereas other branches nearby will often be significantly cheaper.


My favoure area for swimming or spending time at the beach in Waikiki is Kaimana beach which in a great little beach by the park that is nowhere near as crowded as Waikiki gets and isn't full of tourists.



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Ultimate Geek


  #2306554 27-Aug-2019 07:20
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Hanauma Bay for snorkling - pay for one of the packages - it's around US$22-US$299 and includes transport and gear whereas if you hire the gear on site it's around US$20 and you still have to get there.


Walmart for food, drink, confectionary etc... 


Ross Dress for Less is the best for bargain hunting shopping shoes and clothing but the stock varies between stores (they are everywhere but there is a big one in Waikiki and another across the road from Walmart) and you have to dig through the racks to find that gem. 


Hire a Ford Mustang convertible (they're everywhere) and do a day trip around the island. 


I did the Pineapple Plantation on their annual market day - too crowded to go on a train ride or tour but they do have a display which shows pineapples in their native environment and explains how they grow (three crops over 3-4 years). Would probably stop off their on the island drive instead of making a special trip.


The USS Arizona at Pearl Harbour is still closed until December. There's still other things to do there though if you're into history and reading/watching exhibits (kids and wife weren't) plus the sub and battleship tours.















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Ultimate Geek


  #2306567 27-Aug-2019 08:12
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+1 for Dole Plantation for a family


Also +1 for Diamond Head.


Driving round the island is also interesting if you have a vehicle; it'll take a few hours but there is a lot to stop and see on the way round; PLUS it gets you out of the city and into the "real" island.

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Master Geek

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  #2306569 27-Aug-2019 08:19
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Was over there earlier this year for the 2nd time. As mentioned by many, diamond head is fantastic. I would highly recommend a car, my fiance and I had one for 4 days, and it was superb to be able to hop in, and go for a day trip around the island, stopping at all of the little gems around the coast.


Kailua Beach is worth a stop, can be incredibly busy, but we managed to find a park in about 5 minutes or so. Would highly recommend stopping at one of the many shrimp trucks, too, we visited Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, and it was absolutely incredible. Made it a confirmed stop for any trip back to Oahu.

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