So, How was Hawaii?
That’s the question I’ve been asked by every single person who knew about this trip.
My answer, An experience like no other!
This was my first time in Ohau, Hawaii I decided to put together an itinerary of the locations I was able to visit during my 8 days stay on the island of Ohau, my hopes is that any future traveller finds it useful. My itinerary was not planned prior to my arrival – meaning I did not pre-book any activities, I had a rough idea based on locations I have seen online beforehand.
Please note that I did travel with a 7 & 5-year-old on this trip, it was important to be able to explore with them as much as possible but to also make it fun and memorable at the same time!
This was the first time we travelled somewhere that was not all-inclusive! Expenses add up very quickly, create a budget that you feel comfortable with prior to your arrival, everyone’s family budget is different and trust me when I say, there is something to do for everyone on the island!
[Point 1] Laniakea Beach aka Turtle Beach – Hawaii
Unfortunately, I was having some tech issues with my GoPro chip the day we went to Turtle beach – so I have limited videos or pictures to post. However, the beach was full of big turtles swimming and sunbathing. You will be able to see them very easily. There is staff protecting the turtles – you will see them from time to time kindly asking beach guests to move further away from the turtles. They are there to protect both you and the turtles.
Tip: Wear swimming shoes, as I did find it to be very rocky. I actually cut myself in the beach area.
Bring beach towels, chairs, or blankets. Anything that you may need to enjoy your beach day – this is a real beach with no beach chairs.
[Point 2] Diamond Head – Hawaii
When we first arrived we found the perfect spot to take photos, views for days! I thought that’s all we were going to do when all of a sudden plans changed and we decided to take the hike trails. I was not ready!
Make sure to bring LOTS of water!
Wear comfortable shoes/sandals if you plan to Hike.
Fees: $5.00 to park close to the entrance.
I would say the hike took roughly 45mins to get to the top, we made several stops throughout the hike to catch our breath and drink some water. We pushed through, every step & sweat was worth the hike once we got to the top of Diamond Head and overlooked the beautiful views.
In the Waikiki hotel area, there are trolleys that take you right to the entrance of Diamond Head Park. As long as you have a room key you will be allowed on for free.
[Point 3] Hanauma Bay – Hawaii
Declared a protected marine life conservation area in 1967! There are all kinds of sea life for you to see, I have never experienced something like this before. The staff does an excellent job of protecting sea life.
Once you arrive you will need to pay 7.50 to enter. You will find bathrooms, shops, food and an info session room before you begin your snorkelling experience. You will have to take the info session before you are allowed to take a small walk down to the beach area. Expect this to take roughly 30mins. The session will discuss how Hanauma Bay came about, sea life, in the water and rules.
Bring food or buy food in the entrance area before walking down to the beach area – there is no food for sale by the beach.
Sunscreen is a must! Should you wish to trade in your sunscreen for a sunscreen that is protective of sea life – you can do so at the entrance.
If you are travelling with children and this is their first time snorkelling, take some time to practice to them in a swimming pool. Prepare them for all the sea life they are about to see. This can help ease any anxiety while snorkelling and it’s a perfect way to maximize your time and enjoy the experience together.
[Point 4] Chiefs Luau – Hawaii
We were considering a few Luau’s while in Hawaii. One, in particular, caught my attention due to the number of activities we were going to be able to do while at the location. I won’t include the name of that location because we decided against it due to the number of hours the activity took.
Someone at the hotel recommended the Chiefs Luau, it was roughly 4hrs long, not too far, perfect for family, and funny! Perfect for my family!
My family prepared for the Luau beforehand, we did a quick stop at a Walmart 10mins away from our hotel and bought two kids dresses, one women’s dress, one mans shirt – we tried to match as much as possible. We spent roughly 80USD on our attire. I would suggest to find something at your local store before your trip to Hawaii if you do want to dress up.
On the actual day of the event, it took us roughly a 45min drive from the Waikiki area the day we decided to attend this Luau. There was ALOT of traffic that day, give yourself time to get to the event. We went with the Aloha Experience – Per Adult (21 yrs+) Children 77.00.
Aloha Experience: Seating in Aloha section, shell lei greeting, all-you-can-eat Hawaiian luau buffet and 1 adult beverage. If you are driving – Parking is not included in your fee. Please expect to pay $6.00
You can find other packages by clicking here.
Food: Buffet-style, lots of options for everyone, from rice, salad, veggies, roasted pork, baked chicken, bread, dessert.
[Point 5] Waimea Falls Park – Hawaii
Beautiful Lush gardens in your every surrounding. Beauty does not shy back in this place – its a mild enjoyable hike to the falls. It felt so fresh and peaceful while at the park.
Adult – $18.85
Senior – $14.66 (age 62+)
Student – $14.66 (college student must present I.D.)
Child – $12.57 (ages 4-12)
Daily Operating Hours:
Open Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 7 days a week
Summer Hours: June 1 to September 4 Open Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 pm.
7 days a week
Waimea Valley will be CLOSED Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
[Point 6] Bydoo Temple – Hawaii
Our day at Bydoo was very peaceful and serene, the temple is a replica of a 900 – year – old Buddist temple in Japan. This was our main reason for wanting to visit this Temple, we’ve never been to Japan and thought, “Why, Not!” The pictures speak for itself, its a beauty that has to be seen in person.
[Point 7] Dole Plantation – Hawaii
Man, Oh Man, this place smells heavenly! As soon as you walk in you can smell the sweet smell of pineapples all over. This is a cool tour, especially when travelling with kids. You can take a trolly on the property that gives you a recorded tour of all the history the plantation has. They also have a shop where you can purchase gifts, ice cream, treats, dried fruits, live pearls, art.
- Adults – $11.50
- Children (4-12) – $9.50
[Point 8] Waikiki area – Hawaii
We stayed in a hotel in this area – Outrigger Reef Hotel. It was perfect! The hotel features live music nightly, swimming pool, bars, restaurants, amazing beach property, and gym.
[Cost] Cost varies on room type, season – I will keep this to myself as I respect everyone’s budget.
Cool things about the Waikiki area is that there is a trolly that takes you around several points, all you have to do is show your room key and guess what? IT’S FREE
I thought this was pretty amazing since moving around can get expensive. Even though we had a car rental, we did take the trolly just to try it. Some of the cool spots were the Waikiki Aquarium, Diamond Head, Waikiki beach many other spots.
Tips: Hawaii is not all-inclusive, make a quick stop at a local Walmart and buy things that can make your life easier. For example, if you’re travelling with kids buy some snacks, juice, cereal, milk.
Buy a reusable bag cooler – this was super handy because every day we went to a different area of the island, I would fill it up with ice and drinks and this would last hours!
The further out in the island you went the food costs were lower.
Food Trucks are a big thing in Oahu! We found LOTS in the North Shore area! Big Wave Shrimp caught our attention, the food was really good – check them out if you get the chance.
Other places we ate at:
- Tony Romas
- The Reef
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Dominican Kitchen
My favourite place was definitely Mimi’s Peruvian Cuisine, food-wise this was the highlight of our trip. It was a very small, hot place but it was worth it – price point I personally didn’t find it very expensive because the food portions were very large and most importantly DELICIOUS! Definitely try the Fish Ceviche!
Well, that’s it for my Hawaii trip review! I hope you found this informative. If you have any questions or need help planning a trip in the near future feel free to contact me.
La Vie C’est Belle!