If you can fit this into your Hawaii itinerary — do it because this drive is pretty epic, with hundreds of twists and turns and sweeping views. This day deserves a post of its own but here are a few of the highlights for me. We started with a quick look around the town of Paia , a cute hippy surfing town, where we filled up on gas.
We stopped for lunch at Ka Haku Smoke Shack which is between Waikamo and the Garden of Eden — for the record, we were kind of late starting, so we probably should have been further along by this point! I think we set off around 9am, when really we should have been on the road by about 7am at the latest to do it all. We got bitten A LOT by bugs here, so make sure you wear bug spray.
I would definitely suggest that you bring water shoes for this as the pebbles hurt your feet and are difficult to walk on.
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You can hike around the area, see lava tubes and caves and I could easily have spent a couple of days in this area, camping and just relaxing. Honestly, brilliant!!!! We also stopped at a few random places, for instance, we saw some guys cliff jumping into a pool which was pretty fun to watch. If you only have 1 day, start early like 7am at the very latest. On our last day in Maui, we relaxed on the beach, only moving to eat and go surfing for a couple of hours.
On your final evening, I recommend you visit the Old Lahaina Luau , known to be one of the most authentic luaus in all of Hawaii. We sat on the floor, right at the front which was fun. Book well in advance as it sells out. Maui — Useful Info. The complex is set on a golf course, with a lovely pool and around a minute walk from the beach. This meant that we could save a little money, eating at home sometimes.
If you are on a budget, it might be worth considering Couchsurfing or camping which is cheap. There are some great camping spots in Maui , so maybe consider hiring a campervan or taking a tent.
Getting Around Oahu
You can check prices and find other options here. We hired a car for 3 days from Avis. Maui has some great places to eat! The nightlife, on the other hand, is pretty tame they say 10pm is the new 2am , however there are still a few nice places to get a cocktail or a beer, mostly on Front Street in Lahaina. Most places double up as restaurants and bars and we found everything started to come to a close around 11pm. Eating and drinking on Maui is generally not cheap.
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The Big Island has a very different feel to Maui. Less commercial, more vast, more wild, a bit rough and ready. We flew into Kona and out of Hilo. It was around lunchtime when we arrived, so we popped into Kona for a bite to eat. Definitely one of the best meals of the trip. This was probably my second favourite place on our Hawaii itinerary after the North Shore of Oahu.
With lush green plant life, beautiful waterfalls, wild horses and a black sand beach and dramatic cliffs, this place is just out of this world. It was literally paradise. We started out by walking the 10 minutes or so to down to the beautiful black sand beach. It was a Saturday and there were a few groups of families and friends, who had come down in their 4x4s and set up camp for the day. We saw this a lot in Hawaii at the various different beach parks.
Others walked it, battling the current and the stones. It is pretty amusing to watch — and you can tell the locals also find it amusing! The walk takes about 45 minutes. I only swam in the first two, as the climb up to the top one was very steep and slippy. On the way to the falls, you will see some houses, some inhabited, some derelict, destroyed by the tsunami that ripped through the valley in Some looked derelict but we could hear people in them.
It was on this walk that we encountered our first wild horses. Some ignored us, a couple of the curious ones came over to us and stopped to eat a few of the carrots we had, one followed me around for a bit. They are friendly, but just keep clear of standing behind one — horse kicks never end well. We explored Hilo in the morning including the Hilo Farmers Market which was lovely. In the afternoon we headed to Mauna Kea, one of the best places in the world for stargazing and home to , Mauna Kea Observatories. We stopped at the Mauna Kea Visitor Centre for half an hour, as advised, to acclimatise to the altitude and have a cup of noodles before heading up the mountain.
Once at the top, we watched the sunset and the stars come out. On the way we stopped at Rainbow Falls , just outside of Hilo. There was a rainbow, but it was very faint when we arrived. We found out later that if you want to see a rainbow, the best time to visit is around 6. I think we went at around 9.
By the time we left it had completely disappeared. We then went straight to the Volcanoes National park. First make your way to the Visitor Centre where the friendly rangers will explain what there was to see there. Hundreds of feet of plumeria flower lei have been strung like ropes, each at least 30 feet long.
Photo: karendesuyo. Flowers are sewn by the members of the royal societies, aided by dozens of volunteers. Lei are never draped over a feather cape — bronze or real. Photo taken in front on the Iolani Palace barracks. Photo: kalanz. See entire photo album here. Beginning at 9 a. Photo: Honolulu Star-Advertiser. King Kamehameha is the most celebrated monarch of all, with multiple statues. The sculpture in Honolulu is one of the most photographed landmarks. Photo: RDPixelShop.
In Walter M. Gibson, a member of the Hawaiian government wanted to commemorate the year arrival of Captain Cook to the Hawaiian Islands. Gibson contracted Thomas R. Gould, a Boston sculptor who had never been to Hawaii, Gibson sent photos of Polynesians. Still, the face came out a bit Roman.
The second Kamehameha statue resides in Downtown Honolulu. A second statue was quickly re-cast. Meanwhile, some Falkland-islanders found the original and sold it to the captain of the wrecked ship. Both statues arrived. The second is in Downtown Honolulu. The third Kamehameha statue proudly stands in Washington D.
Photo: squirrel It was the heaviest of all the statues, weighing in at 15, pounds. When Barack Obama was nominated as a candidate for president the statue was moved from a dark back corner of Statuary Hall to a very prominent position in Emancipation Hall in the new visitor center.
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