Tag Archive | North Shore

A Loo With a View – The Hawaiian Edition

Holiday in Hawaii #23

Hawaiian loos with beautiful views,

When you go there, which will you choose?

Tropical forest or sun-soaked sand,

Whatever your choice, the view will be grand!

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‘Iao Needle, Maui

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Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, Oahu

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Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu

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Mānoa Falls Trail, Oahu

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Hanauma Bay State Park, Oahu

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Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui

See other loos with wonderful views

The original Loo with a View

A Loo with a View, Part Two

Five Western Australian Loos with Wonderful Views

A Loo with a View – The Road Trip Edition

Five Fun Things Oahu Style

Holiday in Hawaii #22

Shop like a local

There is an abundance of fresh island produce at the Farmers’ Market at the Windward Mall in Kane’ohe. The markets are held inside the shopping centre every Wednesday afternoon and Sunday morning, with a large variety of traditional Hawaiian foods for sale. The vendors are happy to share samples and we ate our way around the markets, trying delicacies like mochi, poi and taro, before buying take away dinner and dessert.

Go for a ride

Waikiki Trolleys are a fun and cheap way to cover a lot of territory around Honolulu, Waikiki and beyond. Five themed routes cover all the historic and cultural sites and the well-known scenic, shopping and dining areas. There are plenty of hop on hop off stops on each route and with this open air transport we didn’t need air con!

Swim and snorkel

One of the best places to go snorkelling is the crystal clear water of Hanauma Bay State Park. The coral reef just off the shore is home to more than 450 species of tropical fish, moray eels and green sea turtles, and snorkelling equipment is available for hire. The park has strict guidelines for protecting the coral reef and its inhabitants, and first time visitors are required to watch an informative video presentation before they enter. The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm – we went early to beat the crowds.

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Eat some pie

The day we drove to the North Shore we wanted to call in to Ted’s Bakery at Sunset Beach. We had heard about his legendary pies and decided that a serve of pie would be the perfect dessert to follow up our coconut shrimp lunch. You can imagine our devastation when we realised we’d driven past and missed the bakery completely! But luck was on our side when, that night at the supermarket, we found pie – Ted’s Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie. Ted describes this pie as having “smooth, dark chocolate custard cream, haupia (creamy coconut pudding) and whipped topping.” It was delicious!

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Enjoy the view

The suburbs of Honolulu spread up the ridges and into the ravines of the Ko’olau Range. We stayed in an airbnb home in Kaimuki, halfway up one of the ridges. We were curious to see how far up the range the houses went, so one evening we went exploring. The road became steeper and the houses were perched on higher and higher platforms until eventually we reached a dead end. From our vantage point it seemed like we were on top of the world – the view of the night lights of Waikiki was incredible.

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All Day Trippers

Holiday in Hawaii #12

Oahu’s North Shore is famous for big surf and tasty shrimp, and it’s definitely a place we want to visit. It’s only an hour’s drive from Honolulu but there’s so much more to see on the way; we spend a whole day getting there.

Oahu is divided by the Ko’olau mountain range, the remnant of a massive shield volcano which is thought to have last erupted only 10 000 years ago. The Pali Highway climbs from Nu’uanu Valley through several tunnels to Nu’uanu Pali Lookout before descending to the coast on the windward side of the island. It was at the sheer cliffs of the lookout that King Kamehameha I defeated the army of Chief Kalanikupule in 1795.

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Kane’ohe is the largest community on the windward side of the island. Tucked away at the base of the mountain range outside Kane’ohe are the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens, where lush tropical plants from around the world cover 400 acres..

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From the gardens we continue on Highway 830, which heads north along the coast. There are reminders of Oahu’s volcanic past all along the highway. Tiny Mokoli’i Island, a volcanic cinder cone, rises out of the ocean just off shore. We stop for a snack at Kane’oha Bay, where black lave flows separate the road from the narrow strip of white, sandy beach and the ocean.

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We might have just eaten, but we’re still thinking about lunch; it’s shrimp we’ve come for. Giovanni’s shrimp van is the most famous of Hawaii’s unique dining experiences; consequently the queue is very long.

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We’ve heard there are plenty more vans on the highway and we’re too hungry to wait, so we travel a few kilometres up the road to another one. The menu is tempting and it’s difficult to choose. Eventually we order a serve each of buttery garlic shrimp and crisp coconut shrimp to share. Along with the shrimp vans there are market garden stands on the highway, laden with fresh tropical fruit and vegetables for sale.

At Waimea Bay, where board riders pay homage to surfing legends Duke Kahanamoku and Eddie Aikau, the surf is up and the water is wild. The beaches are closed, but that doesn’t stop some swimmers from taking risks in the pounding waves.

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Our round trip continues on to Waimea Valley, an historical area with a beautiful tropical garden. It’s almost closing time when we arrive so we just wander around the gardens, admiring the monkey pod trees with their vast spreading canopies. The resident peacocks and the wild roosters, both sporting beautiful plumage, compete for our attention.

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We return to Honolulu via Highway 99, past sugar cane fields ready for harvest. The mountains are lit by the setting sun, and by the time we’re home the sun is gone and the lights of Waikiki are twinkling.

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We’ve journeyed from Honolulu to the North Shore and back again, on an all day round trip – a distance of just 136 kilometres!