HILO

Hilo is one of the main cities located on the Big Island. With a lot to see we thought the best way to take in as much as possible was the Hoppa On Hoppa Off bus.

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Our first stop off the bus was Richardson’s Black Sand Beach.

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The beach is home to tons of turtles, either swimming in the tide pools or catching some sun on the rocks.

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We waded through some tide pools with baby turtles swimming past us.

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The black colour of the beach was created from lava flowing into the ocean and breaking down into sand.

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The next stop was Akaka Falls. The short trail to get to the falls made us feel like we were walking through Jurassic Park. The falls themselves are almost 130 meters high.

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To my left you can barely another waterfall, Kahuna Falls.

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Rainbow Falls was the next stop for us. As the two falls merge at the bottom you can see a rainbow in the water.


Our last stop for the day was at the Liliuokalani Gardens. These Japanese style gardens are filled with banyan trees, koi ponds, bridges and statues. Perfect for taking a stroll or snapping some pics.GOPR1026.JPG

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WAIKIKI

Waikiki is absolutely one of my favourite places in Hawaii. It is crowded and it is full of tourists, but it is beautiful. G0490833.JPG

I have to admit that I am sucker for the ABC store. I have a wide variety of fake flower hair clips and who could say no to a can of iced Kona Coffee? It’s also a great place to load up on Hawaiian souvenirs like macadamia nuts. Some of favourite finds from the ABC store are coconut peanut butter from North Shore Goodies and amazing tanning lotions from Maui Babe.

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After our obligatory ABC run, we rented some chairs on the beach with a pretty great view.

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Waikiki beach is where surfing was made famous. We decided we had to do some surfing while we were there.

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Being rookie surfers, we thought that it would be best if we took a lesson. We found a local on the beach who gave us a good deal and we were ready to ride some waves.

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We may have bailed a few times and definitely came out with a few more cuts and bruises then we went in with. But surfing Waikiki is an experience of a lifetime.G0530900.JPG

Once our lesson was over we hung around on the beach to watch the sunset. A perfect ending to an amazing day.

Bikini: Triangl poppy in Sea Spritz

HALEAKALA

Basically all land in Hawaii is, or is made from, volcanos. We figured that it would be a tragedy not to visit a volcano while we were there.

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So while in Maui we rented ourselves a car and headed out to Haleakala National Park.

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Obviously we took the scenic route, with a few stops along the way. The views were amazing and the surfers weren’t too bad to look at either.

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We explored some small waterfalls and took in the natural beauty of the island.

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When we got to the base of the volcano the road started to wind all the way up above the clouds. I have to admit we made a few stops on the way up, not just for photo ops, but to ease my motion sickness.

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Finally at the top, over 3000 metres up! Unlike what you may picture when you hear ‘volcano’, Haleakala is dormant. So no spewing lava.

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Haleakala translates to “house of the sun” from Hawaiian. It is one of the best places to watch the sunrise but there was no chance we were going to make it up there that early!

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At the top of the volcano it was much colder than on ground level. We snapped some pictures, took in the amazing view and got back in the car to warm up.

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NAWILIWILI

Before our excursion in Kauai we had some time to kill. We went to Kalapaki beach in Nawiliwili, where we did some swimming and had lunch at the famous Duke’s Canoe Club.

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The palm trees here were amazing, perfect for catching a little bit of shade.

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After a swim and a little bit of time in the sun we went to Duke’s to rehydrate.

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Drinks are always better when they match your bikini.

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TUBING THE DITCH

One of the coolest things we did in Hawaii was on the island of Kauai. At an old plantation in Lihue we went tubing the ditch with Kaua’i Backcountry Adventures.

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The ditches were made in the late 1800’s for a sugar plantation’s irrigation system.

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With about 10 of us in our group we geared up (helmet with a light, gloves and water shoes) and hopped into our tubes!

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The water was cold and at some points we were moving pretty quick. We went through a total of about 5 tunnels. In one of the tunnels we all turned off our headlamps and floated through in complete darkness.

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Definitely a cool experience and way more exciting than your average lazy river!

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HONOLULU

This time in Honolulu my parents and I wanted to do some snorkelling. We heard the best place to do it was Hanauma Bay.

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Hanauma Bay used to be volcano, now it is filled with coral reefs perfect for snorkelling.

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Before entering the park you must watch an educational video about the park and the marine system. A lot of damage was done to the reefs in the past by tourists standing on the coral. Now it is prohibited to stand or touch any of the reefs.

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My family booked an excursion with a private company which provided us with transportation to and from the park, along with our snorkelling gear. If you want you could take the city bus there, bring your equipment or rent some from the park. Just depends on your budget and how much time you have.

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I could have spent the whole day there, swimming with the fishies and lounging under the palm trees.

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Hanauma Bay is a must if you are ever on the island of Oahu.

Bikini: Lilly Pulitzer in All Nighter print