Hawaii - Wonderful Waikiki & Magical Maui

Dairine McGarrity on 16 May 2007

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WOW, that’s what I call a holiday!

After deciding our holiday for May 2007 was going to be Hawaii I tried my best to narrow it down to one Island. Hawaii is made up of six islands and it was a difficult choice. After doing thorough research into the various Islands I decided on Oahu & Maui.

Flying direct from San Francisco to Oahu, Honolulu took just over 5 hours with a 20 min transfer to the hotel on Waikiki Beach. Arriving at our hotel our bags were brought to reception while we strolled through the tropical gardens of the hotel, bypassing a Hula Class. Aloha, we were in Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is full of surfers and water sports activities. Lying on the beach sipping a cocktail, surrounded by fire torches, watching the sunset was truly a blissful moment. One of the main reasons I chose Oahu was to take a trip to Pearl Harbour & the USS Memorial. We took a local bus across the road from the hotel and after an hour we were at Pearl Harbour. We spent 5 hours here and this was a fantastic historic place to visit. Three nights on Waikiki beach was just enough for us so time to leave the “Wacky Waikiki” and off to Maui!

Maui is only a short 30 minute flight from Honolulu so very easy to transfer between the magical islands. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel and our driver was more like a tour guide than a taxi man. It was wonderful to take in so much of the island history and we got all the top tips on where to go.

After staying in a large resort on Waikiki beach to stay in a small intimate hotel at Kihei was more my idea of paradise. I felt extremely happy that we were going to stay here for ten nights. Although Maui is quite small we decided to hire a car. When I’m on holidays I like to be able to explore and with the cost of car hire being reasonable in Hawaii we decided this was the way forward. I have many memorable days and nights from Maui but I guess my two favourite would be “The Hana Highway” and “Our Maui Luau”.

The Hana Highway - People say “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” and I completely agree. The Hana Highway begins at a small town called Paia and finishes at Hana Town. It is almost a 60 mile stretch which connects Hana to Maui. Our tour guide had phenomenal knowledge to share with us along the way whilst playing all his favourite music for us all to have a giggle about. There is nothing quite like the scenery with waterfalls and eucalyptus groves and mile after mile of bamboo stretching from the Hana Highway while on the other side is bordered by the Pacific Ocean offering panoramic ocean views from any spot our driver parked. Swimming off a black sand beach and walking on red sand beaches was something I had not done before, wonderful. If you do decide to drive it make sure your tank is full because you certainly won’t find a petrol station along the way!

On one of our nights in Maui we took the locals advice and decided to book ourselves a place on another of Maui’s most popular activity “The Luau”. Luaus are a typical Hawaiian night of buffet food, drink, music and dance. Most of the hotels host them so we chose a 5 star hotel on Wailea which also gave us the opportunity to see the hotel. Your evening begins with a shell lei popped around your neck and a Mai Tais in your hand! We experienced everything here, from fabulous cocktails, delicious food, and spectacular scenery around the hotels grounds, Tahitian dances, Hawaiian Hula, The Kalua Pig and most of all the breathtaking spectacular Maui Sunset.

Maui has a lot to offer for everyone. There are backpacker’s beach huts, 5 star hotels and family Villas. There are Spectacular beaches and the Shops at Wailea will no doubt keep you occupied for a day with shops of all sorts from Gap to Guess to Tiffany’s.

I really believe that your holiday experience should be as stress free from beginning to end. As I’m sure you can see from my diary that travel is my passion and I won’t stop until I see the world.

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