travel to Hawaii--Maui, Oahu and Kauai

Discussion in 'Travel' started by jerry_gao, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. Hi Folks,

    We are planning to have a trip to Hawaii for this comming July,4th
    holoday, we are going to visit Maui, Oahu and Kauai for 10 days,
    I know 10 days is very short for such amazing island, but we just
    what to get the most of the trip, especially from photograph point of
    Any suggestion is very welcome. Any place you thing we definetely to

  2. I was in Oahu for a week a couple of years ago, and I wish I lived there. I was lucky to get a hotel a block from Waikiki beach. Caution the 9.5 hour flight from NYC. The Polynesian Cultural Center is great. You will visit many sites in the park, each with a different aspect of their culture. The fire dancing show at night is something not to be missed. There is also Haunama Bay-an extinct volcano breached by the ocean forming a protected cove. This is a very popular snorkeling site (equipment rentals were pretty cheap-unlike most everything else). There are many colorful species of fish there, but be careful of the sharp coral. Most hotels are very helpful with brochures of what is available. Ten days isn't too bad, just plan ahead well. Oh, the ABC stores are very good for all the basic necessities like beverages, some clothes, sun block, snacks, postcards, etc. There are so many of them they seem to be located every hundred feet on the main streets. Enjoy, it's the best vacation I've ever had.
  3. Haven't been to Maui, yet. Just hit Honolulu on Oahu--there is a nice easy hike to a fall from just on the outskirts of Honolulu--should be in any guide book. BTW, I highly recommend the "Revealed/Ultimate Guidebook" series (e.g. Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook) There's also one for the Big Island, Kauai, and probably Oahu. IMO they are by far the best of many Hawaii guidebooks.
    Next, my one BIG piece of advice. When you go to Hawaii you must take a helicopter tour. It's pricy, but it is the only way to really see this island. Furthermore, I strongly recommend you use InterIsland Air. They fly a Hughes 500D helicopter with the doors off--the only ones on the Island that do that. It is ideal for photographers. They offer an awesome 2 hour tour that actually lands at a remote mid-island waterfall for a lunch and a swim under the falls. It's not for the squeemish, but I strongly recommend. Call far ahead for reservations.
    There are innumerable places to photograph on all the Islands without getting far from your vehicle, but even more if you have time to hike and explore.
  4. I don't really know what your interests are but here are a few suggestions for O'ahu: Do the Diamond Head hike/walk and at the summit you will be treated to a panorama of the Pacific and Waikiki and the Ko'olau Mountains. Right now the trees are flowering. If the heavy trade winds do not knock the blossoms down, you should be treated to a rainbow of colours from the golden/rainbow showers and poinciana and gold trees. There are a number of these trees within the Waikiki/Kapiolani Park area. For dramatic cliffs, drive out to the Nu'uanu Pali and walk to the lookout point. Best in the morning. For ocean and lava cliffs dropping to the sea, east O'ahu is best. Be careful when wandering over the hardened lava; you can slip on the loose rocks. Makapu'u lookout makes for a nice shot with the ocean, the beach and a couple of small islands. There's Chinaman's Hat island on the Windward side. For botanical gardens and exotic flowers, try Lyon's Arboretum in Manoa Valley or Foster Gardens in downtown Honolulu. Foster's has an orchid display. Best to take a tripod. I may be a bit picky but sunsets have not been too good. Not enough pollutants in the air, I guess. But, sunset scenes from either Waikiki or Magic Island (Ala Moana) are nice. I've only skimmed the surface on O'ahu. But then, you'll have plenty to photograph on Mau'i and Kaua'i. Aloha!
  5. Ditto on the InterIlsland Helicopter ride. I had mine just a month ago and I'm still drooling over the pictures I took of Na Pali coast. Be sure to take at least a 400 ASA film, it's very shaky, also shoot as wide open as you lens is sharp, DOF is not a factor because of the distance. I took a 20-35, and 70-200 lens on the 'copter, but forget changing in flight, besides I took most at 20mm. We took the trip where you land at a waterfall for a break. The waterfall is not much, but the break helps; after 40 mins of flying, with 30 more to go, I was starting to feel a little green - it was very windy.

    Also plan to spend some time (2 days at least) on the North Coast of Kauai: Princeville, Hanalei Bay, and Ke'e beach is incredibly picturesque (sp?). It rains often there (400/year inches in the mountains), so be prepared to run into a quick storm, however they also pass quick, so hang around if you see a shot but the weather is not cooperating.

    I found the best guide book (we had several) to be Ultimate Kauai. I spent 10 days in Kauai, and 3 days in Mauai. Next time I'll skip on Maui. Kauai is prettier, quieter, and less over developed.

    Oh and the best shave Ice is from the RV called wishing well in Hanalei, don't miss it.

    There's a hike going west from Ke'e beach towards Na Pali that is awsome after about 1hr's walking. Don't miss it.

    I miss Kauai !!!

  6. 3 islands in 10 days -- wow, that's hectic!!!

    Oahu is the most populated, and probably the most popular tourist destination. Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach are MUST SEE destinations.

    Kauai is small, but if you're a hiker and nature lover, this is the place for you; to me, the most "native" of the 3.

    My personal favorite is Maui -- the leeward (west) side has the big hotels, but I prefer the windward (east) side, with its lush rainforest -- just be prepared for the sudden showers. Ever ride a bike from the top of a volcano?? This is the place. Best photo ops are the "Road to Hana" -- assuming you dare the drive (hint: do NOT rent a BIG SUV; a Jeep Wrangler is best), and from the 10,000 ft summit of Mt. Haleakala. BTW, if you're so inclined, the annual Kapalua wine and food festival is scheduled for Jul 10-13 this year.
  7. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I love Maui and Kauai; too many people on Oahu. Three days on any island though you're gonna go you're gonna go nuts!

    Let's see. Maui you should strt your day off bright and VERY early up on the Volcano ((Haleakla??)and try and make the sunrise. On your way back down lots of neat views of the island.
    Ioa Needle, worth a stop.
    Take a day trip on the 'Road to Hana'-lots of waterfalls, black and red sand beaches near Hana (the Red sand one is a nude beach, be aware). If you continue on there are the Seven Sisters (? I think that's what its called) pools and more great hiking. Snorkeling on Maui and nearby Molokini is well worth it and doing some under water photography is well worth the effort. Usually they stop at Turtle locations on the way back. I actually saw a Manta Ray here.

    Lovely tidepools as well at night to photgraph.

    Kauai-There is the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific' (can't recall the name right now), Koke'e Park and lovely tree ferns and lots of lovely indigenous birds (unlike most of the rest of the islands where MOST of the birds are non-native). Prepare for rain! Great hikes. If you are lucky you will get some beautiful views from up top of the coastline. Also Nene can usually be seen there.

    There a blow hole on the south side of the island.

    There are a couple of excellent Gardens on the island, well worth the stop if you are at all interested. Then there are the views on the North West coast Na Poli (spelling?) coast-lovely.

    And a 101 places in between. I'm keeping them to myself. ;)
  8. Hello, See my Folder for Pictures. I was there in Hawaii for 22 days, for my Honeymoon. We were there for July 4th last year. We stayed on Oahu and Maui, but heard from other travellers that Kauai is the very, very nice. Let me state that Me and My wife are budget travellars. So somethings may not apply to you, of course, Hawaii and Budget Travel dont really go together, but we try :) First dont spend too much time in Oahu, Make sure your there for the July 4th celebrations, you can sit on the beach and watch the fireworks. Its neat b/c you can see other firework displays going off in the distance... DO the Diamond Head Hike. Takes just 30 mins to reach the top. It is a nice view. I can see why the look out was there. Take a Driving Tour of Oahu, you can see everything there is to see in 1 day. I mean its pretty much a city on an Island. I rented a little samurai for 80$ its the cheapest I could find. FYI: this rental company is on Kuhio Dr, closer to the Zoo. There are some nice secluded beaches at the most North West part of the Island. North Shore is unfortunately flat at this time of year. So no surfers, but shark cove is a nice snorkle. Dont spend too much time at Pearl Harbour. Its nice, The ride is free, but even we didnt feel that the 3 hour wait was worth it. We just wandered around and looked at the memorial on land. If your strapped for time, then better to skip this. Goto Kailua Beach. There were abundance of Green Sea Turtles (which will swim right past you) and the sand is the softest I have ever seen. Skip Hanauhma Bay, go snorkling at the "aquarium". see below. I hear the Snorkleing/diving in Kauai is even better. Maui, The most beaituful place I could ever imagine. Very VERY nice. We only got to stay here for 7 days. But a great 7 days it was. We were very active, and did alot hiking. Haleakala, we did a 12 Mile day trek, which is long, if your not down with hiking, then make sure your there for a sunset/sunrise. (I saw sunrise) I hear they are different but equaly beautiful. I agree with the above, Road to Hana. Get a small car! :) Go to the Oheo Gulch, take the 4mi (RT) hike to Waimoku Falls, it is a very nice hike. Since you dont have much time, if you plan on going to Lahaina or anywhere on the west coast, there is a very nice snorkeling area, it is just past Makena beach, you must hike over an old lava flow, its only 1 mi tops, and not that hard of a walk. Eventually you will come to a little cove that was built by the marines during training. It is to date the best snorkeling I have done yet. Waay better than the "Molokini" trip, that everyone raves about. I plan to return to hawaii to Hike the Na Pali Coast. but I dont have any info for that island :) Sorry for such a long posting, if you want more info, feel free to email me. Nick
  9. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    Three islands in ten days? If you haven't set your plans in concrete, I'd definitely consider reducing it to two islands at the most. What you've scheduled is a mad dash, and Hawaii is definitely not about mad dashes. At such a pace you'll surely miss out on the laid-back Aloha feeling that is the reason for visiting Hawaii (at least as much as the scenery).
    If you're truly committed to three islands in ten days, you'll probably need a vacation after you reach the finish line. A week on Molokai would be a perfect way to recover.
    There are so many things to see and photograph on any Hawaiian island that you can barely scratch the surface in such a short time. Bring a lots of film, a polarizer, and as wide an array of lenses as you can get your hands on. Then try your best (when you're not packing, unpacking, flying, and waiting in airport queues).
    I have lots of pictures of Hawaii on my Web site, which might find helpful.
  10. Wow, so many great advices, thanks a lot, it is the most informative website I have even seen.
    Right now, I just couldn't wait to see the beautiful places you guys
    mentioned and wish we could have more days in hawaii, especially in Maui and Kauai,where we are planning to saty for 8 days in total, but it definitely might be only enough to see the surface of beauty of such paradise.

    Thanks again.

    Thanks again.
  11. I'm a commercial photographer and 20 year Maui resident. Here's some suggestions...

    On Oahu, get out of Waikiki as soon as possible and make day trips to the North Shore, Windward Coast, Kaneohe Bay...all with beautiful beaches and lots and lots of local "color". The Polynesian Cultural center is worth a couple of hours with lots of photo-ops there of cultural dancing from around the Pacific Rim and other interesting exhibits. If you can get into and convince someone to let you into one of the upper-level view rooms of Waikiki hotels like the Sheraton Moana, the Hawaii Prince, etc...there are breathtaking views in early morning and late afternoon of the Waikiki Beach coastline all the way to Diamond Head.

    On Kauai, the Fern Grotto and Falls near Kapaa are very pretty, the north shore of Hanalei and Haena are majestic...hiking into the Napali Coast beyond Haena also well worth the time and effort. Short hikes for a few hours to long camping trips of several days can be done. Far into the Napali, there are fantastic beaches inaccesible except by helicopter, boat ot hiking in as well as an abundunce of flora and fauna and views with every step of the way. Waimea Canyon in the late afternoon is also a worthwhile diversion and very picturesque. It's called the "grand canyon of the pacific".

    On much time did you say you had?...After 20 years, I'm still finding new stuff. Haleakala Crater, the world's largest dormant volcano at sunrise or sunset is like visiting another planet. You can also join a caravan that will haul you, along with a group up to the top (10,000ft+) and then turn you loose on a bicycle to coast all the way down (over 50 miles) to sea level on the North Shore in the picturesque windsurfing town of Paia. All along the way up & down there are majestic views of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe and Molokini Crater. There are also very scenic views of rolling hills, meadows, cattle and horse farms, exotic fruit, vegetable and flower farms. A very picturesque "cowboy" town of Makawao is about 1/3 of the way up and worth a stop for something to eat, a little shopping and photo making.

    The day long trip along Maui's east coast, along the Hana Highway to Hana & beyond to Kipahulu, Kaupo & beyond is a must...deep lush tropical rain forest along pristine, soaring sea cliffs, thousands of waterfalls (depending on the time of year...august is often dry on most parts of the island), exotic tropical flower farms and stunning remote beaches give way to windswept, volcanic rocky grasslands and more amazing ciffs, then to black, barren lava fields, finaly ascending into fragrant eucalytptus forests as you climb slowly back up the volcano to Ulupalakua.

    Lahaina and points beyond all the way past Kapalua are also worth having a look at. Lahaina in early morning and late afternoon is beautiful, a bustling little seaside town, originaly the whaling capital of Hawaii and reminiscent of New England coastal towns. Surfers & crack-heads mingle with rock stars, hollywood types and well-heeled tourists here.

    Windurfing at Hookipa Beach, just past the town of Paia and 10 minutes from the airport is an international mecca for high-performance surfing, wind & wave sailing and kite-boarding. When the tradewinds blow strong, the waves are filled with colorful sails & kites leaping, spinning in the air.

    Ok..I gotta get ready for work now. Hope this helps. Have a safe and enjoyable trip.


    Tony Novak-Clifford
    Maui, Hawaii

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