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Tips for an aussie in Hawaii.....

Old Jul 13th, 2003, 11:52 PM
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Tips for an aussie in Hawaii.....

I know its the wrong section but I figure north americans interested in oz/nz are probably of higher travel "iq" than some others.

Wife is on sabbatical at U of Hawaii for several weeks.Planning to join her for around 10 days.Have been to oahu/wakiki before.
Interested in...
Hana on Maui
Big island...captain cook and volcano
Kauai..the prettiest island

What do you reckon?
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 12:21 AM
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John -

I reckon it's all good.

I've been to OZ, NZ and all the islands of Hawaii except Lanai (on my to do list).

As for Hawaii, personally I like Kauai and the Big Island, although Maui also has much to offer. Kauai is less crowded and touristy, more lush, and it has some gorgeous, uncrowded beaches as well as some very nice golf courses.

Kona, on the Big Island is a close second. We used to go to Kona every year, but it's grown alot over the past 10 years. Having seen it prior to the growth boom, it's lost some of it's charm for me, but it still manages to retain some of that old Hawaiian feel that doesn't seem to exist on Maui or Oahu. If you make it to Kona, be sure to sample the 100% Kona coffee. I'm hooked on the stuff.

Kona doesn't have much in the way of beaches, but Volcano National Park is definity worth a visit. It's a full day trip (there and back) from Kona.

Maui is nice as well and offers the usual water sports, lots of beaches and golf courses, a pineapple plantation, and loads of tourists. When on Maui, we stay on Napili Bay - it's off the beaten path a bit, and is a quiet area with a gorgeous beach and good snorkeling.

Oahu is my least favorite as it's just a big city, although it's still possible to escape to the north shore - great surfing if you're into that.

We've been to Molokai too - it's very quiet, not much to do, but a good place to get away from it all.

The diving is good on Maui and the Big Island. Kauai also has some good diving, but it depends on the time of year and the rainfall, which tends to create alot of run off and obscure things somewhat.

We've done the road to Hana, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure what all the fuss was about. However, I took some motion sickness tabs due to all the switchbacks, so that might have dulled my appreciation somewhat.

We also biked down a volcano on Maui at sunrise and that was a lot of fun. Maui is a good place to be during whale season - quite a sight.

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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 06:22 AM
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Dear johhj,

Well a chance for us to advise you at last.

We are big fans of the big island. Volcano NP is quite spectacular. Depending on where lava is flowing you can walk out pretty close to it. This is esp fine at night. The top of the park (Volcano) is up in the rain forest. Lots of nice places to stay up there. You should overnight as there are a couple of days of hikes, sites etc.
If you can spring for a heliocopter ridr sometimes they are a treat ( but more expensive than down under).

Hilo often overlooked because it rains alot, is charming. There's a big hula festival there in the spring.

You can actually drive almost all the way around the island. The road breaks at Populu/ Waipio valleys on on the north, You can hike in from either end of take a tour in from the east.

The east coast (wetter) is a line of atmospheric old sugar towns w/ farm worker cottages.

Parker Ranch sits in the N Center and is still I believe the largest in US ( smmall by your standards; 200,000 A +/-. Trail rides there sometimes and in the N Kohala mts above.

So. of Kona and where Captain Cook was killed is the "City of Refuge" a major historical site w/ the remains of a heiau and boat builders etc.

The beaches of the N Kohala coast are the most spectacular and although some are tied to hotels all have limited public access. Hapuna is a fabulous state beach park much favored by locals

The beach at the Mauna Kea is also worth trying to get down to. Its a perfect white sand crescent. The Mauna Kea was the first major resort hotel out side of Waikiki and the governor gave Laurence Rockefeller his pick of beaches. The architecture is stunning and its filled w/ asian /pacific art( they give tours some mornings which I think are open to the public.) The hotel is very expensive (+$500US/night) but if you can afford it the sunday buffet is fabulous. arrive at 11:30 and pace yourself til 2PM! you won't need dinner.

There is good whale watching in the winter.

N of Kawaihae on the road to Hawi is Lapakahi State Park a reconstructed 14C fishing village w/ a nice beach.

If you get up to Hawaii, check out the Bamboo Inn for greta lunch and occaisional impromtu hula.

Ask around everywhere to see if anyone is dancing. The hula is really beautiful and the traditional music is lush. Sometimes the hotels have good dancers in their bars, but if you can catch a hula school show that's the best. Borders in Kona has a greta selection of Hawaiian CDs

Mahalo,

AndrewDavid

PS the introduction to James Michener's HAWAII is also a good romanticed read as the wheels touch down. Its almost like a tone poem and probably a pipe dream
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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Oops...I forgot about Hapuna beach on the Big Island as AndrewDavid mentions - it used to be somewhat secluded, but now there's a huge resort steps from the beach. Great for the hotel guests, but a bit of a bummer for those of us who knew it back when...

Waipo Valley is definitely worth a visit - it's located on the North coast of the Big Island - it's six miles deep, has a 2,000' waterfall and is the longest valley on Hawaii. You can hire a 4WD to take you into the valley - as if the views weren't enough, the local commentary is very entertaining. The valley is full of wild fruit trees and taro.

Bianelli's is a good Italian restaurant in Kona. The Oceanview is an expensive diner across from the Kona seawall that specializes in local favorites and has been in business for ages. It's a good place to sample the local eats.

Brick Oven pizza is our all time favorite place to eat on Kauai.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 08:52 AM
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Make that "inexpensive" diner.
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Old Jul 15th, 2003, 06:48 PM
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Thanks very much for your replies.

Please be patient while i ask a series of dumb questions which reveal my laziness and lack of research!

But I promise never to ask
-is kauai/lizard/kakadu worth it?
-will it rain in Hana in the second week of october?

Weather
what is the weather like in sept /october?
Is there a typhoon/cyclone season?
Whats this trade winds,leeward/windward,rainy/dry side, business?

Accomodation
We are not rich,the little aussie $ is weak and in any case we are not interested in the mainline hotel stay.
We are looking for...clean,functional,friendly,
self cater,economical,"dare i say "budget accomodation. Are we chasing rainbows?

In particular my wife is rather alarmed at potential cost of accomodation in honolulu for a couple of weeks. Any ideas?

Getting about
Is there effective competition on inter island flights?
Is there a local "rent a wreck" on each island?

Attractions
Looks like Maui and the Big Island have got the nod.

Other
Has polynesian culture been swamped by the US? "california uber alles"? Just like the "51st state" down here.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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John -

The only rent-a-wreck in Hawaii is in Lihue, Kauai.

You might want to check out this site:
www.discounthawaiicarrental.com.

For accommodation:
www.lodging.bz/hawaii.php

or: www.vrbo.com (vacation rentals by owner)

Condos and self-catering cottages are everywhere. If you can locate one managed by the owner you can probably save some money. The longer you stay, the better the price.

It is possible to travel to Hawaii on a budget, but it will take some research. If you want to stay near the beach, I'd suggest staying near it or across from it, not on it or next to it, as that drives up the price considerably.

The windward side is the side from which the wind blows - it usually gets more rain than the leeward side, which is drier and gets more sunshine.

Here's some info I borrowed regarding the weather in September and October:

September - The weather continues to be very warm, the height of summer here in the tropics. Some of the highest temperature readings of the season occur in this month. Tropical Storms and Hurricanes rarely enter Hawaiian waters, but this is the month when they come the closest and are more apt to affect the weather on Maui. Normally they stay far away, but when they get close enough to the island, they make the residents uncomfortable with the muggy atmosphere they produce. Hurricane Iniki entered into the adjacent waters, and impacted the island of Kauai in September of 1992. Tradewinds blow on the average 83% of the time. Sea water temperature averages about 80 degrees F.
September averages for different locations on Maui

Lahaina 89-70 F. (31.7C-21.1C) .34" of precipitation

Hana 84-70 F. (28.9C-21.1C) 5.38" of precipitation

Kahului 88-70 F. (31.1C-21.1C) .35" of precipitation

Kahului % of possible daytime sunshine: 62%

October - This is the month that temperatures begin moderating from summers high heat a little! Tradewinds also begin to fade from the island weather scene. In some years, Maui begins to see the first winter-like storms that are far out to sea in the North Pacific......they sometimes can produce the first large waves of the season. Occasionally one of these early winter storms will send a weak cold front through the islands, which can cause a few showers. This month is still mild and dry. Tradewinds are blowing on the average 71% of the time. Sea water temperature averages about 79 degrees F.
October averages for different locations on Maui

Lahaina 88-69 F. (31.7C-20.6C) 1.09" of precipitation

Hana 83-70 F. (28.9C-21.1C) 7.02" of precipitation

Kahului 87-69 F. (30.6C-20.6C) 1.23" of precipitation

Kahului % of possible daytime sunshine: 60%

Not much competition on inter-island flights. I think there are only two airlines - Aloha and Hawaiian. At one time you could purchase a booklet of flight vouchers - we did this a few times, and it saved us some money. Just ask the airlines, as I'm not sure if they're still offered.

Hawaii feels very much like the rest of the US, if that's what you mean by "polynesian culture being swamped by the US".

Hope this helps.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 08:53 AM
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i think since you are an ozzie and can see fabulous beaches every day of your life (too lucky!) that you will most appreciate a hike on the kalaulau trail of kauai's north shore- it is strenuous and unique and can take you a few days with camping if you'd like...

i think you are better off with white island nz or vanuatu for a real lava belching volcano and will be disappointed with the foot only offerings of volcano- though americans rave about it...

hana's ok- in the wet season the waterfalls are ok- but really for anyone reading this- this man lives in the most gorgeous part of theworld...nothing you can see in hana is not available in daintree //cape trib...

smell the flowers and gawk at the resorts: hyatt and princeville on kauai...and otherwise look forward to returning home...
 
Old Jul 16th, 2003, 05:32 PM
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Thanks again for your replies...we have gotten a go on and started to refine our plans....

my wife has found a budget apartment in wakiki that will be suitable.

we will be flying air canada,sydney-honolulu as qantus only have a couple of flights a week these days..everybody is flying lax-sydney non stop.

we have decided on a week on the big island...first week of october.

fly in from oahu
get a car..potter around the island for a week.

hilo,volcano,lava,waipo valley,kayak to captain cook monument,snorkel etc etc

got to keep costs down...thinking of joining the backpacker crowd..pvt room at places like arnotts?

yes hot&sweaty i know we live in gods country and in particular we have the worlds best beaches.
I am interested that the big island has similarities to the mt warning caldera/big scrub lava flow area where i grew up and happen to think is the best part of oz..(Macadamias,pineapples,rainforest etc
You must have climbed warning,been to Lamington H&S?

AS for other volcanos..have been to tanna,pompeii and climbed volcan villarica in chile.
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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 04:20 PM
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Mel,A/D,Others

now got flights and car for seven days on the big island

looking at staying at Hilo and around Kona for similar times

where did you stay? any recommendations?

is there an anti-white vibe amongst younger hawaiians?

whats the best way to find out where the lava is flowing?

can you walk in and out of Waipo?

my wife likes "markets"...whats the best,most colourful on the island? Pahoa??

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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 04:58 PM
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johhj,

The National Park Service provides info re lava flows on their information line; as I recollect you get a live body at the Park. Volcano House, the hotel overlooking the main crater ( not the most active just little spitting in its inner section) usually knows where it is flowing. I assume most b&b's etc in Volcano know this as well. `

AndrewDavid

PS if you are stargazers, Mauna Kea has a crown of major international telescopes . The Unizuka Visitors Center Has stagrazing nightly at about 3100m (its cold) Maunea Kea is snow capped perenially
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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 05:04 PM
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Thanks A/D

Guess we can't take the rental up to Mauna Kea...absolutely fascinating..snow and ice up there.

What about those craft markets etc?

How is your oz itinerary looking?
Bringing your timing forward?
Will be warmer for Tassie.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 01:11 AM
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John -

We've taken a rental car up to Mauna Kea several times. We've also driven the entire saddle road more times than I can count. The rental car companies don't want you to drive these roads, but.....

A four wheel drive might come in handy on Mauna Kea though - it does get a bit dicey once you leave the pavement by the ranger station.

Yes, you can walk into Waipio Valley. It's rather steep, but only a mile long. If you want to spend the night there, you might want to check out Tom Araki's Hotel - super cheap at $15 a night, no electricity! You can also camp on the beach - you'll need a permit from the Bishop Estate.

As far as where to stay - we've stayed at Kona Bali Kai, Kona Reef & Casa de Emdeko, all condos on Ali'i Drive - oceanside. We've also stayed at The Kona Billfisher, a condo across from the beach and a bit cheaper. Good location, nice big units.

Here's some info on markets I borrowed from the KonaWeb:

KONA

Kailua Village Farmer's Market Flowers, produce, macnuts and coffee. Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Across from Hale Halawai, Kailua-Kona.

Kona Farmer's Market Fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and breads. 8 am. - 2:30 pm. every Saturday and Sunday; one vendor on Wednesdays. Kaiwi Square, Old Industrial Area, Kailua-Kona.

Alii Gardens Marketplace 50 merchants, food for sale, as well. On Alii Drive, 2 miles south of Kailua Bay Pier. Wed.-Sun., 9am-5pm. Info: 334-1381

Captain Cook Farmer's Market Monday-Friday (Open air every Thursday). Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, orchid plants and crafts. Free tours of a macadamia nut and coffee operation. Call for times: 328-2412. 82-5810 Napoopoo Rd. (Look for pink donkey sign.)

South Kona Fruit Stand Tropical fruits and plants near the old Higashi store, Mon-Sat, 9 am to 6 pm; 84-4770 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Captain Cook. Info: 328-8547.

KA'U
Ka'u Farmer's Market Held at Na'alehu Theater every Sat., 8 am to noon. Elizabeth, 929-7236.

VOLCANO
Volcano Farmers Market Produce, flowers and baked goods. 8:30-11 am. every Sunday. Cooper Ctr. Betsy, 967-7209.

PAHOA
Pahoa Village Farmer's Market Large, covered, outdoor market with fresh fruits and vegetables, clothing, food and coffee booths, music and more. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. every Sunday.

Caretakers of Our Land Farmers Market. Local produce, plants, flowers, fish and small livestock. 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. every Sat. Sacred Heart Church. Cherie, 965-8963.

Maku'u Farmer's Market 8am-2pm. Hawaiian crafts, plants, produce, jewelry, shells, ethnic and recycled clothing, food, records/cds, books. Maku'u Farmer's lot, Keaau/Pahoa Hwy. Call 965-1441 for more info.

HILO
Rainbow Falls Market Place. Hula show, free samples, homegrown and handmade products from island crafters, local farmers and home-based businesses. Mondays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. across from Rainbow Falls. Mike, 933-9173.

Hilo Farmer's Market. Local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods and box lunches. Local arts and crafts. 7 a.m.-3 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. Corner of Kamehameha Ave. & Mamo Street. Keith, 933-1000.

Panaewa Hawaiian Homestead Farmer's Market Fresh produce, fish, and treats. 8 am.-5 p.m. every day on the sidewalk in front of the Hilo Walmart. 960-2861/959-0488 (msg.)

Mamo Street Market Open 7 days a week, 8am-5pm. Mamo Parking Lot, Hilo.

Swap Meet Every Saturday at Pahoe Plaza.

HONOKA'A
Downtown Honoka'a Farmer's Market Begins at 8 am on Saturdays. Fruits, baked goods and crafts.

WAIMEA
Hawaiian Homesteaders Assn. Farmers Market Produce, flowers, baked goods, potted plants and crafts. 7 a.m.-12 p.m. every Saturday. Kuhio Hale Bldg. 885-5627.

HAWI
"Under the Banyans" Farmer's Market Saturdays, 7:30 am till 1:00 pm. Fresh produce, seasonal fruit, plants, craft items. Recycling bins provided for glass and aluminum - so bring your recycling! Call 889-0615 for more info.

KEAAU
Keaau Village Farmer's Market Fresh local farm produce featuring super sweet corn, flowers, handmade Hawaiian arts & crafts. 9 am to 5 pm every Friday. Produce available 7 am-5 pm daily.

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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 03:48 PM
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Thanks so much Mel and A/D..if you are ever in sydney....

Have got the lonely planet "big island guide" and have borrowed "big island revealed" from the north sydney library.

Some great pics in "revealed" like the one from hilo harbour with mauna kea in the background.Strikes me that the Hilo area is quite like the Mt Warning area of northern nsw and se qld. Anyway we will see.

Ok what tips have you got for four days "off the beaten path " in oahu
pearl harbour
bishop museum
nice spot on the north shore?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 07:26 PM
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Pearl Harbor is interesting, right ON the beaten path though. Since you'll have a car, I suggest you avoid the tour bus and go there yourself. Much cheaper and you'll see the same things.

It's been several years since I visited the North Shore of Oahu. We stayed at the Turtle Bay Hilton, which was very nice, but quite expensive.

I found a great website for the north shore that you might want to check out:

www.northshoreoahu.org.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 09:22 AM
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John -

FYI - the Ironman Triathlon will be held on October 18, 2003 (Big Island - Kona). I'd avoid this at all costs - it's going to be very crowded and expensive.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 03:25 PM
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Thanks again mel..

itinerary set at...

partner sydney-honolulu sept 1
me sydney- honolulu sept 27
both honolulu-hilo oct 1
both hilo-honolulu-sydney oct 7.

will be back on leafy north shore of sydney on oct 18.
have you got plans for "down under"?

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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Dear johhj,

Just remembered a treat from our stay in Oahu. We stayed at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel out near Diamond Head. I know you have an apt, but if you want a romantic meal try the Hau Tree restaurant in that hotel. Set on the beach, good food and not too expensive. The Honolulu Academy of Art has James Michener's outstanding collection of Japanese woodblock prints if you like that kind of stuff as we do.

AndrewDavid
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 11:05 PM
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Aloha johhi,
My husband and I spent 1 wonderful week in Sydney this Feb and would love to show you and your partner some aloha when you are here. My husband used to teach at UH prior to a stroke in 98 which took away his ability to teach but has not taken away his zest for life and love of people. We live in Honolulu in a neighborhood called Makiki which is close to UH and not far from Waikiki. I agree with the poster who recomended the Hau Tree which is right next to one of our favorite swimming and sunset watching beaches called Kamaina Beach. We have an Entertainment Book which will give you 2 for 1 which will make it much more reasonable (dinner for 1 in the $20.+ $ range, excluding beverage, desert, extras, tip). Can share the book with your partner to enjoy prior to your arrival and then when you arrive you will both be set. It also has some offers on the Big Island(we always buy 3 and still come out $$$$ ahead). You will have a great time visiting our islands, guaranteed!

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Old Jul 24th, 2003, 12:35 AM
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John -

Won't be in Oz anytime soon, but will spend 28 days on the South Island of NZ in September - can't wait!

Have a great trip to Hawaii - sounds like you've made some friends there already!
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