Day 6 Oahu Island - driving around the island 18 June 2015

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June 18th 2015
Published: June 25th 2015
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Day 6 Oahu Island - driving around the island 18 June 2015

Today was the day I had organised hiring a car so that we could visit the famous northern beaches. At 7.00am Tom picked up a silver 2-door, mustang. What a great car to drive. More on that later.

On 2 previous mornings, we have tried to go to a particularly famous restaurant for breakfast called Eggs-and-Things in Waikiki. There was always a big line up waiting to get a seat. One morning there was a 40 minute wait and the second morning was almost the same. This morning, before driving out of Waikiki, and because we were earlier for breakfast we decided to wait the 20 minutes before we were seated. Eggs-and-Things fame was initially based on it very light, fluffy pancakes. It's menu is very broad now. We sat down to eggs served on pancakes. We couldn't bring ourselves to order the fruit and pancakes because they were served with a mountain of whipped cream (see photos).

We really enjoyed our breakfast and walked out of there with bursting stomaches!!!!! It was certainly worth the experience.

It didn't take Tom too long to get used to the Mustang. He had the 1st driving shift. We headed out of Honolulu towards the south-eastern coastline. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was fantastic. There were a lot of road works along the way because Hawaii is desperately trying to catch its infrastructure up to the increase in cars on the roads. We came across several stretches that we had to wait to get through one lane as other lanes were closed for road works. This did nothing for the opportunity to "open the throttle" of the car.

We constantly stopped at roadside viewing spots to admire the scenery. It was fantastic scenery all along. We drove through many towns also. We saw lots of small islands dotting the coastline. We learned that many of these are not occupied but make great photos.

Our first major stop was the Polynesian Cultural Centre, Hawaii's most popular paid tourist attraction. The Centre offers something found nowhere else: the opportunity to experience the culture not just of Hawaii, but also of seven other Polynesian island groups, all in one place. Recreated traditional villages of Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa (Maori New Zealand), Fiji, the Marquesas, Tahiti, Tonga, and Rapa Nui offer educational exhibits by native islanders, some of which were hands-on. There was also an award-winning Horizons evening show which offered Polynesian entertainment, but unfortunately we couldn't stay that long. The whole Centre was so well set up.

Next stop was for a snack. We had heard about the famous Garlic shrimps in Hawaii, which are bought from colourfully painted vans, parked on the side of the road. We spotted one with an Australian flag and bought some garlic, chilli shrimps which were served with rice and extra chilli sauce. Wow, were they yum! Because we had such a big breakfast we decided to share a plate. We would highly recommend them.

The next part of our drive was for the spectacular beach sites.

First was Kailua Beach Park which is located just below the Kaneohe Bay and directly above Bellows air force station. This beach is famous for its excellent swimming and wind surfing. With nice fine sand, and a backdrop of tiny offshore islands, this makes for one of Oahu's most beautiful beaches. Recently, the beach has suffered from erosion, removing a significant amount of sand from the shoreline. As a result, the space available on the beach has been severely reduced.

Kualoa Regional Park is located further along the Northeast side of the island in the Kaaawa region, this beach is rarely crowded and has a great view of the offshore island, Chinamans hat, so called this due to its resemblance of the peasant's chapeau worn by rural Chinese. With Kualoa mountains in the background you might feel you are in the movie Jurassic park, due to the fact that Kualoa range is where much of the footage took place.

Next was Sunset Beach which is so called due to the beautiful sunsets that occur almost every day on this spot, this white sand beach is one of the longest running beaches on Oahu, stretching 3 km in length and between 61-91 m in width at some spots. In the winter months, Sunset beach is home to one of the best surfing spots on the island and features several international surf competitions.

A few minutes along the road we came to Banzai Pipeline is on the North Shore. Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore is the "happenin' place to be. It is one of the most famous surf sites for professional surfers all around the world like professional surfer John Florence and Nathan Fletcher. The waves reach up to the possible height of 9-12 m in winter.

We had a "swim" in Banzai . Poor Tom got dumped by a wave and stood up with a ton of sand in the pocket of his bathers (and other places we needn't mention in this blog!!). Even standing on the sand when the wave is going out is tough to stay upright.

We then came across Waimea Valley Visitors Centre formally known as Waimea Falls Park, the National Audubon Society received a contract from the City and County of Honolulu to operate the site as a nature preserve. The preserve is home to endangered moorhen and a botanical garden with both endemic Hawaiian plants and other plants from around the world. The centrepiece of the park, Waihi Falls, is where you can swim in the pool at the base of the falls.

Next stop, after we turned off the north shore road and headed south, we came to the Dole Plantation a famous pineapple farm. Once a roadside fruit stand, this tourist attraction has been renovated and billed as "Hawaii's Complete Pineapple Experience." Among the attractions is a pineapple variety garden, a 20-minute miniature train ride into the surrounding pineapple fields which we took. There is also a Pineapple Garden Maze, recognized in the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest maze.

From there we scootered down to the H-1 Freeway and then turned west to catch the sunset at Nanakula Beach Park. It was a balmy evening and with some cloud, it made a wonderful sunset. We bought some dinner and ate it on the foreshore. Beautiful!

From there, we headed south and then east, back to Honolulu to drop the car off by 9.00pm.

Was having the mustang worth it? Yes, even though speed restrictions of 25 & 35 mph cramped our style, Tom was able to open it up along the Freeway and once when I was first in line at some stop lights, I flattened my foot and got from zero to 40mph in seconds, listening to the V8 rumble. Yep, it was worth it!!

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