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Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

Toronto, Canada
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Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

Hi everyone, ok after reading countless threads we’ve got an itinerary. We’ll be travelling with my mother, aunt, and one year old from September 20 to Oct 12. We love hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving. We will be staying in condo’s or hotel rooms with kitchens so we can cook for ourselves. No interest in shopping or restaurants, we have no shortage of them at home :) We’ll be renting a car everywhere we go. We’ve got a little over three weeks.

It may look weird that we have 3 days in Maui at the end but my aunt would really like to see Maui if only for a couple of days so it is what it is. The itinerary seems a little crazy but it’s just to know we’ll have enough days for everything, the order of the days will change once we get there and play things by ear, the weather, etc. If you have anything you reccomend we check out that isn’t listed (beaches, towns, points of interest, activities), then by all means please share!

Kauai - Hanalei Bay:

1: Arrive Lihue AM, drive to Hanalei, get settled/groceries, beach day

2: Hike Kalalau Trail to Hanakoa Valley (no baby)

3: Beach/Snorkel Day (Ke’e, Hanalei, Tunnels, Akini - all worth checking out?)

4: Buffer/weather day.

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Will do a helicopter tour in the afternoon at some point in the week, I’m assuming afternoon is best light with the sun in the west? Boat tour sounds interesting but may be too rough for mom/aunt.

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Kauai - Poipu:

5: Drive to Poipu (Kilauea Lighthouse, Queen’s Bath, Walua Falls, Spouting Horn) - what towns and other sites worth stopping to explore along the way?

6: Scuba Diving (hopefully Ni’ihau)

7: Hike Nualolo/Awaawapuhi loop (no baby, or is this trail ok for baby in back carrier?)

8: Take mom/aunt to Kalalau & Pu’u O Kila Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Polihale Beach sunset

9: Hike Pihea/Alakai trail (baby in backpack carrier)

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Big Island - Kohala Coast Mauna Lani:

10: AM flight to Kona, groceries, get settled at Mauna Lani resort. Manta scuba night dive KDC

11: Beach day: Maka’iwa Bay best for beginner snorkeling, Honoka'ope & Wailea Bay also great?

Anaehoomalu Bay nice for sunset stroll?

12: Snorkel Honaunau Bay (Two Step), visit Kona, Hula Daddy Coffee Tour? Surfer Bear Lessons

Sunset & stargazing at Mauna Kea, rent 4x4 from Harpers

13: Mauna Loa hike from weather station

14: Kula Kai Caverns tour (or is Kazumura better?), Pelagic Magic dive

15: Buffer/weather day: open day

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Big Island - Volcano:

16: Drive to Volcano via Waimea/Hawi, Waipo Valley Lookout, Laupahoehoe Point, Akaka Falls and Hilo for groceries.

17: Volcano: Visitors Center, Sulfur Banks, Steam Vents, Cater Rim Drive, Kilauea Crater Iki Trail, Turston Lava Tube, Pua Po'o Lava Tube (if timing works), Jagger Museum sundown

18: Volcano: Hike to Lava Flow/Kalapana side or lavaland tour or boat tour? Chain of Craters Road

19: Drive to Kona stopping at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Papakolea Green Sand Beach. Return rental car, afternoon flight to Maui

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Maui - Kaanapali Beach?:

20: Maui: Scuba Dive Molokini or Lanai, Afternoon: Drive to Honolua Bay, Acid War Zone Trail/Nakalele Blowhole

21: Haleakala Crater Sunrise. Mom/Aunt crater pony ride while we hike Sliding Sands to Halemau’u Trail. Stop at Maui Ocean Center on the way back

22: Hoapili Trail, Ahihi Reserve (snorkel?)

23: Fly home

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Thoughts?

Edited: 05 February 2014, 03:14
Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

Sorry for the weird editing, tripadvisor does some funny stuff to my posts sometimes, it certainly didn't look like that in the preview!

Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

I think you'll get a lot more responses if you post each individual itinerary on the specific island forums, while including a general outline for the trip so people know (I.e, here's my proposed Kauai itinerary, I'll be on the BI for a week after and spending three days on Maui...)

But I'll tackle your proposed BI itinerary here:

"Beach day: Maka’iwa Bay best for beginner snorkeling, Honoka'ope & Wailea Bay also great?"

I would just stay put within the Mauna Lani and do Makaiwa and Honokaope. Waialea you can do another day time permitting. Same with Anaehoomalu. The sunset at the Mauna Lani is really nice that time of year and you'll have the fishponds at sunset which are lovely.

"12: Snorkel Honaunau Bay (Two Step), visit Kona, Hula Daddy Coffee Tour? Surfer Bear Lessons"

No to Hula Daddy. Look at Greenwell. I would add in Pu'uhonua O Honaunau. Skip the surf lesson, do that on Maui. It's not good here especially that time of year and that will make the day too long.

"Sunset & stargazing at Mauna Kea, rent 4x4 from Harpers"

Ok, I would really advise a tour. Harpers is difficult to work with and it's such a hassle picking it up and dropping it off, plus it's expensive. Also you'll never know how you'll react to the altitude coming so quickly from sea level. Note there is no stargazing on the summit, it closes at sunset.

"16: Drive to Volcano via Waimea/Hawi, Waipo Valley Lookout, Laupahoehoe Point, Akaka Falls and Hilo for groceries."

You won't be driving via Hawi. Hawi is in North Kohala on a completely different road that dead-ends. Otherwise it's fine.

"18: Volcano: Hike to Lava Flow/Kalapana side or lavaland tour or boat tour? Chain of Craters Road"

As noted on the BI forum it's unlikely there will be any accessible lava activity but in any case a big NO to the lava boat tours. Search the Island of Hawaii forum for more info. Also you should have had time the previous day to do Chain of Craters.

"19: Drive to Kona stopping at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Papakolea Green Sand Beach. Return rental car, afternoon flight to Maui"

There's no quick "stopping" at Papakolea, it's a couple hour hike each way, your rental car contract prohibits driving even down the road to Ka Lae where the hike starts, and it would be a very bad idea to leave luggage in the car. Also it's in general not a good idea to drive cross island on the day of a flight out as traffic, accidents, weather and road closures can cause unforeseen problems. But since it's just an interisland flight you should be ok, just leave lots of extra time and don't stop anywhere where luggage in the car is an issue. If it were me I'd just head across on the saddle and maybe check out Kukio and Kikaua Point, which has basically guaranteed turtles, maybe have lunch at the lovely adjacent Four Seasons before catching the flight at the airport ten minutes away.

Other than these tweaks, looks good.

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

You know, I just realized you will have a one year old. Volcanoes National Park is absolutely completely contraindicated for a child that age, even by the NPS. Volcanic fumes are toxic and can be very damaging to young lungs. You should strike that from your itinerary IMO, or else have one of the other adults in your party stay with the child elsewhere while you explore the Park. Perhaps you already intend to do this as you mention a lava boat tour and hike which I am quite sure you would never take an infant on. Also any hiking in VNP is not advised with an infant in a backpack not only due to air quality but the unstable lava rock

footing which can absolutely have devastating consequences if fallen on with a baby in a carrier.

Edited: 05 February 2014, 04:13
pzp
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4. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

3. All those beaches are worth visiting. (And it's Anini, not Akini.) Don't miss exploring Hanalei Town. There's a good farmers market just on the outskirts on Saturday mornings.

5. Skip Queen's Bath. It's really not such a big deal and can be dangerous when surf is up or if a rogue wave happens. Kapa`a has some cute shops and is worth a walk around. Do stop at Opaeka`a Falls and the Wailua River overlook. It's just a few minutes side trip up Kuamo`o Road from the main road. You might also want to take a look, and maybe a swim, at Lydgate Beach

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5. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

As I was reading, first thing I thought was to suggest you post in the individual forums with the included explanation of days on the other islands. Then I saw Shea had done so.

The general Hawaiʻi forum is useful for getting feedback to pick an island at the early stage. However, it is not a separate forum. All the posts for all islands surge into it and quickly bury the topics. You want your itinerary topic to stay on the front page of the forum, which it will if you do each island separately. Also, some of us only look at the big forum occasionally. I check it when Iʻve gone through all the Island of Hawaiʻi topics.

For your Big Island portion, I agree with everything Shea said. Will look again if you post separately.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

Ah ok will repost separately, did not want to spam the forum.

So, did I pick the right beaches? There’s so many it’s hard to know where to go. Maka’iwa, Honoka’ope, Wailea & Honaunau for snorkeling? Any other’s we shouldn’t miss for whatever reason? Kukio and Kikaua Point high priority?

Ok will surf on Maui, looks like Surfer Girls is the best. I just figured in might be easier to squeeze in on BI since we’re there much longer. Will also swap Hula Daddy Coffee Farm tour for Greenwell.

Regarding taking tours for Mauna Kea, we’d be 3 adults going up which would cost $600. I believe a 4x4 rental from Harpers is $100 + tax. For stargazing it’s at the visitors center at 9,000’ after you come back down after sunset right?

You’re sure on day one at VNP we can fit all that in and the drive to chain of craters? Regarding fumes to be honest I had no idea they were an issue, I assumed anywhere the fumes were blowing would be off limits. Is there anything we could do with the baby in the park and perhaps split the day up, half with her, half without? Staying in Volcano is ok?

I know there’s no active lava flow but you never know, it’s six months away, could get lucky :) I see the boat tours are not encouraged because of safety concerns, hiking is no problem. If there’s no active lava flow is it still worth doing a hike somewhere on the old lava?

Good point about Punalu'u & Papakolea and luggage, guess that won’t work. Maybe we will just fly out in the morning out of Hilo instead of the afternoon in Kona and have an extra day in Maui? Depends on how much the dropoff fee costs.

Thanks again!

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

"So, did I pick the right beaches?"

Definitely for snorkeling but if you want the very best beaches on the island for sand and beauty, I would go to Kauna'oa and Hapuna, time permitting. and yes, IMO Kikaua Point and Kukio are one of the most beautiful shoreline places in all Hawaii. The ever present turtles are a bonus. You're a little short on time on the west side. I would consider adding a day to the west side and dropping one from the east. Or dropping the Mauna Kea plan. You definitely can not take a baby to the summit, the tours limit the age at 16 or older and it would be a terrible idea to take an infant up there. I wouldn't even take a baby to the VIS.

"For stargazing it’s at the visitors center at 9,000’ after you come back down after sunset right?"

Yes.

"You’re sure on day one at VNP we can fit all that in and the drive to chain of craters? "

Yes. I've done this many times :-) But I would never take a small child.

"Regarding fumes to be honest I had no idea they were an issue, I assumed anywhere the fumes were blowing would be off limits. Is there anything we could do with the baby in the park and perhaps split the day up, half with her, half without? Staying in Volcano is ok?"

Staying in Volcano is Ok, it's the Park that is the issue.

"If there’s no active lava flow is it still worth doing a hike somewhere on the old lava?"

Not outside of the Park. It is cool to visit Kalapana and Kaimu for the scenery and black sand beach.

"Maybe we will just fly out in the morning out of Hilo instead of the afternoon in Kona and have an extra day in Maui? Depends on how much the dropoff fee costs."

Could be a good idea. You can sometimes avoid a dropoff fee if you book through Costco.

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8. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

Thanks, ok so Maka’iwa, Honoka’ope, Wailea & Honaunau for snorkeling and Kauna'oa, Hapuna and Kikaua Point/Kukio for nice walks. Hopefully we can fit them all in!

9. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

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10. Re: Help with 3 week itinerary Sep/Oct (Kauai, Big Island, Maui)

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