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Now what?

Canberra
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Now what?

I've just booked some flights to Hawaii for myself and my girlfriend in late January for a week. I guess our budget for the week in accommodation would be about $1500-2000.

NOW WHAT???

Neither of us has been there before and have no idea where to go and what to do.

We love our eating out, cocktails, beach, spectacular scenery and boutique hotels.

Probably like to stay in a couple of different places and take in as much of it as possible from there.

Lake Macquarie...
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1. Re: Now what?

Are you intending to stay on the Island of Hawaii or the Hawaiian Islands?

Canberra
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2. Re: Now what?

I've got no idea at all! Is it hard to get to the islands from the big one?

I think it would be a shame to stay on the main island the whole time.

Lake Macquarie...
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3. Re: Now what?

Okay, SHONK. Here's the drum…

You fly to the Sate of Hawaii, landing on Oahu, at the Honolulu airport. Oahu is the most-populated island and Waikiki is in Honolulu. Oahu is not a large island at all. You can drive from North to South in just over an hour. In crude comparison to Australia, think Surfers Paradise in the south and Bellingen in the north (I did say crude).

The Island of Hawaii (Big Island) is a few to the east and you grab a plane to island hop. This is the only island that has active volcanic activity. The south-east is the Volcano national Park. If you or the lady are asthmatic, think seriously about this, as the VNP area does have a sulphurous content in the air. 2x of our party of 6x in '05 experienced mild bronchial distress and nausea and just stayed in the vehicle after their initial viewing of lava fields. I experienced no irritation at all, but could "taste" the sulphur.

That being said, the Big Island has a lot to offer. The north area is very lush, contrasting against the harsh & stark lava fields. As the name suggests, the island is much larger than all the others. A driving tour around the island will take you a FULL day, even if you stop only occasionally.

Please read the information columns at the top right & left of the forum pages to gauge what you may be interested in. Do a bit of basic research and then chuck some more questions at the forum for assistance. I only stayed a couple of days on the Big Island, so I'll let a D.E. wade in to give you a hand about that.

Island hopping is really easy, but does eat up a fair bit of time hanging around the airports, arranging transport, etc. In '05, we did Maui, Hawaii and Oahu in 8 days. In hindsight, it was simply too much to do in too little time. We only saw a TINY bit of each, but it did whet our appetite to return time and time again.

Happy hunting.

LA
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4. Re: Now what?

Which airports are you flying into/out of, just to be sure we all know where you will be arriving.

Chicagoland
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5. Re: Now what?

If you're coming from Sydney, you're flying in and out of Honolulu on Oahu. If you have only one week, stay on Oahu. You can find a decent hotel on Waikiki Beach for $200/night. This is where you will find the 'action' you seek. The entire island has the scenery you seek. Reserve a rental car for at least one day to drive Oahu's beautiful east and north shores.

This site has aerial views and reviews of almost every lodging in the State of Hawaii: www.wizardpub.com

Look at the "Honolulu" and "Oahu" forums.

Honokaa, Hawaii
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6. Re: Now what?

What is a boutique hotel?

Sun City West...
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7. Re: Now what?

haoleboi...

to give you an idea of a 'boutique hotel'...check out www.kaimana.com

SoCAL
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8. Re: Now what?

I haven't stayed at the Otana, but I LOVE having breakfast and dinner at the Hau Tree Lani restaurant on their property. The hotel does look nice, though. It's a bit further from all the shopping, restaurants, nightlife in Waikiki, but the beach there is nice, the park is close by, you're closer to Diamond Head, etc...there should be public transportation (I've always just walked back and forth and generally stay at the Hilton Prince Kuhio).

You should use this TA site to review the hotels in Waikiki and make the decision for yourself. For one week not sure if it makes sense staying in two places if you're on Oahu -- especially w/o a car. You can stay in Waikiki for the whole time with no car, and there's public transportation as well as excursions that will pick you up at your hotel. I wouldn't recommend two islands for only 7 days, you lose enough time flying between islands, checking in/out hotels, that it's not worth the hassle to lose precious relaxation & fun time. The only time I'd recommend is if you're going 6 nights on one other island and then one night on Oahu (to/fly in/out anyway) to plan to fit in one day/half day to see Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, or other attractions if you're interested in those things.

You might like Maui best for your first visit, but doesn't have the nightlife like Honolulu/Waikiki. But it is much less crowded. All of the islands have spectacular scenery. You'll have to pay for another flight to transfer from Oahu/Honolulu to all the other islands.

Sun City West...
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9. Re: Now what?

flippergirl...

the hau tree is great, isn't it. we've stayed there (otani kaimana) and absolutely love it. the upper oceanfront rooms have an absolutely spectacular 180 degree view of waikiki from the large wrap-around lanai...and at night? fuhgetaboutit....just stunning.

a bus does come by the hotel but am not sure which number. the walk from the hotel to 'waikiki central' is about 15 mins at a moderate pace. (i actually timed it) we prefer it there due to its location away from the 'zoo' of waikiki...it's quiet and again...for the view.

Honokaa, Hawaii
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393 posts
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10. Re: Now what?

I'm pretty sure we are boutique free in Honokaa. :)