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Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Brisbane, Australia
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Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Hi guys! firstly a massive thank you to TA experts!! your advice really is appreciated!!!

We travelled to Honolulu from Brisbane with Hawaiian Airlines, the flight left early can you believe it! Older plane with ipads to hire (which we did bit steep at $17!) on board service was fine not excellent but we are very low maintenance passengers, food was so so.

After loads and loads of research and review checking I booked the Outrigger Reef on the Beach through expedia as they had free cancellation. Hotel was great, really happy with the location and facilities… except for the street noise!! (will post a detailed review on ORR) cab from the airport… wish we have of collected the rental car at this point but you live an learn!

Day 1-

We couldn’t check in to the room yet as it was only 9am, so we dumped our bags in search of COFFEEEEEE!!! didn’t have to look far as the starbucks right in the lobby…. We where feeling a little worse for wear having flown overnight with little sleep so we took a little mini nap by the pool then had a quick bite at the pool side restaurant.

PM walk around the area down to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for a drink.. .. man am I glad we didn’t stay here what a zoo!! Wandered back toward the outrigger along the beach for sunset BLISS…. Dinner was room service lights out by 8pm

Day 2

overcast and rainy… booo well might as well get our long shopping list started off to Ala Moana.. looks really close on the map says my darling husband yep I know exactly where it is cue us walking for over 20mins PAST The shopping center!!! With me saying this doesn’t look right… stopped to ask a lovely courier driver for directions! Yep wrong way turned around and arrived at the shops. Wow this place is massive can’t believe how many stores it has! 5 hours later we emerged with my credit card slightly dented….

Day 3-

Collected rental from Alamo (rented through discount car Hawaii) – Thanks TA for the tip

(The GPS unit we also hired gave us a mini navigated tour as we drove around the island which was neat)

Drove out to Kualoa Ranch what an amazing place ( I have posted a more detailed review) we did the 2 hour ATV tour on the ranch and a look around, we didn’t care too much for the food items in their café so we went exploring ended up finding somewhere to stop, we then made an impromptu stop off at the waikele outlets. We didn’t find too many “good buys” here even though we had printed the coupon booklet. We each brought a pair of vans sneakers for half of what they cost in Aus! We headed back to hotel and had dinner at the pool side restaurant.

Day 4-

North Shore- Overcast, showers and windy  booo again not really a beach going day but we had to go on this day due to the rental being due back. We left early and had breakfast at Haleiwa café YUMMM! what a great little place! I Love eating at one off non chain places!! The blueberry pancakes are to die for!! We drove to Waimea Bay but couldn’t stop as the car park was full and so was the park across the road  It was Easter Sunday so I assume way more people than usual.

We spent quite a while at sunset beach after the sun briefly showed itself.

We stopped in at the famous Givovanni shrimp truck early in the afternoon I was a little underwhelmed but coming from QLD, we are spoilt for seafood but can understand how others might have only tried shrimp for the first time here so would love it.

Day 5 – woke up super early to do the diamond head hike… plug it into the GPS it could only find the diamond head beach park we could not find the entry to the actual car park

Pearl Harbour memorial in the afternoon. Such a humbling and moving site I’m really glad we were able to pay our respects.

Day 6 our last day!!!  one and only fully sunny day since we arrived!! We decided to keep the car an extra day since we didn’t make it to hanauma bay. We got up early again to avoid the crowds unfortunatley it was a Tuesday so it was closed….I did know this through my earlier research but simply forgot what day it was!!! Little disappointed but we decided to keep driving to the blow hole and up to the other beaches which ended up being quite nice anyway.

It was 3pm by this stage so decided to try the cheesecake factory for lunch to see what the big deal is… I have to say it wasn’t all that great but hey each to their own!

We took a little nap in the afternoon and had a late dinner at a lovely Sicilian restaurant quite close to our hotel called Taormina something… excellent service, and the food was sooooo goood! We had a great view of the street so good for people watching.

Overall we missed out on doing quite a few things due to the less than stella weather, but I would go back to Hawaii in a heart beat but next time go for longer and spread out the time across the other islands.

Orlando, Florida
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1. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Very nice TR, Kofbrisvegas! Sounds like you still had a lovely time even with less than stellar weather and a closing or two. Appreciated your extra details on places you went and ate. And sounds like we will be hearing from you on a future trip too! Yay!!!

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Great review thanks for sharing. I am heading to hawaii next week and also booked a car hire through discount hawaii car rental. Hope they are efficient! Also booked the 2 hour ATV tour at the ranch..

Did you pre reserve a ticket for pearl harbour?

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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27,600 posts
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3. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Nice trip report! Thanks!

As far as the weather, Hawaii can be a hit or a miss. Most times it is a hit (mostly good weather or at least being able to drive to or take the bus to a better location where it isn't raining).

"wish we have of collected the rental car at this point but you live an learn!"

Not sure what exactly you mean! But I'm guessing that you mean that you wish you would have rented a car at the airport.

That is usually my advice, though I temper it for those who drive on the opposite side of the road. I leave it up to them.

Day 5 - GPS is only as good as what is input to it. I wish you had driven around the crater & entered the crater near Kapiolani Community College (KCC). You would have seen the signs for the entrance.

I'm old school & have never had or used GPS.

Nothing wrong with GPS. It usually gets you where you want to go.

For future visitors, I recommend the Top Question, Driving tours with or without GPS.

Brisbane, Australia
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36 posts
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4. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

World Traveller- yes we reserved our memorial tickets online for a tiny fee, it was a couple of weeks before we left, I recommend it as we were able to plan the day out. We only had to wait about 15 mins at the Alamo desk to sort out paperwork.

Yes I meant collect the car from the airport, would have been more efficient and we could have had other days drive around the island more, but at the time of booking we weren't sure what the traffic/driving would be like on the "wrong" side turns out it's no problem! but everyone is different so you probably right with your advice :)

We were abit out of sorts so didn't really know what to type into the GPS, I assumed that it would be quite obvious where to go & if you look it probably is we just missed it, I did print out the driving instructions but it's no good if you leave it in your luggage!! LOL

6 days really isn't long enough!

Edited: 05 May 2014, 07:18
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940 posts
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5. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

I am beginning to think we were on the same flight, arriving same weather!!!! We were fortunate to have just over 2 weeks so good days/overcast days/drizzling days - but with so much to do the time passes quickly. I cannot believe how much you packed into such a short time. We also stayed at the Outrigger reef but were fortunate to be able to get into our room immediately - a quick shower and off to Ala Moana via the walk along the beach, past HHV, over the bridge and there we were. Thanks for your trip report and do hope you make the return visit - it is worth it.

Santa Monica, CA
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for Santa Monica
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6. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

I am so sorry the weather interfered with your visit, but it sounds like you made the best of it! Thanks so much for sharing your report and hope you get to return again - to sunny skies and warm trades!

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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7. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Thanks for the report. You did pack quite a bit in in your short time here. Glad you enjoyed it, even if the weather wasn't perfect!!

Parsippany, New...
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288 posts
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8. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

We are also staying at outrigger on the reef..I cant wait to go

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9. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Thanks for sharing your trip report! It sounds like a great trip, even with rain. Love how you dented the credit card...hehe. Guilty of that before :) Can't wait to hear your review on Outrigger Reef, we are staying there in September.

sandy, utah
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10. Re: Trip Report - Sorry it started out short!

Dusty-I don't see any ? related to driving tours with or without a GPS. I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to bring my one from home vs. just printing out directions from google maps.