Hawaii, is a cluster of volcanic islands that belong to United State. One of our most beautiful trips we were surprised by the diversity of its landscapes. 8 days to go around Big Island and O'ahu, why not a little more...
From Montreal, we made a stop in San Francisco then Honolulu and finally Big Island, count 15 hours of travel, 5 hours of time difference and, in winter, 30 degrees difference.
From Paris the trip is more tiring, count at least 22h before seeing the palm trees of Waikiki Beach.
We take you to the land of surf, Hawaiian shirts, volcanoes, sun and macadamia nuts, barefoot!
D1 | Big Island : Naalehu
We started with the largest of the Hawaiian Islands: Big Island.
We arrived on the day of the race of the mythical Iron Man of Kona, a good entry for our stay that promises to be sporty!
From Kona Airport, we took the road to the south of the island, direction Naalehu. We spend the night in a small bungalow at Patty place , the most southern restaurant in the United States! Don't miss the pancakes for breakfast, they are delicious!
D2 | Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
We continued our route east towards the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, where you can admire a working volcano. It is not always possible to approach the molten lava, it depends on the conditions on site, inquire at the Visitor Center when you arrive at the park.
In any case, come back to the park once night falls, you can see the light of the lava on the rocks.
On the road along the park, you will find a surprising landscape lined with steaming volcanic rocks, where vegetation is becoming increasingly rare.
D3 | Hilo and Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
We continue on our way to Hilo, east of the island, where you can take a quick tour in the Japanese garden of the city. Continue north to Akaka Falls State Park to see the tallest waterfall in Hawaii.
Before leaving the island, check out Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park to learn more about the history of the Hawaiian people.
D4 | Napoopoo : Hiking the James Cook memorial.
We finish our Big Island getaway with theJames Cook Memorial Hike.
The start of the hike is pretty hidden, you will find a very small sign in a bend along the Napoopoo road indicating the beginning of the trail.
The hike is quite exhausting, about 1 hour to go down to the monument and 1:30 to go up. A good part of the trail is through the tall grass that mask any visibility.
At the end you will find the James Cook memorial and a small cove for swimming, take your masks and snorkels for snorkeling and admire the many fishs. We advise you however to swim in shoes, the seabed is crowded with sea urchins. Pay attention also to the strong current, the waves can project you brutally towards the rocks.
Also watch out for ferrets, they like have a look in your backpacks!
D5 | O’ahu : Diamond Head Crater Hike
From Big Island, after half an hour by plane, we land on the most famous island: O'ahu.
This island is ideal for hiking on the heights of the island, but you can also alternate between relaxation and surf lessons .
We are doing our first hike at Diamond Head Crater Hike. You can reach the top of the crater really easily and the view is dazzling. We advise you to do it early to avoid the crowd. At the top, have your ticket stamped!
D6 | Koko Head Trail
We have the most difficult treks we've ever had, the Koko Head Trail. 1000 steps to reach the summit, on old rails, the journey is trying in full sun, under heat . Although we have a good physical condition, we did not get out of there without sweat. Remember to hydrate yourself, and watch your feet.
We definitively recommend this trek, you won't regret your efforts, the 360 view on the island is just gorgeous.
It is in the rain that we are going to visit the remains of Pearl Harbor.. The visit of the de l’USS Arizona memorial is touching and the rest of the museum is interesting, to do during your visit!
D7 to 8 | From Honolulu to Wakiki Beach
We then go to the North Shore located on the top north of the island. World famous surf spot known for its impressive waves, violent currents and shorebreaks. The stop is mandatory!
The North Shore made us want to do surf session. Back in Honolulu, we rent a surf board to ride the most mythical beach: Waikiki Beach.
After these 8 days on the Big Island and O'ahu, Hawaii will remain as one of our biggest favorites place and we will definitely come back to explore more of its islands!
- Hiking Koko head trail
- Chez Patty’s pancakes
- Descent to James Cook Memorial
- North Shore waves
- The Honolulu cookies