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Hawaii Favourites

Hawaii Favourites

I had the BEST holiday with the perfect amount of time to relax and recharge.  I'm generally not a big fan of doing super touristy things, or being amongst huge crowds, so I try to strike a balance each time I travel with cultural experiences and some down time. 

I love the fact that in Hawaii you can rock swimwear practically everywhere, and I took the opportunity to kit myself out in Bras N Things.  Swimwear made by a lingerie company is incredibly supportive and the one pieces are super versatile!  I wore them by the pool, on the black sand beach, when I was shopping, hiking through the bamboo forest and out to dinner.  Packing made easy!

 Here are some of my favourite moments from our trip!

1.  The Road to Hana  
I was lucky enough to receive a guide to Maui from some friends of mine who live on Oahu and also have gypsy feet.  They recommended downloading the Gypsy Guide which can give you guided drive tours using your phone GPS.  We decided to wing it, with a few key stopovers and it was the most beautiful drive.   We drove through the rainforest, had lunch at the Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach and ended up stopping in the Kipahulu National Park to hike through the most beautiful Bamboo Forests and then up to the Waimoku Falls.
*Please note: take it SLOW, and you want to be a confident driver if you plan on continuing in the same direction after Hana, the road's very windy, a little sketchy and there's a lot of places where if you come across an oncoming car, you'll need to squeeze past.   

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2.  FOOD!
Some of my personal favourites on Maui and Oahu after this trip.

  • Shave ice with fresh Kauai lychees at 100 Sails Restaurant at the Prince Waikiki.
  • Garlic shrimp at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on the North Shore of Oahu.
  • The BEST crab I have ever eaten at Karai Crab in Honololu.  It's kind of in a residential area, and you get to wear one of those hilarious bibs, but believe me when I say that the crab and prawns are epic!  
  • Poké absolutely everywhere - we actually became a little obsessed.  Even the Poké Bowls at Poké & Box in the Ala Moana Mall were a great takeaway lunch for us to have on our travels or on our hotel balcony.
  • The fresh fruit!  Papaya with lime, pineapple, mango and chilled drinking coconuts are aplenty at little food trucks at the roadside, or even in the Foodland Supermarkets.
  • Mama's Fish House in Paia, Maui - the menu changes daily and states what kind of fish was caught, by whom and where THAT MORNING.  After chatting with our waiter, we ordered something that had come in after the menu was printed - a Tahitian Style ceviche served in a coconut, a jackfish dish and a macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi stuffed with crab and lobster.  Oh, and they shake and serve the cocktails at your table 👌🏼
  • Aussie style coffee and breakfast at Arvo.  Sometimes you miss a good avo on toast and (in Mick's case) a double shot flat white.  He was so happy to find good coffee 😂
  • I can't tell you how many times in the last few months I have heard Mick talking about the Blueberry Pancakes at The Modern, so that was a must for us.  If you're a pancake lover - tuck in! 
  • When I asked the crew at Maui Jim HQ what was a must-taste in Hawaii - they insisted on me bringing back cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company!  They make delicious shortbread cookies in a bunch of flavours, and they do the cutest packaging, so these make great presents when you don't have much space in your bag on the way home *ahem*.

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3.  Kanoehe Sandbar
I'm unsure as to whether or not you can go to this if you're not military - I believe there's one tour group that goes out there, but when the tide goes out and the sand appears, you have the most perfect 360° view of everything you love about Hawaii.  Mountains, ocean, paradise!  Only accessible by boat, and you get to see all the cool military aircraft doing their thing.

4.  Kakaako Murals
This was recommended to me by Shaylen at the Prince Waikiki and it's where the locals go.  It's a really cool area that was once a bunch of warehouses, that's been converted into a haven of street art and the amazingly cool SALT complex.  SALT houses everything from the aforementioned Arvo, a record store, yoga studio, Orange Theory, an actual chocolate bar, a film camera shop, uber pretty surf shops and a restaurant we really liked with live music, called Moku Kitchen.  The whole area reminds me a bit of the Wynwood Walls art district of Miami.  A must see for something a bit different and less touristy.

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5.  Koko Head Hike
I'm still unsure as to whether I loved this or hated this, but it's going on the list of things you should definitely do...with a caveat.  *Please don't do this hike if you're not sure-footed or relatively fit.* 
We did see lots of people doing this hike, of all ages, sizes and fitness levels, but it's much more enjoyable if you have a level of fitness to go from.  It's an old rail track-turned-hike, with 1048 near-vertical tracks to climb.  Some of the gaps between are really big and you may have to take a few (re: several) rest stops on the way up, but the view at the top is worth it! 
Don't be a numpty like me and do it on an empty stomach or you'll feel a bit sick at the top.  If you're going to take things with you, (eg a camera, water bottle or phone) you may want to take a backpack or have a way to attach it to you so you can focus on your balance on the way down. 
It's a bit brutal but you feel really proud once you've conquered it!  

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6.  Hawaiian Sunsets
On this trip, I didn't actually get to do a couple of things I love to do on every trip to Hawaii - swiming with turtles or stand up paddle boarding - the heavens opened with a huge storm on the day I had this planned - but one of the things I'm forever in awe of is a beautiful Hawaiian sunset.  I was spoiled at the Prince with floor to ceiling glass windows in my room, and a gorgeous infinity pool.  I rocked one sunset doing some sunset yoga with a girlfriend and Mick and I chilled out with a Mai Tai for a few beautiful ones at the Sheraton in Maui.  Protecting your eyes should go without saying, and I was lucky for us to be kitted out with the best for our trip - Maui Jim Sunglasses.

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I'm already craving a little more tropical time whilst the tail end of winter is here in Australia, I think I might have to spend next Aussie winter over in the Northern Hemisphere - what do you think?

Holiday Recharge

Holiday Recharge