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Hawai`i is one of those amazing holiday destinations that is on most Kiwi’s top 10 places to visit. Its only about 9 hours direct flight and now with the introduction of direct services from Hawaiian Airlines, and of course good ole Air NZ ramping up services in response, it’s now cheaper and easier than ever to wing your way to the Aloha capital.
With Hawai`i being such a focus for some of our top TV shows (and you can often see Hawai`i 5 0 being filmed if you are in town!), we can be mistaken for thinking we know all there is to know about Hawai`i. Basically isn’t it just where the big boys go surfing the huge waves, mum shops and kids play in the sand? Actually Hawai`i has so much more to offer that it’s a great all round destination for all of the family – not just the beach loving ones (although it IS an amazing place for beach fans to go!)
For example, the shopping in Hawai`i is some of the best you’ll find. In addition, there are several attractions that you should take time to visit while holidaying on these fair isles.
Our House of Travel specialists have gotten together to come up with the top 5 things that you might not know about Hawai`i. So check this out and make sure you grab yourself one of the cheap fares in the market right now – it’s never been a better time to go!
Disney Resort – Aulani
While there isn’t an actual Disneyland on any of the Hawaiian islands, Disney have built a hotel which is like Disneyland for the overnighters! It’s amazing - Disney has done what it does best and also worked with locals to create a Resort that celebrates Hawaiian culture, history and traditions. The complex is huge and there are numerous options for stays (hotel style, apartment villas etc). There are heaps of pools for kids with slides and fun activities, as well as the option of Mickey and Minnie joining you for breakfast! The resort is out of town (ie not down at Waikiki beach) so if you want to get away from the crazy busy of Waikiki, then this might just be the option for you!
Surfing for Toddlers
You don’t have to be experienced or a ‘big kid’, or even know how to swim to learn to surf in Waikiki. It’s true that the North Shore of Oahu has the huge surf you see in the movies, but Waikiki has a world famous gentle ‘break’ which is a long rolling slow small wave that is perfect for learning to surf. Even toddlers can learn (my 3 year old has given it a go and she can’t even swim!!).The instructors do the paddling and they surf on their knees behind the kids who are on the front of the board. When the wave is caught, the instructor literally holds the back of her rash shirt while she goes into the ‘kneel then stand’ position and then she ‘surfs’ the wave into the beach with him on the back – amazing and something your little ones will remember forever!
North Shore Surfing
More experienced at surfing, you don’t need to settle for the gentle beginners break at Waikiki and contrary to popular thought, you don’t have to go to an outer island for great surf. The North Shore of O`ahu (the island your flight lands on) has fantastic surf. Timing is important though, as surfing on the North Shore of Oahu doesn't happen all year like some people think. November and February are the best times to watch big wave surfing. In the summer, from May to September, the waves subside, creating perfect places for swimming and sunbathing and it can be very flat - no waves at all!
Renting a Car
Many travellers assume that since Oahu is so big and populated with cities and smaller towns, that they will have access to the same facilities on Maui, Big Hawai`i and the other outer islands. On the neighbouring Islands there is limited or no public transport so we highly recommend hiring a rental car. It’s really easy to drive on not so busy roads and the locals are friendly drivers.
You don’t have to stay stuck in a hotel during your Hawai`i holiday. If you are thinking of staying at a condominium (apartment for those who don’t speak American!) and you don't feel like taking a trip to the grocery store or would like to have your groceries delivered before you arrive simply order online at islandgroceyservice.com.
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