Oahu Island Guide 2022See inside for details about getting around,
sightseeing, shopping, nightlife and more
About Oahu Sometimes called “The Gathering Place,” Oahu certainly
lives up to its name. The third largest Hawaiian island is home to
the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of East and
West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native
It’s this fundamental contrast between the ancient and the modern
that makes discovering Oahu — from bustling city life to laidback
surf towns — so enjoyable. You'll find plenty of different options
for exploring Oahu's different regions, the island's many
activities, its eclectic restaurants and accommodations.
Honolulu - The State Capital If Oahu is the heart of Hawaii, then
Honolulu is its racing pulse.
In this cosmopolitan capital city, you’ll find everything from
historic landmarks to fine dining to world-class shopping. Home to
the majority of Oahu’s population, Honolulu stretches across the
southeastern shores of the island, from Pearl Harbor to Makapuu
Point, encompassing world-famous Waikiki Beach along the way.
Landmarks and Attractions Located on the south shore of Honolulu,
the world-famous neighbourhood of Waikiki was once a playground for
Hawaiian royalty. Known in Hawaiian as "spouting waters," Waikiki
was introduced to the world when its first hotel, the Moana
Surfrider, was built on its shores in 1901. Today, Waikiki is
Oahu’s main hotel and resort area and a vibrant gathering place for
visitors from around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua
Avenue you'll find world class shopping, dining, entertainment,
activities and resorts.
Waikiki is famous for its beaches and with Mount Leahi (Diamond
Head) as your backdrop, the calm waters of Waikiki are perfect for
a surfing lesson. In fact, legendary Hawaiian waterman Duke
Kahanamoku grew up surfing the waves of Waikiki. Today, surf
instructors in Waikiki perpetuate Duke’s legacy by teaching
visitors how to surf and canoe.
The Duke Kahanamoku Statue, located on Waikiki Beach, has become an
iconic symbol of Waikiki and the surf culture of Oahu.
But there’s more to Waikiki than just the beach. Attractions of
Waikiki like the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium offer fun
for the whole family.
Among the various things to do, high-end boutiques, shops, and
restaurants can be found all along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues and
at gathering places like the Royal Hawaiian Center,
the Waikiki Beach Walk and the newly transformed International
After sunset, the fun continues with amazing nightlife and live
music. Best of all, Waikiki is within a half hour of a variety of
Oahu attractions, including Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace,
the Nuuanu Pali Lookout and Hanauma Bay Nature
Preserve, a marine life conservation district.
The most important landmark in Central Oahu sits to the south in
historic Pearl Harbor, the largest natural harbour in Hawaii.
This active naval base is home to five Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
that you can visit: The Pacific Historic Parks, the USS
Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum
& Park, the Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Oklahoma
These special monuments commemorate the historic events that
changed the course of history during World War II.
On your way from Honolulu to the North Shore, you’ll pass the
Leilehua Plateau in Wahiawa and see sprawling fields of pineapples.
Get a closer look by stopping at the Dole Plantation, where
you can learn about the spiky-but-sweet fruit’s legacy on Oahu and
cool down with a delicious frozen Dole whip treat. Kids will love
running through the huge three-acre shrub maze.
At the Hawaii Plantation Village, explore a living history museum
of restored and replica sugar-cane plantation homes to get a sense
of how people lived and worked more than 100 years ago. In Central
Oahu, you can also take a tour of famous Aloha Stadium, home of the
University of Hawaii Warriors as well as many other events
throughout the year.
The sunny and dry Leeward Coast of Oahu lies at the foot of the
Waianae mountain range just 30 miles from Waikiki, but the contrast
between the regions is striking. Where Waikiki offers urban hustle
and bustle, the Leeward side of Oahu is less developed, with
picturesque towns, beautiful off-the-beaten-path beaches and rural
landscapes to explore. Fun and family-friendly attractions in the
area include the Paradise Cove Luau and the Wet n’ Wild Hawaii
water park. Local beaches include Makaha Beach, one of the first
spots where surfers began big wave surfing, and Yokohama Bay.
At the very end of the road, you can hike to Oahu’s western-most
point at sacred Kaena Point for incredible Pacific Ocean
If you hike to Kaena Point, be sure to stay on the trail because
the area is also a bird sanctuary, and bring water and other
supplies with you because the remote area doesn’t offer amenities.
Leave no trace, and pack out whatever you brought with you in order
to respect the land and maintain the pristine natural area for
Wet n’ Wild Hawaii Wet’n’Wild Hawaii is Oahu’s top 10 most visited
family attraction on the island and voted "Best Family Attraction"
is also the new home of Chief's Luau - Hawaii's highest rated
Located in Kapolei, Oahu’s "Second City", the park features more
than 25 exhilarating attractions. Nestled on 29-acres in lush
tropical landscaping and natural cliffs, you will find a different
adventure in each corner ideal for families and thrill seekers
Makaha Beach Activities: Fishing, scuba diving, surfing, swimming
Amenities: Parking, restrooms, showers, lifeguard
Makaha Beach has the best surfing on Oahu’s west coast and is one
of the places where big wave surfing was pioneered.
Beware of the sloping sand beachhead that can cause backwash and
catch unsuspecting visitors off-guard.
Waves can reach up to 25 feet. When the ocean is calm, this is one
of Oahu’s most popular dive sites.
Kaena Point On the western tip of Oahu is Kaena Point. This
dramatic lava shoreline is said to be the place where the souls of
ancient Hawaiians would jump off into the spirit world and meet the
souls of their ancestors.
The only way to get to Kaena Point is by hiking. There are two
trailheads: From the north side, or Mokuleia side, drive to the
very end of Farrington Highway and park at the trailhead.
From the south side, or Leeward Coast side, the trail starts at the
end of the road past Yokohama Beach and its three “dips,” or
breaks. This west side Oahu icon offers white sand beaches, diving
and the possible sight of dolphins.
Windward Coast As you drive over the sloping Pali Highway,
skyscrapers and the sprawling city of Honolulu give way to lush
valleys and country landscapes.
Exiting the tunnels east of the Koolau Mountain Range, it feels as
if you’re entering a different world and a turquoise ocean shimmers
in the distance. A trip to the Windward Coast reveals a
slower-paced side of Oahu, and some of the most stunning natural
beauty anywhere in Hawaii.
From Kailua town, you can head in two directions. Go clockwise down
the coast to Sea Life Park, Makapuu Point Lighthouse and eventually
Leahi (Diamond Head) and Waikiki.
Or drive north spend a day exploring the Windward Coast as it winds
lazily around the island toward the North Shore, offering
interesting stops along the way, like the serene Valley of the
Temples, which is home to a stunning Japanese Buddist temple.
Driving along the two-lane highway you can't miss Mokolii, the tiny
island fondly known as “Chinaman’s Hat.” Stop at the park and
stretch your legs or have a picnic.
Just across the highway you’ll find one of Hawaii’s most seen but
least-recognised locations: Kualoa Ranch. A generations-old
family-owned ranch, its scenic valley has provided the backdrop for
countless movies and TV shows, including "Jurassic Park" and
"Lost". Fortunately, it’s not just for the stars; visitors can
enjoy horseback riding, zip-lining, ATV tours and host of other
From here, Kamehameha Highway meanders past Kaaawa
(“Ka-ah-ah-vah”), gentle Kahana Bay and around the northern-most
tip of the island to Oahu’s North Shore, home of the best surf
spots in Hawaii—and some say— the world.
North Shore If the perfect wave exists, you’ll find it on Oahu’s
North Shore. The towering, glassy winter waves of this legendary
surf mecca draw the best surfers in the world, while smaller and
gentler summer waves are better for beginners.
Stretching for more than 7 miles, the beaches of the North Shore
host the world’s premier surfing competitions including the biggest
of them all, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (Nov - Dec).
Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach and Sunset Beach are great places to
sunbathe and stroll along the shore.
From May to September, the waves subside, creating a more tranquil
atmosphere for surfing and swimming. Whilst visiting the North
Shore take a road trip to the charming surf town of Haleiwa Town,
where you can shop, eat like a local and cool off with
rainbow-flavoured shave ice.
The longest-running and highest-rated dolphin snorkel tour on Oahu,
Dolphins and You is a premiere ocean adventure for visitors and
locals alike. With transportation from Waikiki included, the
all-new 55-foot power boat departs from Oahu's pristine west
This is the natural home of Hawaii’s wild dolphins, surrounded by
the stunning Waianae Mountain Range.
Begin with an authentic Hawaiian plumeria flower ceremony and
chant, "E Ho Mai" to bring you good fortune during the voyage. Then
you will cruise the West Side in search of Hawaiian Spinner
Dolphins. As the name implies, Spinner Dolphins are known for their
acrobatic spinning skills and long-snouts.
The trained guides, life savers and free divers will make sure you
feel safe and comfortable in the water.
After swimming with the dolphins you'll come back on board to head
to one of the premiere snorkel spots in the area, Makua
Here you'll snorkel among a diverse array of sea life including
"Honu" (sea turtles), fish and occasionally manta rays, whales and
The crew will then pull out an amazing supply of water activities,
such as kayaks, paddle boards, and an all-new 20-foot water slide!
Or, just relax on the two-deck boat or wraparound bow seating and
enjoy a nice day on the water. The choice is yours!
On the way back you'll be entertained by the amazing crew. They'll
perform ukulele, authentic hula dance and songs. They might even
teach you a dance! Before we get back to harbour you'll enjoy their
signature taro bun cheeseburger (vegetarian options available) to
replenish your energy.
A quick group photo at the dock, and then you can head back on the
bus to enjoy a leisurely, air- conditioned ride back to Waikiki.
Wetsuits are available to rent for a small charge.
Nature and You ($64.00 per person/4 years and older) Experienced
local guides will lead you through the Manoa Valley Rainforest to a
towering 150-foot (45-metre) waterfall, Manoa Falls! This waterfall
and its trail's location have been used in movies and television
shows such as Jurassic Park and Lost.
With transportation from Waikiki included, the hike begins at a
trailhead in the middle of the island, surrounded by massive jungle
trees and stunning colourful plant life. The entire trail is an
experience. There are many hidden secrets and treasures to behold
along the way, such as a bamboo forest and a natural tree
Enjoy the breathtaking and lush scenery of Hawaii while the guides
share interesting Hawaiian cultural facts and history. Ask them to
tell you the story of the mysterious Menehune, or ancient Hawaiian
‘elves’. See if you can spot them in the trees! Listen for the
calls of native Hawaiian birds - some found nowhere else on
The trail can be somewhat muddy (it’s a rainforest, after all), so
be sure to bring comfortable shoes and a light jacket. At the end
of this 45-minute hike, the trees clear to display the “valley of
rainbows” and your reward: 150 feet of cascading fresh water!
Bring a camera to capture the beauty for yourself.
It’s all downhill from there, as you head back along the trail the
way you came. Take the time to revisit your favourite sights along
the trail and ask your guides any questions you might have.
After the hike, you will have worked up an appetite. You will enjoy
a healthy “power lunch” at the hidden gem Kaimana Farm Cafe.
Utilising local and organic ingredients, this is the perfect way to
end your adventurous day!
Island and You - 9 hour tour (£118 per adult/£94.00 ages 2-11) This
is the best way to get a true local experience of Oahu in just one
day! Visit historical sites full of sacred energy (mana), learn
about the culture of ancient Hawaiians and shop for the perfect
souvenir as you tour around Oahu. And above all, come hungry!
Nearly all of the ten stops along the Island and You Tour are
paired with authentic Hawaiian treats and meals. With
transportation from Waikiki included, the tour begins with a view
of the infamous crater Diamond Head from Kapiolani Park as you tuck
into a tasty scone from the local favourite Diamond Head
Next, we visit the gorgeous healing pool of Makapu’u, where ancient
Hawaiians performed spiritual cleansing to keep the mind and body
in balance. Here you will enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the
Oahu’s Windward coastline and shimmering turquoise waters.
As you depart from Makapu’u, take in the majestic Ko’olau Mountain
Range views as you head to your next stop.
Our first meal stop of the day at Waiahole Poi Factory. Tucked away
in the quiet backcountry of Kaneohe, the Waiahole Poi Factory
offers traditional Hawaiian favourites like Kalua Pig, squid luau,
and, of course, poi! But don’t get too full off of these
delicacies, because the next stop is the Macadamia Nut Farm. See
how they harvest these healthy snacks and sample the island’s
freshest macadamia nuts and coffee. Visit the gift shop for the
perfect easy souvenir to take home!
Next, see one of the island’s most iconic views at Kualoa Beach
Park. Nicknamed “Chinaman’s Hat,” the famous Mokoli’i island lies
just off the coast. Young Hawaiian chiefs used to practice for
their roles in this sacred space during ancient times. And behind
the park, the steep, ridge-lined Ko’olau cliffs shoot up into the
sky for a panoramic view!
After the fun in the sun at this energy-filled stop - you guessed
it - more food! You will be served up Hawaiian Kahuku-style shrimp
at Fumi’s in Kahuku, the birthplace of this style of shrimp! Fumi’s
garlic shrimp plate will have your mouth watering.
Right nearby, you can pick up refreshing tropical fruits like mango
or lilikoi (passion fruit) at the Kahuku Land Farm. You’ll take the
fruits you picked up at the Kahuku Land Farm to the next stop at
the dreamy Sunset Beach. A popular surfing spot, this beach is
known for its prime sunset views. But you’re not done - there’s
still three more stops on this full-day tour!
Next stop is a popular spot to see the Honu, or Hawaiian Sea
Turtle! They often come ashore at this scenic point location to
sunbathe. You will connect with them from a distance, as they are
federally protected. From there, continue your journey onto the
historic surf town of Haleiwa.
Stroll around, check out the shops and art galleries, and try a
colourful, cooling dessert at Matsumoto Shave Ice!
Last but not least, the Island and You tour gives you the important
chance to respect and connect to true Hawaii through a spiritual
visit to Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument. Oahu is rich with
experiences to offer.
Don’t miss out! Make the most of your time in Hawaii and take a day
to see, taste and feel it all.
Horseback Rides, Gunstock Ranch. If you want to experience Hawaii
as a Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy), then Gunstock Ranch is the right
place for you.
Discover Hawaii with an amazing horseback riding tour on Oahu!
Their horseback rides are suitable for all skill levels. Join them
for a beautiful and true Hawaiian experience and enjoy the island’s
natural elegance and peace.
From Keiki Rides to the Advanced Rides, the beauty of Hawaii is for
everyone to experience. All Hawaii horseback rides at Gunstock
Ranch must be booked at least three hours in advance.
Scenic Experience - I hour $82.00 This Oahu horseback riding
experience includes a safety briefing and mounting. On this
one-hour tour, you and your horse wind through shady trails and
open grazing pastures.
The highlight of this ride is the pastural views and the hidden
cave that was used in the filming of Hawaii 5-0. There are many
sneak peeks of the ocean, so don’t forget your camera!
They want you to feel like you have experienced a true Paniolo
(Hawaiian Cowboy) horseback ride, which is why they keep the
horseback riding tour groups small. On this ride, you are likely to
see wild pigs, cattle, and other horses roaming the valleys, hills,
Skilled riding adventure - 90 minutes $135.00 If you are looking
for some “giddy-up!” on your ride, the Private Advanced Trail Ride
combines the beauty of the Hawaiian country in Oahu with the
adventure of skilled riding.
This is a 90-minute guided experience that provides the opportunity
for controlled trotting and cantering within the ride. This
experience is for those who have ridden a minimum of five times to
those who are experienced riders.
Wranglers do a safety briefing and assessment with each rider. They
assess riding skills and base the pace of the ride on the “least
skilled ability” of the riders in the group. Wranglers are
responsible for keeping the ride safe and all riders on their
horses, so they make the judgment call on how fast the ride moves
This ride does not guarantee that riders will get out to trot or
canter as it is based on wrangler assessment of riders’ ability to
stay safe in the saddle. In the event a ride isn’t safe at a trot
or a canter, you’re still taken out on an awesome private riding
experience at a safe pace.
Riders must be at least 12 years old and no pregnant riders
allowed. The weight limit for the Advanced Ride is 220 lbs. Minimum
two riders per booking. A $25 single rider fee will be assessed if
only one rider is booking.
The 1 hour scenic experience is a walking-only ride, no trotting or
cantering will be allowed. A great ride for the whole family,
suitable for all skill levels ages 7 and up. The weight limit for
any rider is 240 lbs.
Hawaiian Arts & Culture: The Expression of Aloha The diverse
culture of Hawaii is expressed in (among other things) language,
music, art, theatre, dance, film, cuisine and a multitude of
At the core of each is the spirit of aloha, in the fluid arc of a
hula dancer’s hands or in the soft rhythm of a slack- key guitar.
The "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within
each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must
think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and
presence of life force.
Hula in the Hawaiian Islands Hula is Life -More than just a dance,
more than just a way of life… Hula is life itself.
In ancient Hawaii, a time when a written language did not exist,
hula and its chants played an important role in keeping history,
genealogy, mythology and culture alive.
With each movement – a hand gesture, step of foot, swaying of hips
– a story would unfold. Through the hula, the Native Hawaiians were
connected with their land and their gods. Before the arrival of
Western missionaries, the hula was danced for protocol and social
enjoyment. The songs and chants of the hula preserved Hawaii’s
history and culture.
For many years following the arrival of missionaries, the hula as
well as the Hawaiian language and music were suppressed. The hula,
specifically, was even outlawed. It wasn’t until King David
Kalakaua came to the throne in 1874 that Hawaiian cultural
traditions were restored.
Public performances of hula flourished and by the early 1900s, the
hula had evolved with modern times. Today, this unique art form,
deeply rooted in culture, has become a worldwide symbol of Hawaiian
culture, and one that you can experience on your trip to the
Luau of Hawaii A visit to the Hawaiian Islands is not complete
without experiencing a luau – a Hawaiian feast featuring lively
music and vibrant cultural performances from Hawaii and greater
In ancient Hawaii, a feast to celebrate special occasions was
called an ahaaina – aha meaning gathering and aina meaning meal.
Celebrating special occasions together was an important cultural
tradition. It was also believed that certain foods represented
specific qualities and attributes. During this time women were not
allowed to eat with men nor were they allowed to eat certain
King Kamehameha II marked a new era by ending traditional practices
in 1819. He celebrated this event with a special ahaaina where the
women were invited to eat with the men, symbolising a dramatic
shift in societal norms.
The luau tradition carries on today. Friends and family get
together for a luau to celebrate special occasions including
graduation, a wedding and most commonly – a birthday. While these
luau are private, there are a number of different luau experiences
across the state for visitors to enjoy.
Heritage Sites of Hawaii Heritage Sites of Hawaii are special
places located throughout the islands that provide significant
historical, cultural and environmental contributions to the
understanding and enjoyment of Hawaii.
Whether it’s a unique natural wonder, a National Historic Site,
Park or Monument, or a sacred place that encapsulates Native
Hawaiian customs, beliefs and practices, these sites will help you
gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii on your next visit.
On Oahu sites include: Bishop Museum is the premier natural and
cultural history institution in the Pacific region, It is known
throughout the world for its cultural collections, research
projects, public education programs and Native Hawaiian artifacts.
Leahi (Diamond Head) State Monument: Hike to the top of Hawaii’s
most recognised landmark for panoramic views of Waikiki and
Honolulu. Iolani Palace State Monument: Dedicated in 1882 and the
only official state residence of royalty in the U.S., Iolani
Palace’s grounds and galleries are now open to the public as a
museum. Makapuu Point Lighthouse: Located on the Ka Iwi State
Scenic Shoreline, the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail features
breathtaking ocean views. National Memorial Cemetery of the
Pacific, Punchbowl: More than five million people visit this
memorial each year to pay their respects to the men and women who
have lost their lives serving in the United States Armed
Hawaiian Customs and Traditions
Hawaii’s traditions are as diverse as its people. Rooted in Native
Hawaiian culture that has been passed down through generations
mixed with the traditions of the peoples from all around the world
who have made Hawaii home.
Here’s a quick guide to some local customs and traditions:
• The Hawaiian way to greet someone is with a kiss on the cheek. •
When you are invited over to someone’s house for a get together,
don’t show up empty handed. Pick up a
dessert or another food dish on the way! Always remember to remove
your shoes before entering someone’s house.
• Usually a female is wearing a flower in her left ear it means she
is taken. If she is wearing the flower in her right ear it means
she is available.
• Flower lei are appropriate gifts for special occasions such as a
birthday or graduation. It is also the appropriate way to welcome
• Don’t take rocks or sand from the beach or lava rocks from a
volcano with you. • SPAM is widely consumed in Hawaii. The most
common way is in a spam musubi – grilled slice of spam with
rice wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) – which makes for the best
• It is NOT common to use your car horn while driving in Hawaii
(unless you are using it as a friendly hello).
• Hawaiian Pidgin is a unique mixture of words, phrases, and idioms
drawn from the many languages and cultures (e.g. Hawaiian,
Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Portuguese) that make up Hawaii.
Pidgin was developed when Native Hawaiians, immigrant labourers,
and plantation owners needed to communicate with each other. Known
to linguists as Hawaii Creole English, Pidgin utilises many words
from the Hawaiian language. However, not all words in Pidgin are
Hawaiian. For example, kaukau (food) is Pidgin, not Hawaiian.
Oahu Shopping If you choose to stay at the Hampton Inn you will be
right in the Ka Makana Ali’l shopping centre. This is an open air
Mall with an attractive design that isn't " boxy" like many malls.
There are play areas for kids and a lot of seating at different
locations. There is a farmers market on a Sunday.
This is not a huge mall but they have plenty of dining and shops.
Parking is plentiful and there are areas to get out of the sun
Featured Stores and Restaurants Ka Makana Ali`l is home to select
retailers like Bath & Body Works, H&M,, Kay Jewelers,
Macy’s, Old Navy, Rix Island Wear, SoHa Living, Victoria’s Secret
and Ho`la Salon & Spa, and features many restaurants and
eateries including Applebee’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Five Guys
Burgers & Fries, Jollibee, Kickin' Kajun, The Cheesecake
Factory, Limon Rotisserie
If you stay at Camp Palehua you will also be close to Ka Makana
Ali’l Shopping centre, but you will be a similar distance from Ko
Olina Center and Station, an open air shopping complex featuring 14
speciality Shops and 8 dining options.
Shops include Hawaiian Fire, Honolulu Surf Co., Jams World,
Pineapples Boutique, Island Sole and The Plantation.
Eateries include such varied choices as Eggs ’n Things, Island
Country Market, Just Tacos Mexican Grill and Cantina, Ko Olina
Hawaiian Bar-B-Que and Pizza Corner.
Teams that stay at the Aqua Skyline have more of a choice but the
best shopping Mall is Royal Hawaiian Center, which is less than
half a mile from the hotel.
More than a collection of international luxury brands and unique
island boutiques, Royal Hawaiian Center is one unforgettable
experience all located in the heart of Waikiki and minutes away
from Waikiki Beach.
You are invited to step into The Royal Grove and discover the rich
legacy of Helumoa, Waikiki’s historic coconut grove in the heart of
Royal Hawaiian Center. Enjoy a celebration of dance, music and
Hawaiian traditions while you shop at 110 distinctive stores and 30
unique dining destinations.
Some of the famous brands that have stores within the centre are
Apple, Harley-Davidson, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany and Co.
Whilst Restaurants include The Cheesecake Factory, Il Lupino
Trattoria & Wine Bar, Ways and Means Oyster House and
Other options elsewhere on the Island Ala Moana Shopping Center,
which is the largest outdoor Mall in the World with over 300 unique
shops and restaurants. It consistently ranks in the top ten malls
in the USA!
At Waikele Premium Outlets you can explore discounted merchandise
from over 50 name brand stores spread out over 5 sections within
the outlet centre. Included in the lineup you will find Armani,
Coach, Ralph Lauren, Converse, Kate Spade, and Saks Fifth
The old iconic Waikiki International Market Place has recently had
a major makeover! In fact, Saks fifth Ave has moved in with 90
other unique shops and high-end restaurants.
The street kiosks have turned into a diversity of shops throughout
3 levels, but still revolved around the 100 year old banyan tree in
the middle of the courtyard.
Getting There There are no direct flights from the UK to Honolulu
airport but don’t let that put you off. It’s really quite easy to
get there with short lay overs in either Canada or the USA.
We work with a company called AVIATE GROUPS which is a division of
Aviate Travel committed to providing the best group flight booking
service in the industry for both trade and consumers.
Booking group flights offers many benefits, but can be a confusing
and stressful process. They take the stress out of booking group
travel. They organise flights and manage the booking from beginning
to end, using our experience of the market and relationships with
our airline partners to find you the best itinerary at the best
Their ethos is customer service led, and our friendly and
knowledgeable team is here to help you plan and manage your group
Also when you book your flights with AVIATE GROUPS you are
protected under their ATOL licence..
Know before you go
Staying Safe on Oahu With the tropical climate and breathtaking
scenery, Hawaii is what many people consider paradise. In fact,
visitors consistently give Hawaii high marks for it’s natural
beauty, safety and security. But even in paradise, precautions
should be taken to avoid an unpleasant situation. Below you'll find
information about ocean safety, driving safety and more.
Protect Against Mosquito Bites Although mosquitoes can be found
year-round in Hawaii’s warm climate, summer is peak season.
Mosquitoes can act as carriers of diseases, such as zika, dengue
and chikungunya, which are primarily transmitted to humans through
the bite of an infected mosquito. Fortunately, none of these
diseases are native to Hawaii, nor are they being spread locally at
Help prevent mosquito bites, and the risk of diseases being
transmitted, by applying EPA-registered insect repellent containing
20-30% DEET, and wearing light-coloured long-sleeved shirts,
trousers and shoes when outdoors, especially at sunrise and sunset
when mosquitoes are most active.
Pedestrian Safety Be a safe, smart pedestrian and know the rules.
Review information provided by the Hawaii Department of
Transportation at Walk Wise Hawaii, a programme aimed at helping
pedestrians be safer. . Personal Safety The majority of visitors to
Oahu will never have to deal with crimes like theft, but it’s
always a good idea to practice basic personal safety precautions
when exploring the island.
• Keep valuables in your hotel room or a hotel safe. When out for
the day, keep essentials with you. • Keep an eye on your belongings
while on the beach. • If you must leave items in your car boot,
place them there prior to arriving at your destination. • Carry
travellers checks instead of large amounts of cash. Divide money
and credit cards.
Sun Protection Enjoying Hawaii’s tropical climate means wearing
proper sun protection at all times. Even when the sun is hidden by
clouds, protect yourself from ultraviolet rays that come
Before going out for the day, liberally apply sunscreen with an SPF
(Sun Protection Factor) rating of 30 or higher, and reapply after
swimming. Please bring reef-safe sunscreen that doesn't contain
hazardous chemicals used in many sunscreens. Those chemicals cause
bleaching of coral and damage the islands' ocean habitat.
You may also consider wearing a brimmed hat, sunglasses and
long-sleeved shirt and trousers for added protection from the sun's
Visitor Assistance Hawaii is a beautiful place to visit, but even
in paradise unpleasant situations can occur. If you experience any
adversity, such as an accident, medical emergency or serious
illness, or if you become a victim of a crime and have a police
report, please call the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH).
Have your police report number handy when you call.
The local VASH office on Oahu can be contacted by calling (808)
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Hawaii's state Hawaii Emergency
Management Agency has developed a warning system to alert the
public in the case of an emergency. If you hear these sirens (a
steady siren tone for three minutes and repeated if necessary),
listen to your car radio, turn on the television or ask hotel
personnel for emergency instructions.
The local radio stations are 590 AM and 92.3 FM KSSK and 96.3 FM
KRTR. Please note that Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sirens
are routinely tested at 11:45 am on the first working day of each
Safely Navigating Hawaii Included in the cost of your tour will be
the hire of self-drive minivans, either 12 or 15 seaters.Your valid
foreign driver’s license to drive is good for one year from the
entry date on your passport.
Here are some rules that you must adhere to when driving.
You may not use any electronic handheld devices while driving. This
includes phones, cameras and mp3 players. Holding a phone at a
stoplight or while paused with the engine running is also
considered a violation and you will receive a ticket. You may,
however, use a Bluetooth headset or hands-free device with your
Please observe all speed limits, which vary from 10 miles per hour
(mph) in tiny lanes and 25 in most residential neighbourhoods, to
60 mph on some freeways.
All children under the age of 4 must be secured in a federally
approved child safety seat. Most rental car providers have child
safety seats available for rent, if you have any in your group
please tell the rental clerk. All children between the ages of 4
and 7 must ride in either a booster seat or a car seat. Children
4'9'' or taller or those riding in vehicles with lap-only seat
belts in rear seats are exempt.
If you are in a collision, the first step is to call the police at
911 to file a report or to contact emergency fire or ambulance
services. Do not leave the scene until after the police are
finished. You may need to contact your rental car company.
Health Care Medical treatment is expensive and there are no special
arrangements for British visitors. There are walk-in medical
clinics all over Oahu, but if you need emergency medical assistance
during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance.
Do not go to an emergency room on Oahu for a minor urgent care
issue that you can have treated in a fraction of the time at a
Contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if
you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment. Some hospitals
may ask non US residents to pay a deposit or ‘good faith’ payment
upon admittance. Any requests for funds should be directed to your
travel insurance provider in the first instance; you should only
pay the hospital if you are advised to do so by your travel
Your level of medical care won’t be affected while your claim is
In the United States of America the power sockets are of type A and
B. The standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60
The currency in America is US Dollars.
In case of an emergency you should call 911 (Fire, Rescue, Medical
British Consulate General - The nearest consulate is actual in Los
Angeles. and you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been
attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +1 310 789
Irish Honorary Consulate in Honolulu - Savoy Consulting LLC - 425
South Street - Mauka Suite 3304 - Honolulu, HI 96813 - Tel:
808-224-2800 /) 808 531-5514
How can I make a phone call from Oahu? Payphones & Phonecards
Payphones are a dying breed, usually found at shopping centres,
hotels and public places (eg beaches, parks).Some payphones are
coin-operated (local calls usually cost 50¢), while others only
accept credit cards or phone cards. Private prepaid phone cards are
available from convenience stores, news stands, supermarkets and
Mobile Phones International travellers need a multi-band GSM phone
in order to make calls in the USA. With an unlocked multi-band
phone, popping in a US prepaid rechargeable SIM card is usually
cheaper than using your own network.
SIM cards are available at any telecommunications or electronics
store. If your phone doesn't work in the USA, these stores also
sell inexpensive prepaid phones, including some airtime.
Otherwise, check with your service provider about using your mobile
phone in Hawaii. Among US providers, Verizon has the most extensive
network. Cellular coverage is best on Oahu, but sometimes spotty
outside major towns (especially on Neighbour Islands) and
nonexistent in many rural areas, including on hiking trails and at
Is smoking prohibited? Since January 2014, the air at the beaches
of Oahu have become a virtual paradise as smokers are prohibited
from lighting up there and some other public areas.
Smoking in Public Places Ban Includes: parks and playgrounds
(including football complexes), basketball and tennis courts,
softball fields, public pools and bus stops
Curiously, the ban which was unanimously approved by the Honolulu
City Council does not apply to municipal golf courses!
It has been against Oahu Law to smoke within twenty feet of the
entrances to: stores, restaurants, bars and other places of
Ways to pay for goods and services Cash: Take foreign currency but
make sure to budget correctly or you will be left with no money by
the end of your trip. Make sure you find the best deal before you
leave. Credit card or debit card: Take your credit or debit card,
but watch out for foreign usage charges and your cards getting
blocked by your provider. Prepaid card: These cards can be loaded
with cash and spent in shops or withdrawn from ATMs. They only let
you spend the money you have put on the card. Travellers cheque:
They can be converted into dollars in specific locations. To do
this, you will need to use your signature and provide I.D.
Where can you change foreign currency? If you’re going to be
exchanging foreign currency, you have several options available to
you. Here is a summary of what you need to know before you
Before you rush to the the nearest place to exchange your currency
to USD, first take some time to learn about this process. Here are
few helpful facts that will better prepare you.
About the US Dollar - The Dollar is widely used in international
transactions and it’s the world’s main reserve currency. But while
the Dollar is often very much in demand, it’s value does fluctuate
regularly. It’s a good idea to monitor its performance for a few
weeks before your trip. Then you can try to make your exchange when
its value is lower than usual. By buying when USD is weaker, you’ll
be able to buy more dollars with the same amount of money. You can
sign up for exchange rate alerts to receive notifications when the
exchange rate changes.
Know the actual exchange rate - As a floating currency, the
Dollar’s value can go up or down every day, or even every few
hours. The exchange rate to keep in mind is the mid-market rate.
This is considered the real exchange rate, and the fairest one
possible. You can use this rate as a benchmark to compare how fair
offered tourist rates are. Check the live rate using the
TransferWise currency converter.
Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges - If you’re looking for
the best deal possible on foreign exchange, you’re probably better
off avoiding the airport. The same logic applies for exchange
services offered in hotels. The fees will usually be higher and the
exchanges rates poorer. If you only want a small amount to get you
started, though, the convenience of using the airport might be
worth the less favourable rate. LAX, Los Angeles’s main
international airport, has a total of nine foreign exchange kiosks
which are all operated by ICE Currency Exchange.
ATM withdrawals - There are several ATM machines around Oahu, some
charge for withdrawals some don’t . You may want to check with your
home bank before you leave as they may have a special arrangement
with a US bank. This could mean special offers on foreign ATM
withdrawals. But while withdrawing dollars from an ATM can be a
cheap way to exchange currency, if an ATM asks you to choose
whether to be charged in dollars or in your home currency, you
should always choose dollars. Otherwise, you’ll be facing a very
unfavourable exchange rate.
Spend all your money - Most foreign exchange companies charge you
one rate when they sell you a currency and a different rate when
they buy it back from you. This means that selling back any
leftover dollars you may have is rarely a good idea, as you’ll
probably lose out on the transaction. Some companies do offer
buy-back guarantees where they offer to buy back your leftover
currency at the same rate you bought it. However, these usually
come at an additional fee and have lots of terms and conditions. So
as illogical as it may sound, you’ll probably get a better deal if
you just spend all your money during your trip.
Where to exchange money on Oahu - There are several foreign
exchange bureaus on Oahu. They will all charge fees whether
advertised upfront or hidden in the exchange rate they offer. To
pick the fairest of the lot, compare their offered rate against the
live mid-market rate.
Use Revoult -, Revolut Ltd is a British financial technology
company that offers banking services including bank accounts, a
MasterCard prepaid debit card or a VISA debit card, fee-free
currency exchange, and ATM withdrawals in 120 currencies and
sending in 29 currencies directly from the app. The exchange rates
it gives are the best available at the time.
Is tipping mandatory? While Hawaii is located in the South Pacific
where, on many islands, tipping is not required, Hawaii is a U.S.
State and you should tip just like you would anywhere else in the
21st Feb Mon Washingtons Birthday
25th Mar Fri Prince Jonah Khi Day
15th Apr Fri Good Friday 30th May Mon Memorial Day
10th Jun Fri King Kamehameha I Day
4th Jul Mon Independence Day Holiday
19th Aug Fri Hawaii Admission Day
5th Sep Mon Labor Day
8th Nov Tue Election Day (US) 11th Nov Fri Veterans Day 24th Nov
Thu Thanksgiving Day
26th Dec Mon Christmas Day
How can you go online and check your emails? Most accommodations,
many coffee shops and a few bars, restaurants and other businesses
offer public wi-fi hot spots (sometimes free only for paying
customers). In-room internet access at Hawaii's hotels is
increasingly wireless, not wired.
Cities and larger towns may have cybercafes or business centres
like FedEx Office offering pay-as-you-go internet terminals
(typically $12 to $20 per hour) and sometimes wi-fi (free or
Hawaii's public libraries provide free internet access via computer
terminals if you get a temporary non-resident library card ($10). A
few library branches also offer free wi-fi (library card and PIN
required). For many reasons this type of connection is the most
preferable for and today you can get it for free, saving money on
your connection and not using the data that your mobile operator
will charge you for.
There are loads of places - restaurants, hotels, coffee shops,
internet cafe’s etc. where you can access the internet for
How can I send a letter or a postcard? The US Postal Service is
inexpensive and reliable. Mail delivery to/from Hawaii usually
takes slightly longer than on the US mainland.
To send urgent or important letters and packages internationally,
try Federal Express or United Parcel Service, which both offer
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