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Oahu Island Guide 2022 - gobysa.com

Apr 10, 2022

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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 Hawaiian people.
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 Market Place.
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 Memorial.
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 views.
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 others.
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 luau.
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 alike.
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 activities.
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 coast.
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 Beach.
Here you'll snorkel among a diverse array of sea life including "Honu" (sea turtles), fish and occasionally manta rays, whales and monk seals.
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 arch.
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 earth.
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 Grill.
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, and gulches.
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 out.
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 festivals.
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 islands.
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 Polynesia.
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 foods.
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 Forces.
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 visitors.
• 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 hand-held snack/meal.
• 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 too.
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 Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
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 Ave.
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 group fare.
Their ethos is customer service led, and our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to help you plan and manage your group bookings.
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 this time.
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 through.
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 rays.
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) 926-8274
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 month.
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 cellphone.
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 walk-in clinic.
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 insurance company.
Your level of medical care won’t be affected while your claim is being processed.
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 Hz.
The currency in America is US Dollars.
In case of an emergency you should call 911 (Fire, Rescue, Medical and Police).
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 0031.
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 pharmacies.
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 remote beaches.
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 employment
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 exchange.
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 United States.
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 fee-based).
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 free.
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 door-to-door delivery.
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