I absolutely adore Manly because it so perfectly epitomizes what it means to be a coastal town. As you get off the Circular Quay Ferry and step onto the Wharf, you're surrounded by delicious smells, adorable boutiques, and beautiful sights. It's a real treasure; such an inviting, scenic little seaside area and was my favorite beach of all of the ones I visited while in Sydney. 5) Asia Adams from Navigable World: Manly Beach, New South Wales, Australia
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Hawaii is from June to September
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Haleakala National Park
Haleakalᾱ volcano rises 10023 ft above the Pacific Ocean and occupies almost half of the Maui Island of Hawaii. The geologic history of Haleakalᾱ is estimated to have begun a million years ago, around the time of woolly mammoth and saber tooth tigers! It comprises of colourful cinder cones scattered throughout the valley floor. The most recent eruption took place in 1802. This volcano is considered to be an active but currently non-erupting volcano. I got a chance to see this place a few years back. It is a matchless heaven weathered and coloured over time. The rains have oxidized the earth and the winds have emphasized the cinder cones! When I actually got to the summit, I wondered what was so good about this volcano. I hardly saw the cinder cones and the lush bright colors of the soil! We were told to hike up a trail to experience it for ourselves. Therefore, we started trudging towards what we really hadn’t anticipated. What I am going to quote is often said my the people of Maui that clouds in and around the summit of Haleakalᾱ carry whispers of another time. It is said that the demigod of Maui fished Haleakalᾱ and all the Hawaiin volcanoes from the sea, pulling them up and flinging his fishhook to the heavens. On clear nights, the fishhook of Maui, now the Scorpio, can still be seen in the sky from the summit of Haleakalᾱ.
Kona Inn Shopping Village
Where to Eat/DrinkAt 7:00 a.m. there isn’t a lot to do just yet, except enjoy the dozens of Kona coffee shops along the main coastal road. My personal favorite was a small coffee shop located in the Kona Inn Shopping Village. I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker just yet, but every Wednesday morning before anything else would open I would be parked next to the ocean drinking my volcano-grown coffee with a slight breeze and not caring about anything else in the world.
Ala Moana Center
Across the street from Ala Moana Park is the Ala Moana shopping center, a high-end shopping mall that has great fashion and high-end jewelry between the usual tourists trinkets associated with Hawaii. If a stop at Tommy Hilfiger isn’t in your weekly budget there is also a Wal-Mart about a block behind the mall as well.
Let’s start with the story of the volcanoes of the Big Island. It is the youngest Hawaiian Island, less than a half a million years old, and its two major volcanoes are Mauna Loa which includes Kilauea Volcano and Mauna Kea. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. The summit of Mauna Loa’s versus the steaming jungles of Puna. The mystic craters, the black beaches, secret hot springs the sea-kissed lava leaves behind such diverse indescribable beauty and serenity of the paradise we call Hawai’i.
Hike time: 25 mins. O-M-G. Makalawena There should be a picture of Makalawena Beach under “paradise” in the dictionary. By far the most beautiful beach on the island, “Maks”, as it’s called by the locals, is almost always empty with powder white sand, crystal clear azure water, a series of coves, big sand dunes, fresh water ponds, ample shaded areas and wildlife lingering around undisturbed by your presence. It offers great swimming and snorkeling as well as boogie boarding in the surf. The center beach is the best snorkeling spot with abundant coral, caves, and sea arches. To get there take Queen Ka’ahumanu Hwy. (Route 19) to Kona Coast State Park, also called Kekaha Kai State Park, between Mile Markers 89 and 90. It’s not the most obvious turn off so keep your eyes peeled, I missed it and had to turn back. The road off the highway leads all the way down to a parking lot near the water but has a gate that is only open Thursday through Tuesday 9am-7pm, so be sure to make it out on time or you’ll be locked in! The hike begins by taking you on an old carriage road, past the abandoned Magoon Mansion on Mahaiula Beach. Keep on trekking through some kaewe trees, past a couple of springs and over the dry a’a lava field until you reach the sand dunes. From here you’ll want to get out your camera because the view is spectacular. Stop for a moment to take it all in because it might not last forever, the land is surely set for development of condos and resorts unless the locals manage to put them off with their protests.
Kohala Coast Crane
Back to the Kohala coastline, aquamarine waters and white sands greeted us. Hawaii as is seen in the popular imagination is no less beautiful when seen in the perspective of the Kohala beaches. After the starkness of Mauna Kea summit, it proved to have an allure of the human influence and kind nature.
Getting AroundMost days cruise employees are going to have enough time off to make their rounds on foot. As the Hawaiian islands aren't very big and most shops set up near the ports on foot is generally a good way to travel. Other times though the shops and restaurants are more than a 10-minute hike so taxis are always waiting at the port to take passengers anywhere on the island. Rental cars are also an easy option to see more of the island, and can either be booked on board the ship ahead of time or at the port as soon as you step foot on land.After a morning swim and assuming you still have some time before work back on the cruise ship the best place to enjoy libations and friends is the Row Bar, an outdoor tiki bar in the concrete office and condo complex across the street from the cruise terminal. Their flat bread pizzas are quite tasty, and their drink selection is at the dispose of the bartender’s creativity. Now, once you visit a few of bars a few weeks in a row the bartenders will figure out you are indeed a cruise ship employee, to which they normally respond with “That’s rough, have a free drink (or three).” Row Bar was definitely one of these places, and I wish I had discovered this place before my last month in Hawaii.A good swim, a few bites and a few drinks and it’s back to work. Don’t worry, most employees aboard the cruise ship have had a few drinks before they get to work. It helps the day go by.
While halting in the isle of Maui, we got a chance to snorkel in the deep seas. We chose to go to the island of Molokini about 2 ½ kms from the mainland. The island of Molokini is an extinct volcano in a shape of a crescent which provides protection from waves and powerful currents, making this area one of the top ten dive sites in the world. It is said to be a home for nearly 250 species of fish which are found nowhere else on earth. Our day begun at 6 am in the morning with a perfect weather taking us through the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean. I had no clue about what we were about to witness, something so magnificent and unimaginable! They were the humpback whales swimming, splashing, playing and enjoying the warm waters of the island. While talking to a local on our boat, he mentioned that these whales come to the Maui waters to protect and teach their calves to survive since the water is warm and safe from the rest of the ocean. It was over-whelming to see 45 foot long whale spouting water through its blow-hole giving us a fantastic view, just what you see on National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. Being in that moment and capturing the site is beyond any explanation. After our experience with the humpbacks we came across the most loving, playful and popular fish of the big seas – yes, I am talking about the dolphins! They frolicked, flaunted and danced in front of our boat. It almost felt as though they were trying to please us or as if they have put up a small act before us. Whatever it was, the spinner dolphins did their best to impress us to the core!
Kona Brewing Company
After an hour or so at Lu Lu’s it’s time to start walking back to port, with one more stop. The Kona Brewing Company is located about a block uphill from port and opens at 10:30. Here you can sample over a dozen of Hawaii’s finest brews and enjoy their homemade pizzas, which are absolutely amazing. My personal favorite pizza was BBQ chicken, paired with a Long Board beer.
Pololu Valley Lookout
Hike time: 20 mins. Not the kind of beach you go to for basking and bathing the day away, but a tranquil place of contemplation in a wild, lush, untamed and unpopulated valley at the north end of Hawaii’ Island. Most tourists opt to visit Waipi’o Valley so this is a great place for seclusion, I didn’t see anyone else when I was there but noticed that some campsites had been setup at some point so it might be a great option for an overnight stay. To get there drive north on Highway 270 until you get to a the end and you will be rewarded with a gorgeous view over Pololu valley and the rugged Kohala Coast. From there I highly suggest taking the hike down to the beach. The trail is a rough switchback, dropping 400 feet rather quickly so you should be moderately fit or the way up will be a challenge. The valley is privately owned so you should stay close to the beach. You can cross the stream 80-120 feet inland and can usually find a stone ford in that area to cross easily. It’s not recommended that you swim here as the beach lies at the channel connecting Hawaii and Maui, bringing strong currents and rip tides, even the strongest swimmers can easily be caught and swept away.
Ho'okipa Beach Park
If you’re an experienced surfer, head to the north coast of Maui, close to Kahului, and catch the morning waves at Ho’okipa Beach. If you windsurf, you’ve probably already heard of Ho’okipa as a windsurfing mecca. Wait until the afternoon and hit the water with hundreds of other windsurfers from around the world. Maui also has a world-class spot for kitesurfers, known appropriately as Kite Beach.
The Lanikai Beach at Oahu is an incredible spot to begin you holiday. In the event that you are even now slowing down from your adventure and the anxiety of your ordinary life then this is a shoreline for the start of your holiday. It is the ideal spot to swim, the waters are smooth and ensured by a seaward reef. The sand on this shoreline is similar to a delicate sugar, so you can delight in the warmth of the sun, after your swim, while viewing the coconut palms; the ideal spot to understand that you have arrived in Hawaii.
The Big Island of the Hawai’i expands everyday. Thanks to the Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. This prolific volcano currently produces acres of new land everyday. Doesn’t this volcano become more and more interesting? Despite the flow of lava in several places around the National Park, driving around and through the glowing lava is possible depending upon what’s happening with the active flow. Or else you can park and walk up to view red hot lava. The black and brown hues of the soil suddenly change in to the thick tropical forests of the park. The drive is indeed scenic. This volcano is the only one in the world where you can take your car. The Pu’u O’O Volcano of the Kilauea flows into the ocean and sends up plumes of volcanic gas and smoke. The island is so beautifully wave-washed. We had a chance to see this from a helicopter – a most impressive sight to behold.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park
Kalaupapa National Historical Park is bittersweet, not the kind of place you travel to buy souvenirs. It is the kind of place from which you bring back lasting memories. Novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer, Robert Louis Stevenson described it as a prison fortified by nature. It is not easy to get to but so worth the effort. On the Hawaiian island of Molokai, it is surrounded by the crashing waves of the pacific ocean on three sides and 1,700 ft high sea cliffs on the other. There is to say the least, limited access to the peninsula. You can fly in by small plane, hike or ride on mule back down the 2.9 mile steep trail with 26 switchbacks and the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Unless you are a guest of one of the few residents, the only way to visit is with Damien Tours. Very exclusive, only 100 people are permitted to enter daily, and that includes resident’s guests.
Waipio Valley Shuttle
Hike time: 30 mins. Waipi’o Valley used to be home to ancient Hawaiian royalty, but is now mainly taro farmers. Sheltered by high cliffs on either side, Waipi’o valley is only about 1 mile long with a stream flowing into the ocean from the privately owned Hiilawe Falls towering 1,400 ft above, making it the highest waterfall on the island. To get there from Hilo, take Route 19 north and turn right onto Route 240 to Waipi’o Valley. There is a car park at the top with a lookout and although there is a paved road allowing access to the valley, it is very steep with a 25% grade and only accessible by 4-wheel-drive. A walk down is usually your only option to access the valley, but well worth the trek. Though many locals use this beach as a surf spot, the current can still be quite strong and it’s best to swim only when the water is calm. It is especially dangerous in the winter months, though still worth the trip because this is the best time for whale watching. You have to be wary of the waves crashing in, I went from knee-deep to waist deep in a matter of seconds and damaged my camera that was (stupidly) in my pocket, another silly mistake of mine. For another excellent view of the valley, cross the river and cross all the way to the opposite side of the beach and head up the steep Muliwai switchback trail leading to Waimanu Valley (an excellent but long hike for the more adventurous). The third switchback is the best photo opportunity with little to no tourists getting in your way, it only takes about half an hour to get this far.
Diamond Head Luau
I've only been to the Diamond Head trail a few times. It's an extremely pleasant climb for daily hikers, but a slight challenge for those new at it. The steep staircase was the toughest part of the climb for me, and ducking through those low boulders was a bit claustrophobic. But he view at the very end is well worth the climb!