Hawaii Hula Hula!

"Jules is always happy to help, no matter how big or small the trip and gives great advice. The whole trip was wonderful (we have been to Hawaii several times and love it!). Both Maui and Oahu are spectacular, yet very different in character. Lots to see and do. Kayaking, waterfalls, great scenery, sunrise at the Haleakala volcano. I have been to Maui before so have quite a lot of experiences to suggest there… If you want good beaches, the south side of the island is best for great swimming (particularly first thing in the morning when the sea is as calm as a lake). Wailea or Makena for upmarket, Kihei for more ordinary budget. Though a short spell on the north shore would be good too as the towns of Paia and Makawao are cute, and closer to the volcano.

Here are some of our highlights: Kayaking/snorkelling excursion – you can hire snorkelling equipment from places like Boss Frogs or Snorkel Bobs in Kihei • Stand up paddle boarding (lessons are available) • Introductory dives – try Scuba Mike • Drive to Hana – go all the way around to see the very different scenery on the back side. Look for black sand beach and red sand beach, and lots of waterfalls and pools • Drive around north-west to Ka’anapali (very touristy by good beaches) and Lahaina • Sunset or sunrise on Haleakala • Cycle trips by Maui Cyclery • See the turtles at Hookipa beach at sunset • Eat at Mama’s Fish House on the north shore • You can get cruises to Molokai, Molokini and Lanai • Helicopter flights over north east Maui and Molokai are supposed to be fabulous.

I recommend you buy the guide book ‘Maui Revealed’ – gives away all the best places to visit that even locals don’t know about! Maui is quite rustic and run down in some parts, and very ‘manicured’ in others. Oahu is quite different. Honolulu and Waikiki are very built up with a lot of traffic. Good shops and some excellent restaurants (but some tourist traps too). Some great luxury hotels overlook the Waikiki beach where the water is excellent and you can surf, paddle board and swim. We rented a convertible and drove two small circle tours – windward coast drive. This was pretty easy, so an organised tour is unnecessary if you have your own car. We basically covered the north, east and south coasts – really beautiful scenery and beaches. Pearl harbor is worth a visit, but does take several hours. The boat, submarine and air museums cost money. The USS Arizona memorial is free, but is on a first-come first-served basis. People start queuing for the free tickets from 6:30 in the morning! We saw that there was an “Oahu Revealed” book but didn’t but it – I suspect it would be full of very useful tips as the Maui version is excellent. You can probably do all the other water activities like kayaking etc. Lots of good shopping in Waikiki."

Have a look through some of Caroline’s photos here: