Hawaii instantly conjures up images of swaying coconut palms, azure blue water, perfect waves and white sandy beaches. For the surfing enthusiast, it also brings to mind an icon that is always thought of and that is the legend of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern day surfing.
On the promenade adjacent to Waikiki beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Duke’s larger than life bronze statue with outstretched arms is there to greet all tourists who venture down to the beach for the first time. Images of the great Duke Kanamanoku and his massive old wooden board surfing off Honolulu’s Waikiki’s beach are well known around the world.
Waikiki Beach is famous for its gentle rolling waves and upon arrival you are not disappointed. The beach and promenade is a beehive of activity filled with surfers, sunbakers and day-trippers. It is a kaleidoscope of colours and activity and overseeing all of this is an array of high-rise hotels and buildings that line up and guard this famous strip.
If you take a stroll to the southern end of the beach you will come to the world renowned and iconic hotel The Royal Hawaiian (a.k.a the pink palace). At sunset there is no better or more tranquil place to be in Waikiki then here, sipping a cocktail and witnessing sunsets that will be etched in your memory for a lifetime.
Here are my top attractions in Honolulu in no particular order:
The north shore of Hawaii
The world mecca of surfing which includes Wiamea Bay, Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. In the winter months you will be able to see the world’s best surfing some of the planet’s largest and most perfect waves.
*Hire a pushbike, a great way to discover the north shore.
During WW11 on December 7th 1941, Pearl Harbour was attacked by the might of the Japanese air force. 360 planes carried out this surprise attack and nearly 92 vessels were destroyed including the USS Arizona. Today all sailors who were on duty on that fateful day on the Arizona are still entombed on board this vessel.
A historical and very emotional must do attraction in Honolulu.
Hire a surfboard and get out and surf some of the most famous small and gentle waves in the world. Surf lessons are available by some of Waikiki’s best surfing instructors including Waikiki’s only full time licensed female surfing instructor Karen Schmidt.
*Go to The Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki located just behind the Duke Statue on the sand.
Other major Honolulu attractions:
*Aloha Tower is an iconic Honolulu landmar
*Diamond Head, a very famous dormant volcano in Waikiki
*Aloha Moana Shopping Centre and the many shops on Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu Swap meet markets (near Pearl Harbour), to only name a few
*The oldest Chinatown in the USA
*Night time buskers on Kalakaua Avenue
*Redline bus tours will take you to nearly all the major attractions in Honolulu and is the best and fastest way to learn the layout of a newly arrived town
WAIKIKI RESORT HOTEL
Location, location, location… that’s what Mr. Hooker real estate legend used to say and that reason is obvious when you first arrive at the Waikiki Resort Hotel.
Only a 50 metre walk from the very impressive foyer and there you are standing on one of the world’s most iconic beaches.
Everything you need in Waikiki is in walking distance from the hotel including restaurants and shops.
The hotel has a great variety of accommodation available and the rates are very reasonable.
The hotel staff is very accommodating and friendly and can pretty much answer any question you may have.
WHERE TO EAT IN HONOLULU, HAWAII
*The Seoul Jung (Korean BBQ restaurant) at the Waikiki Resort Hotel
*The Cheesecake Factory : 2301 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki
*P F Changs, 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki
HOW TO GET THERE
Jetset Travel Rose Bay
(02) 9371 8166
Photography and words Daniel Resnik