August 16th, 2018

Your Travels: Oahu, the ‘Gathering Place’ for a getaway adventure

By Medicine Hat News on March 10, 2018.

Ernest Fode

Arriving home to Alberta’s sub-zero weather, I wished I could have stayed longer in Hawaii.

Every day was an adventure during my two-week visit to Hawaii. Two of my most relaxing days were spent not at popular Waikiki Beach, but at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Ko Olina on Oahu. This resort, a Hawaii-themed hotel offers guests its huge on-property Disneyland shaped waterpark and activities center.

The resort is set on one of the four man-made Ko Olina lagoons with rock barriers and grassy picnic areas. The Disney Aulani Resort may not be for everyone since it’s on Oahu’s Leeward side and 27 km from Honolulu.

On this trip I wanted to spend more time away from the Waikiki Beach crowds. Leaving the Aulani Resort behind me, I decided to explore different parts of the island during my stay.

I headed to Hanauma Bay for some snorkeling on the southeastern part of Oahu. Hanauma Bay Native Preserve is Oahu’s most popular snorkeling spot. The Bay is known for its reef ecosystem, sandy beach and tropical marine life. Parts of the 1961 Elvis Presley Hollywood

movie “Blue Hawaii” were filmed here.

On another perfect day I arrived in historic Haleiwa, a one hour drive from Waikiki on the North Shore. Haleiwa is the surfing capital of the world with winter waves up to 40 feet.

Walking through Haleiwa I passed boutiques, art galleries, roadside shrimp vendors and the popular M. Matsumoto Shave Ice Store. Stopping in, I ordered a large cone mixed with syrup, sweet azuki beans and Hawaiian Pineapple ice cream. A delicious treat on a hot day.

Yet another sunny day found me taking a trip to Oahu’s North Shore hiking up Waimea Valley to the cascading 45 feet Waihi Falls.

My last island adventure was a hike up Diamond Head, one of the most photographed volcanic craters in the world. The panoramic view from the summit of this 760 feet crater was well worth my two-hour climb. I could see clear views of the crashing ocean waves, Honolulu skyline and tropical mountainsides.

Hawaii, the “wish you were here” postcard destination, is truly a getaway to a paradise adventure.

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