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One Way to do Hawaii – O’ahu Edition

Earlier this year my wife and I visited the Hawaiian Islands while cruising onboard Star Princess…

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2018/04/01/star-princess-hawaiian-islands-adventure/

 

The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls and  numerous smaller islets.

 

Though not physically the largest island, O’ahu has the highest population and is most recognised. It is also home to the state capital, Honolulu…

…and Hawaii’s most famous beach, Waikiki...

 

Cruise ships calling at Honolulu normally use the Pier 2 Cruise Terminal...

Seen here from the opposite angle…

I would certainly recommend, timings permitting, to be on deck for an early morning arrival and witness the ‘Aloha Tower’ illumination…

 

Indeed, our plan for the visit was to make the ‘Aloha Tower’ our first stop and we were most grateful to note its close proximity to the cruise terminal…

On disembarking it was just a matter of turning left once outside the terminal building and following the pavement keeping the harbour water on one’s left.

The Aloha Tower is less than 15 minutes walk from the cruise terminal which also gives the opportunity to view the Hawaii Maritime Centre…

 

*****

(there, you can see how close the cruise terminal is)

…and there are a number of other points of interest along the way.

Continuing along the pavement for a few more minutes we arrived at the Aloha Tower…

The Aloha Tower has history. Originally built as a lighthouse that opened in September 1926, it is considered one of the landmarks of the state of Hawaii…

 

Just as the Statue of Liberty greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year to New York, the Aloha Tower greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Honolulu.

At 10 stories and 184 feet (56 m) of height topped with 40 feet (12 m) of flag mast, it remained for four decades the tallest structure in Hawaii. It is open to the public daily from 9.00 am and a lift takes visitors up to the ‘Observation Deck’ where commanding views over the harbour…

and across Honolulu are available…

Our visit to the Aloha Tower complete we headed back in the direction of the cruise terminal where, on the adjacent main road we had noted a local bus stop…

…and caught the next available bus to Waikiki Beach alighting close to the Trump Hotel…

…and the US Army Museum…

We had on previous stays in Honolulu visited this museum and a visit is highly recommended.

From the local bus drop off point it is a few minutes walk onto Honolulu’s famous Waikiki Beach…

 

*****

…our intention being to head to Diamond Head…

Yes folks, that was our plan. We were going to make it to Diamond Head…

Of course the walk along Waikiki Beach is an enjoyable and fun thing to do in itself with plenty of easy water sport activities…

 

…and passing numerous places of interest such as the Royal Hawaiian Hotel...

The bronze statue of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing…

…and the  Kuckaunahi Surfer Monument…

*****

Prior to our departure from home my research had found the following map of Diamond Head Crater…

…from which one can see, marked  in the top left corner, the position of the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku,

I was very interested in the War Memorial ‘Natatorium but having arrived at it there was some disappointment as it has currently fallen into a state of poor repair and entrance was prohibited…

Once on to Diamond Head Road we were soon to pass Leahi Beach Park...

…before arriving adjacent to Diamond Head Lighthouse…

…and a short while after, the first signs of our goal, Diamond Head State Monument...

There is a reasonable climb along a winding road to reach the road tunnel into Diamond Head…

*****

 

Once through the tunnel the crater is revealed in all its glory…

I would add at this juncture that there are regular local bus services to the Kapiolani Community College (shown on the map) and for those maybe not up to the walk into the crater there are the charabanc style buses running a shuttle service.

Inside the crater there are excellent toilet facilities and a small Visitor Center…

…but only limited refreshment services…

Now for the real challenge…

No visit to Diamond Head Crater is complete without climbing to the lookout point (arrowed).

Fortunately there is a well signposted and very reasonable walk way to follow…

…a little zig-zaggy…

and sometimes a little steep…

*****

Roughly half way up there is a lookout point…

…offering a good view of the crater interior…

Not a bad place to take a break and enjoy a bit of photographic fun either with one’s wife…

or with other international visitors…

 

But enough of the frivolity, onward and upward…

*****

…until,  just when you think it is over…

…the final staircase…

…and the view that greets you from the old wartime ‘Fire Control Pillbox’...

There’s actually a slightly better view point just a few yards and a few more steps away…

 

 

Looking out over Honolulu and Waikiki…

 

 

…while gazing down at the Waikiki Shell…

 

Down over the Diamond Head Lighthouse…

…and, remember I mentioned my disappointment over the War Memorial ‘Natatorium earlier, well here it is viewed from the crater rim…

…and out over to Hanama Bay…

The views are all fabulous and make the effort so much more worthwhile.

Needless to say there are always those who either cannot read or are prepared to take risks…

So Mission Accomplished.

The descent was relatively easy despite the heat of the afternoon.

*****

Do keep an eye open for the wild Mongoose which freely roam around the crater…

They do not pose any danger and indeed are very timid…

Once back down in the heart of the crater it remains only a decision on how to get back to Waikiki. There is a regular service of trolleys…

…both direct to Waikiki or, the crater exterior local bus stops…

Or one could follow our option and walk back through the tunnel and follow the road down to Diamond Head Road and pick up a local bus from there.

Of course there was always the option to have caught a bus from Waikiki to Diamond Head but we would never have seen everything we did had we opted for that.

And our statistical achievement for the day was all captured on my wife’s fitbit…

Wow!

 

If you have enjoyed this review of One way to do Hawaii  (Oahu Edition)  and would like to be amongst the first to hear of new reviews including  a return to Cunard’s Queen Victoria and a Viking River Cruise along the Seine plus future port reviews that will include  Part 2 of a New Orleans review and one to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), then why not join over 534  followers by clicking on the ‘Follow’ link on the front page.

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©2016 – 18 * Solent Richard’s Cruise Blog * All Rights Reserved

Duplication in part or whole without prior written consent is prohibited by international laws.

 

Disclosure to potential conflict of interest:

It is common throughout the travel industry for travel journalists and many cruise bloggers to be provided with complimentary cruises for the purpose of their reviews.

Solent Richard has no ‘conflict of interest’ as he is not an accredited journalist, he pays for his cruises, and is happy to confirm that all his reviews are his own given without fear or favour.

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