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Old 10-21-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Hawaii-bound, what what?

Hi all, haven't been posting much of late - school and life gets in the way, but I just dropped 10 bucks and 35k miles on an almost-four week long Christmas/New Year's vacation in...dun dun dun...Hawaii! :D

Figured it was one of those places that I'd never go to otherwise. Anyway I'm flying into Honolulu...on the 13th of December and out on the 8th of Jan. Here's the thing...I know nothing about Hawaii, so I want any good advice you have.

I have at least two friends to visit and stay with on the Big Island, so I need to get there somehow. Any tips on inter-island travel?

I basically want to spend as little money as possible (always a challenge in Hawaii as far as I know), maybe try surfing in as small surf as possible, lol, sun a lot, scuba dive, hike, see volcanoes, and get my hands on some surfer boys. Maybe. Probably couchsurf my way around, or I might bring a sleeping bag and beach it...although I might do a hostel if there's an amazing one that you all recommend.

Excited for warm weather already!
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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I am leaving Friday to go to Oahu for 9 days. I will try and give you some ideas after I learn and see for myself. The only thing I have planned is a shark dive and surf lessons. Everything so far has been decently priced, but I am getting a group deal on most things. I do know if you want to check out the volcanoes you have to go to the big island. I heard it's around 60 to fly over there, 100 to ride the super to Maui and back. I will let you know more, later.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:42 AM   #3
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Awesome! Have a great trip...my friends were telling me about a manta ray night dive that sounds ABSO-freaking-LUTELY amazing...
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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Amber (blinkchick) is there right now, working on one of the WOOF farms (macademia nut plantation, she said in her postcard). PM her and see if she can give you some ideas.

Otherwise, I'd say get the heck off of Oahu, after you see whatever big sights you wanted. It is the most touristy place on the planet, IMO. Disneyland in the South Pacific...

I'd offer buddy passes, but I don't think USAirways does inter-island Hawaii...just back and forth between the mainland.

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Old 10-22-2008, 01:12 PM   #5
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I spent a month there last year - did the big island, maui and ohau. thumbed lifts off people the whole time, amazing place.
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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Yup, Amber emailed me a while back and I told her to maybe expect me.

I think I'm just going to plan to have no plan, and be a beach bum, but I'm expecting to spend most of my time on the Big Island. Think it'll be pretty safe to sleep out and thumb rides?

No worries about buddy passes Mike...although I would take one to come visit you guys in Ohio!
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
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Mauna Kea - highest peak in hawaii and in the world if you measured from the base to summit. I was supposed to climb this one back in 2006 but the trip fell through. i will get this one some day.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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Oh, Hwei! Following me to the ends of the earth now?

Inter island hops are around $80. But some travel agencies in Honolulu will probably offer some special deals. Could probably put a 'want ad' on craigslist and see if anyone messages. Lots of locals hop between the islands and buy tickets months in advance, put plans change. I've heard of a few travelers getting kicked down tickets because of that reason.

I'm not sure about other islands but I can tell you a shit-ton about BI. Hele-On is the free, round the island bus service. They do charge $1 for large items, ie backpack/surfboard. One bus leaves from the Kona airport daily at 4:30pm and takes you to Kona town. There's only one hostel and it's $25/night for a dorm, I suggest Couchsurfing to save $$ - there's a few hosts around. The beaches on Kona side tend to be rocky but there's a few spots to snorkel and swim - also some surf breaks (not big though). Hitching is legal and easy. I've caught so many rides here - over ten under twenty probably. It's usually locals that pick you up and they are always giving out advice on places to see, local green (hehe) and parties. There's so many places to see here! Kealakekua Bay (which is literally right next to my house) is amazing. "Two step" and Place of Refuge are great. All of those are snorkeling spots. South Point is supposedly amazing, as well as Green Sands Beach, which is about a 2.5 mi hike from S Point. Volcano NP has miles and miles of hiking trails and camping throughout the island is free (although you have to register for back country sites). Puna coast is amazing! Basically a hippie/ecofriendly/sustainable living fest. With lots of Hawaiians that hate the US owning them. The beaches and stream vents there are crazy.

Hilo town is nice, less touristy than Kona. I've only driven though but I'll probably head there next week for lunch on my day off. There's several waterfalls north of Hilo and Waipio/Waimanu Valley is N of Hilo as well. Waimanu is apparently the go-to valley among the young backpacker set. About a 9 hour hike to remote beaches - Flickr photos!
Waimanu (below)



The northern beaches are the sandy ones. If you want there - although I suggest you see some of the beaches on the other island for the "Hawaiian beach" of plam trees and white sands. Here you're pretty much guaranteed to see green sea turles, honi, all the time and tons of fish. Mantra ray dives are possible by swimming from shore but they change their patterns all the time. There's a few tour companies that do them and track the patterns. Being the beautiful girl you are I'm sure you can sweet talk some young tour guides into their secrets!

Hope this helps to get you pumped. I'll be WWOOFing until Jan 5th, but after Dec 5th I'm going to ask for a weekend off to go to Waimanu. After Jan 5th I head to South Point and work the circuit around for a few weeks before starting a work exchange at that hostel in Kona. I live about 10 miles from Kona, 45 mins on bus. Can't wait to see you dear!

Excuse spelling/grammar errors - I was too excited to share my info.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:49 AM   #9
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I just got back, and Hawaii is great. The first and foremost thing that I would stress is to get out of Oahu. Unfortunately for me, my friend that I stayed with lived there and it was the best place for me to crash (came with a free car). It is crowded and kind of crazy at times, I hear the other islands are more laid back. That brings up my point, this was the first island I ever visited, I am used to the hustle and bustle of cities and being busy and go go go. Island life out there will suck the drive right out of you, and it's great. I did most of what I really wanted to; surf, shark dive, snorkel, kayak, Pharbor, and other touristy and crazy stuff, but I did get caught up in the laid back no hurry style of living out there. I don't see how anyone could not enjoy Hawaii.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:09 PM   #10
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Thanks bunches for the responses, guys...as usually I am going to be rather unplanned and I am sure it will be a blast.

(Yes Amber I am totally stalking you Wanna sweet talk some tour guides together?)
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:44 PM   #11
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I was born and raised on Maui and when I graduated college last year I moved back to work at my families tour company, we have all the tours statewide (2000+). We got shark diving, parasailing, luaus, snorkel trips, whale watches, helicopters etc. Go to tombarefoot.com for more info and if your gonna be on Maui then hit me up.
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