Hawaii Part 4 - Big Island

I took the small plane out of Maui, and wowsers, what a view!  Don't you love the inverted rainbow?

Our last 6 days was on Big Island and whilst I enjoyed myself here it wasn’t my favourite.  Kona lacks the charm of Lahaina, there are no lush green mountain backdrops, and no spectacular beaches to speak of, the coast being mainly rocky and black lava.  It reminded me a lot of Iceland with the lava fields stretching away bleakly into the distance.
Green beach (Papakolea Beach)
You can do a trip to the green beach, which will take you just over an hour to drive from Kona.  Once you navigate your way through the wind-blown farmlands, you reach a car park where a number of sweet-talking Hawaiian women will convince you that the best thing to do is climb in the back of their clapped out truck for $10 and be driven to the beach.   Given that the tradewinds here are INSANE we opted to drive in and walk out.  Clinging onto the sides of the pickup with about 10 other people, we bumped and jos…

Hawaii Part 3 - Maui

Onto the next island in the chain!Maui is home to big surf and big mountains, and is also the most popular tourist destination.We stayed in Napili Beach, about 10 miles north of Lahaina.In between there are numerous beaches and larger hotels.
One thing you do a lot of in Maui is drive -and it’s not for the faint hearted.  The roads are narrow with curves and turns so sharp you have to beep your horn each time.  The sides drop away into the ocean and you have to navigate around rockfalls and be able to handle slippy conditions as there is a lot of rain.  There are two roads of note:  1 is in the north: and the other is the road to Hana in the south: Both roads offer beautiful views of the Maui coastline and it’s worth stopping in some of the national parks to do a hike.  My favourite hike was the moderate/steep Waihee Ridge Trail which offers stunning view…

Hawaii Part 2: Oahu

Oahu is probably the most internationally well known Hawaiian Island, in that it has the most turbulent and tragic history (Pearl Harbour), it has the most famous beach (Waikiki) and it is the home to several well-known TV shows and movies (Kualoa Ranch).  To give Oahu justice, I have divided these up into 3 sections. 
Waikiki and North Shore
We stayed in Waikiki, not far from the beach. I can’t say our experience of Island Colony was a pleasant one to begin with as we were sharing with several cockroaches the first night, however the hotel scrambled and the next night we were upgraded to a pest-free boudoir. 
Waikiki is part of Honolulu, and Honolulu is used to describe a very large residential area in Oahu, in case you always wondered what the difference was!
Waikiki is expensive – as an example parking is not included in your hotel room price so that’s an extra $25/day to be factored in - and if you want to see the island you really do need a car.  Waikiki is touristy, plenty of …