SWAYING palm trees, crystal clear water, Waikiki beach, white sands and lots more, that’s Hawaii.
For Dannielle Thorne and sister Michelle, this was a dream holiday and they were looking forward to meeting the other members of their group tour.
Dannielle likes the group experience, she was on one last year to Disneyland and overheard her host talking about Hawaii this year and decided then and there to be part of it.
They arrived in Waikiki and their hotel was right on the beach and it was beautiful, that night the road had been closed off to traffic, it was to celebrate the life of the founding King of Hawaii.
There were people everywhere, dancers arrived to perform traditional Hawaiian dances, food vendors set up along the way and soon it was a real party atmosphere as everyone joined in dancing in the street.
The next day they flew to the big island Hawaii, they had booked the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and it was all five star.
From their room Dannielle and Michelle could look out over the resorts massive swimming pool and onto the ocean beyond.
They did a circle tour of the island starting at the main attraction, the Volcano, it’s still active with smoke coming from the crater, you can’t get too close but at night you can see the lava glow as it runs over the Volcano rim and down into the sea.
Their next stop was the Thurston Lava Tubes, created by the lava as it moved along leaving behind the tubes, like huge caves.
The island is built on black lava rock, even the beach has black sand, stopping to take a closer look they found a number of turtles lazily sunning on the sand.
That night there was to be a special Luau with great food but to get ready Dannielle and Michelle decided to have a traditional rock massage.
The rocks are heated nice and warm and then applied to the skin with a massaging movement, Dannielle says it was incredibly relaxing.
The Luau got into full swing, the food was great… meats, fish and salads then a traditional floor show but this time featuring the dances of the South Pacific Islands.
Hawaiian, Fijian, Tahitian and even dancing from New Zealand, it was really spectacular, Dannielle decided to join in learning how to swirl the fire sticks.
It looked quite spectacular as the dancers did it with either end of the twirling stick on fire but for learners no fire just coloured paper which was probably just as well, but it was great fun.
The next day they flew to Kauai Island. There they stayed in another great resort, that night they were greeted with dancing on a stage in the middle of the resort swimming pool, and a complementary Mi Tai to go with it.
The hotel was set in the most beautiful gardens with huge swimming pools and even a waterfall and this time the beach had white sand.
While there, they set off on a movie tour of the Island, it seems that the spectacular scenery has provided the natural set for many movies.
This was the location for Jurassic Park, Blue Hawaii was shot here, 6 days 7 nights and the list goes on and on.
Many of the movie stars have homes here, Bette Midler, Demi Moore (before her split with Ashton Kutcher), Sylvester Stallone even bought a home here for his mum.
The next day they enjoyed further sightseeing, this time to the Waimea Canyon, it’s said that Mark Twain called it the Grand Canyon of the South Pacific.
Dannielle says it was big but with more greenery than the other Grand Canyon but well worth a look.
Next, it was time to go Mountain Tubing. You put on a crash hat, jump on a tube and let the fast current whisk you away through the caves created by lava flows, but watch out for those walls… ouch.
Afterwards, it was time to leave the Island and head back to Waikiki for 6 more days, they had a great time, toured everything, they even saw the memorial to the Arizona the ship that was sunk at Pearl Harbour with a massive loss of lives, the sailors bodies remain in the ship on the bottom of the harbour.
They shopped ‘til they dropped everything was such good value, food was inexpensive and there are limitless dining out opportunities.
At night Waikiki comes alive with street buskers, a great atmosphere and people just having a good time til the wee hours.
Dannielle and Michelle would like to thank Lauren Oliver from Lyn McNaught Travel in Mooroopna for hosting their group tour, with someone else doing all the planning they could just relax back and enjoy.
Until next time, Safe Travel’n,