Trip report from a kiwi – oahu forum – tripadvisor electricity labs high school


We have just returned from 10 wonderful days on Oahu. There were 8 of us, being 3 x couples aged in their 40’s, 1 x 67 yr old and 1 x 20 yr old. Out of the group, 4 of us have been to Hawaii multiple times. This isn’t going to be your normal day to day report, as I cant actually remember what we did each day. These are more observations and tips.

We used Johnny Cab for the airport – Waikiki – airport travel. They were by far the cheapest for 8 people at $60 each way. Other quotes we got were $15 per person. Johnny Cab were monitoring our flight, so were at the airport waiting, even though our flight was early. Their communication via email was excellent. Would I use them again? Most definitely.

We hired 2 x rental cars for 5 days to enable us to explore the island and get to places we wanted to go to outside of Waikiki. Rented then through Prices were good and included all insurances needed for Kiwis and Aussies.

We stayed at the Ilikai in private condos rented through We booked a penthouse suite (room 2603) as it had 3 rooms, huge lounge and kitchen, and had spectacular views from the lanai overlooking the lagoon and ocean. It was also freaking awesome watching the Friday fireworks as they were right there, at eye level. We also booked a 2 room condo (room 1609). It also had a large lounge and kitchen. Booking both of these worked out cheaper than booking 5 hotel rooms and allowed us somewhere to hang out, without having to sit in a small hotel room more than likely on a bed. The Pink Line Trolleys stop directly outside of the Hotel, but if you don’t mind walking, its only 10 minutes into the heart of Waikiki.

On day one we went for a swim straight in front of the lagoon. First hint….don’t swim there. Its got lots of coral on the bottom. Walk about 200m down the beach towards the Hale Koa and the beach is a lot better. We then went for a swim in the lagoon. It was the first and last time we swam there. Reason being. We found a USED nappy / diaper floating in the water. WTAF people. I have no idea who to blame for this, but it was disgusting.

After a couple of days, we started walking down the beach and found that swimming out the front of the Moana Surfrider Hotel was probably the best place to swim. It was quite a walk, but well worth it and what else is there to do on a relaxing holiday (see next topic).

Having been to Oahu multiple times, I found the shopping completely different from our last trip 2 yrs ago. The Waikele Outlet Mall was a let down. An example is the Adidas store used to be jam packed full of racks of ridiculously cheap clothing. Now it looks like a store in Waikiki and the prices are only marginally cheaper than you find elsewhere.

A much better bet was going to Ross Dress for Less. You need to give yourself quite a lot of time to look through all the racks, but you will find label clothing at super cheap prices. There is one at Ala Moana and another store located opposite Walmart near Ala Moana. Have a good look through both stores.

As for Ala Moana, thankfully there is a Lucky Strike Social for the men to visit whilst the ladies are shopping. Hint #2….men, google where it is located, go there, order some beers and play video games and 10 pin bowling. It will help take your mind off how much money your wife is spending.

I was super excited about eating at the Shirokiya Walk at Ala Moana again. I was very disappointed in the difference of food on offer since our last trip. I went to find my favourite shop, but it had been replaced or re-marketed into a shop that seem to specialize in fries covered in cheese sauce and bacon among other things. Having a walk around, a lot of shops were empty or they just weren’t serving Japanese food. Has this place gone "western" to cater for the type of person visiting. Hard to say. But they do still do $1 beers, so once I found something to eat, which was very tasty and Japanese, I could enjoy a nice cold cheap beer.

Also found Dairy Queen on our walks back from swimming. It was located on the boardwalk next to the lagoon. All I have to say is they are quite possibly the best soft serve ice creams and shakes I have ever had. And this is from a man who grew up in NZ eating Mr Whippys.

We did a round the island drive, but was a bit annoyed that the GPS from the rental company no longer contained the "round the island tour". It meant having to actually navigate, instead of just listening to instructions. It was great getting out of Waikiki and over to the North Shore. It is a completely different place with a different feel. Hint #3. If you visit the Dole Plantation, best to probably use it as a toilet stop. The products are way over priced, and you can actually get the exact Dole products in the ABC stores or Walmart for cheaper.

This forum has been invaluable in planning all of my trips. The hints and questions that have been provided and answered by the Oahu experts have been gratefully received. Without them I’m sure I would have missed out on some of the lesser known things to do on the island.

My hint #4 would have to be just go and explore the island. You will instantly love the island feel and the welcoming locals. Get off the beaten track and get out of your comfort zone. If you want to have a holiday at 100% and be constantly busy, Hawaii is the place to go. If you want to relax on a beach drinking cocktails and just exist on your holiday, Hawaii is the place. Or you can do both and have an awesome time.