This trip was actually not my first visit to Hawaii – My parents had taken Ju and I on a family holiday….maybe 20 years ago? To be honest, I didn’t remember a thing. Not until we were ushered to our first-come-first-serve seats at the long table for our Luau dinner at the Polynesian Cultural Centre, with a fresh flower lei around my neck, I had the deja vu moment: “I had been here before”. Just like my dad said I would.
As a homosapien living in the 21st century, Kualoa Ranch was by far the closest that I had ever gotten to the Jurassic era – Well, at least the Jurassic that Hollywood had created. That’s right, the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World blockbusters were filmed right here at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii!
If you know me, you will know that I am not a morning person. I live in Sydney CBD, I set my alarm for 8:20am and snooze to 8:22am (yes, every minute counts) every morning before my 9am start at the office.
That’s why in the wee hours on the day we were scheduled to visit Hanauma Bay, I thought to myself as I desperately fought the urge to hit that snooze button: This, better, be, worth it!
We spent most of our time adventuring (and driving) on the Big Island and didn’t get to have many sit-down meals. So, what did we eat? Here’s our Big Island Food Diary.
I usually start my accommodation search on Booking.com because of its “book now, pay later” and “free cancellation” policies. The beauty with these policies is that you are usually allowed to cancel within a week of your travel time, sometimes even a day before, for free! I love it because it allows me to lock in my top choices as early as I start planning my holidays (and all my friends know I often plan my holidays 6 months in advance) without the fear of losing the accommodation that I like and still have the flexibility to change my plans as I go through my holiday research and planning.
On the other hand, Airbnb has a different calibre of accommodation offered by Booking.com. Airbnb listings often have a good mix of budget accommodation and designer houses style homes; whereas Booking.com listings are more hotel/hostel oriented. What I like about Airbnb is the idea of “living like a local” because you get to have a taste of what the city is like at locals’ spare room or vacant house.
Yes, you read right. We poked red hot omg wtf bbq flowing LAVA!
(Check out my flowing lava video!)
Mauna Kea is a very special mountain. It is a dormant volcano that stands 4,205m above sea level and it is the only place on earth where you can drive from sea level to 4,205m in about 2 hours. Interestingly, Mauna Kea measures over 10,000m from its base on the ocean floor – that is greater than the elevation of Mount Everest!
Punaluu Beach is known for two things – its pitch black sand and resident sea turtle. If you love turtles and don’t want to leave Hawaii without meeting some, Punaluu Beach is your best bet.
South Point is the southernmost point of the United States of America. For the daredevils, South Point is also known for its epic cliff jump. I almost decided to give this place a miss because I thought “why bother if I don’t do the cliff jump” – Boy, was I wrong.
The breathtaking view of South Point turned out to be my top-3 favourite of our entire Hawaii trip.