Hi there! My name is Hanna. You may know me from an earlier Beyond Voyage blog post: Dancing Over Boston with the Makenbrocks. To quickly recap, my husband, Steve and I got married in March 2014. We decided to wait a little bit before we went on our honeymoon to Hawaii. This gave us the time to research and plan everything we wanted to do. To round out our wedding celebrations, we’ve decided to document our trip here. So without further ado, here are our top five recommendations if you ever find yourself in Oahu!
1. Bring Your Hiking Shoes!
We hiked Diamond Head, an inactive volcanic vent, and one of Oahu’s most popular landmarks.
We also suggest you hike Manoa Falls on the same day. This trail is also 0.8 miles long (1.3 km) through a lush rainforest. The flora here is amazing with lots of banyan trees and beautiful plants that are so big, you feel like you’re back in prehistoric times.
2. Zipline On The North Shore
3. Take A Helicopter Ride...Doors Optional
4. Ride in Underwater...Scooters?
So of course what should one do if one can’t swim? Find aquatic activities that don’t require any actual swimming of course! Meet BOB (Breathing Observation Bubble), an underwater scooter that has a built-in helmet that is filled with air supplied by an oxygen tank:
One word of caution, it may feel a little claustrophobic inside with your head in the helmet and the rest of your body in the water. The water pressure can also get to your ears if you can’t pop them but if you can, it’s an awesome ride with all of the tropical fish and turtles.
5. Go Shark Diving
So how does it work? We booked a trip with Hawaii Shark Encounters in the North Shore. This is where most of the sharks are located off Oahu. A small boat takes you about three miles offshore. A cage is set in the water. The cage has bars inside that you can hold onto. You can stand on the railings and hold onto the bars so you never need to know how to swim. The crew provides a snorkel mask for everyone. Just like the BOB adventure, the scariest thing was ducking my head in the water with the snorkel mask. Encountering the sharks was the easy part!
When you’re down there, you’ll see smaller species of sharks such as the Sandbar and Galapagos. They range about 5-7 feet in length:
We tried our our very hardest to get a shark selfie but the closest we could get was my foot and Steve’s knee in the photo:
If you decide to do this tour, we suggest you go as early as possible. We did the 6 AM tour and while it sounds super early, it wasn't that bad because we were waking up as if we were on US East Coast time. The water is less choppy early in the morning which helps a lot for seasickness. Just make sure you add an hour of drive time if you’re staying in Honolulu.
We crammed all of this into seven days so it was an action-packed vacation. If you do stay in Oahu longer, you can do all of this at a much more leisurely pace with some lazy beach and pool days in between. And of course, no vacation would be complete without lots of food. Stay tuned for my next post where I take you on a food tour of Oahu!