Scavenger Hunt Answers: Oahu (Part 1)
I hope you all had a fun time trying to figure out where all those photos were on the Island of Oahu. If you haven’t seen all the photos and want to try your luck at guessing where each photo is prior to reading this post you can take a look back at the scavenger hunt list. As promised, I’d like to give you the answers to the scavenger hunt locations. I’ve provided some additional photos and commentary to hopefully entice you to go seek these places out.
First up on the list is Manoa Falls. You may come to figure this out while you are there, but there are plenty of awesome hikes around the island of Oahu and the other islands of Hawaii. My sister and I chose to do the hike at Manoa Falls. As you can kind of guess by the name, the hike includes a wonderful waterfall. Just so that you can get a gauge on whether or not this hike is for you, the trail is about two miles round trip. The waterfall itself falls from above then down 100 ft into a wonderful collecting pool below. It almost seems to come from the heavens. If you’re going to do this hike I would highly suggest you check to see whether or not it rained or not the day before because that can mean all the difference. Before you get started on your hike there is an interpretive center near the parking lot that gives a lot of detailed information about the types of foliage and possible fauna that you may encounter throughout the trails.
The majority of the hike is uphill. This is why I mention you should check to see whether or not it rained the night or day before because the trail might be somewhat difficult for people who don’t hike often. With that said you obviously want to wear appropriate footwear as the ground is very uneven and it will be muddy in places. Also, the terrain is like a jungle and it gets pretty muggy, so only bring what you need if you’re going to do this hike and not a whole bunch of baggage that might weigh you down and cause you to sweat more. I’m not sure how popular this trail is but we had a pretty quiet hike the entire time and we definitely got to work out. If you do happen to go on a busy day the parking lot does fill up pretty quickly. So, the earlier you go the better …mainly because it’s cooler and there’s less mosquitoes. The mosquitoes were a real trip! I will say that we got bit up by the mosquitoes on the trail so please bring a reasonable level of insect repellent. This trail is nice because it also lets you see a lot of the native flowers of Hawaii in their natural environment rather than plucked off and put on a lei or dangling in someone’s hair as a hair accessory.
Once you get to the waterfall there is cautionary signage to stay out of the water. The hazards of falling rocks as well as an odd level of bacteria within the collection pool are present and enter at your own risk.
Next up is Makapu’u Beach Park near Waimanalo. There are so many great places and viewpoints to get a view of the ocean around Oahu. Makapu’u Beach Park is one location I think with spectacular views and to get a gist of why this is the windward side of the island. Don’t bother doing your hair before you come here because it’s supremely windy. Even though the wind may blow your top off (just kidding), I do feel like the windward side of the island seems a lot quieter than the central area near Honolulu and the leeward side. You may be able to catch some of the surfers doing what they do best at this park. One of the benefits of this park is that the parking lot is up high so that you can look down at the water and get a great view of the ocean. I will say though that this was one of my more favorite places to just sit and listen to the waves crashing it. It’s very peaceful.
Laniakea Beach is next on the list and it is in Haleiwa. I personally feel that the beaches on the North Shore and northwest are the better beaches. The further you go up on Kamehameha Highway, the better and less touristy the beaches are. Parking along Kam Highway can take some time to find on busy days as there is not really a designated parking lot for most beaches, but this beach is a very short walk from practically anywhere that you park. As you can tell by the photo I posted in the scavenger hunt list (courtesy of Boydscrazymama Blog) this is also a place that you can come to watch the turtles come in. At different times of the year you can watch the turtles come in from the ocean in, lay their eggs, and roll around in the dirt. Don’t touch though or get too close because turtles are actually a protected species in the state of Hawaii and it’s illegal to harm or molest or aggravate any turtle. So be respectful and look from a far and take only photos. This is also a great place to watch the surfers since many of the north shore beaches are where the majority of the surfers come to catch some waves. The water is so much more turbulent on the north shore beaches. That might explain the surfers.
The Duke Kahanamoku statue welcomes all the visitors to the Waikiki Beach with lei adorned open arms. Duke Kahanamoku won several medals for swimming in the Olympics & was internationally recognized for popularizing the sport of surfing. Some even have deemed him the father of modern surfing. You can read more about him here but he really was loved and honored and dear to the hearts of the people of Hawaii hence why he is memorialized in this 9 foot statue. It’s such a treasure that it even has its own 24 hour live Webcam to showcase the marvel of Duke Kahanamoku worldwide 24 hours a day on the web.
Local Boy Sushi it’s kind of a harder place to find as it’s basically a hole in the wall on the first floor of a big Green shopping center in Kaneohe. Their menu may seem small but they’re really good at making it fast and it taste really good. Just be patient because it only one or two people working there but it’s well worth the wait and the price. They even had sushi for vegetarians. My sister and I are vegetarians and I know you’re probably saying vegetarians eat sushi? Do they even make vegetarian sushi? Well the answer is yes they do. And I think that her eyes were a little bit bigger than our stomachs when we order their veggie platter and which comes with more than 80 pieces of sushi for around $25. I think the price may have went up to $30 but it’s still an unbelievable price for that much sushi.
We were only able to make it through 2/3 of the sushi which probably was not a good idea prior to us hiking at Manoa falls but at least we had some for leftovers the next day. They make everything by hand of course and I believe that the owner works every day preparing the sushi.
I really can’t say enough good things about Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. This may be one of the more touristy things to do in but it’s basically free. When we went it was only three dollars for parking and free access to the beach. I give a round of applause to the people who maintain this preserve because I’ve never seen so many beautiful fish and sea creatures so close to the shore and within arm’s reach. It really is beautifully maintained and they make sure that each of the visitors understands the importance of animal and nature conservation before heading down to the beach. I’ve seen people complain about the fact that they make every visitor watch a video regarding the preserve and the conservation efforts but it’s really a short video and drives home the importance of protecting the environment. It’s a small price to pay for day use of the beach and it’s also a little educational. Once you get down to the beach, it is almost like a perfect cut out from the ocean. The wonderful reef just slightly into the water, so watch your step.
They have a little concession stand where you can rent snorkeling equipment for a small fee. I was surprised they had prescription snorkel mask which was great for my sister and I since we both wear glasses and thought we were going to have to miss out on all of the fun of snorkeling.
They have a tram that runs from the bottom near the concession stand all the way up to the parking lot so after a long day of hard work at the beach getting your suntan and trying to keep hydrated you may not have enough energy to hike almost vertically up the hill back up to your car. So the tram comes in handy. This really is a place not to miss on your first time to Oahu!
Hopefully you got all the previous locations right but if not, the seventh place on the list is the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa. The Dole Plantation is a very popular destination. You can tour the grounds on your own time, listen to the audio tour, or ride the train around the premises to see how the place operates. We opted for the self-guided tour with the addition of the hedge maze which was a bunch of fun and didn’t take up as much of our day since we had limited time.
There are free range chickens and roosters roaming the grounds as well as small lizards and snails and all sorts of creatures.
The plantation is beautiful and well-manicured in most places and the flowers are amazing. I’ve never seen so many different types of pineapples.
The photo from the scavenger hunt was of the famous Dole Whip. They go for about $6, but I really felt like it was worth the money since it’s made from the juice of the pineapples grown on-site.
As I mentioned, we also got the pineapple hedge maze with our tickets. I was actually pretty excited to see this maze as I love hedge mazes and having to solve the problem of getting out. While this maze is quite large overall, I didn’t like that there were little holes in the hedges and spaces to cut through that people had made over time to more easily navigate that maze. If you’re not going to try to find your way through the maze without destroying part of it, just don’t go in. They even give you a map to help you navigate it so you genuinely can’t get lost. It’s still a cool maze though and the overall layout is right in line with the brand.
Bottom photo from Only In Hawaii
Please be sure and come back for Part 2 to see if you guessed right to the answers to the scavenger hunt.
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