PDA

View Full Version : Honolulu/ Hawaiii


BarbiesBoyfriend
26th Jul 2011, 20:19
Anyone been?

I'm taking (oh so slender) Barbie to Hawaii for her hols this year.

She's a real geek and asked me if any other ppruners know the best places to plane-spot or if there are any other cool aviation related places to go there?

She's such a spotter!

I told her that I'd be happy just to rub sun-tan oil on her inner thighs but it seems, as usual, that wont satisfy her.

She'll never get a second look, so can any ppruners help her?

Regards.

Ken:ok:

con-pilot
26th Jul 2011, 20:29
I've been quite a few times, but either just to refuel and if staying longer, I'd leave the airport as quick as I could.

PHNL is a fairly active airport, mostly airliner traffic and long range business aircraft. I'm pretty sure there is a spectator viewing area, seems like I've seen it a few times.

Bearfoil, used to live in Honolulu, I haven't seen him here for a while, but you might drop him a PM and see if he can help you. I think Galaxy Flyer still goes in and out of PHNL, you might ask him as well.

BarbiesBoyfriend
26th Jul 2011, 20:52
Con
Thanks for that.

I shall treate with you more gently here than on the 'Mad Norwegian' thread.

;)

con-pilot
26th Jul 2011, 20:57
No worries, I can give back. ;)

And you're welcome.

Flying Lawyer
26th Jul 2011, 21:00
..... any other cool aviation related places to go there?

USS Arizona Memorial (http://www.pearl-harbor.com/arizona/arizona.html)
http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/images/oahu/attractions/uss-arizona-04-usnps-500x328.jpg

Memorial to those who lost their lives in the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor.
Tip: Go early in the morning to reduce the risk of a long wait. Unless things have changed, it's 'first come first served' - and a lot of people come!


Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/index.html)
On Ford Island.


You could easily do both on the same day.

FL

Gordy
26th Jul 2011, 21:08
I lived there for 7 years.

Spotting is not a big sport outside of Europe---you are liable to be arrested for "looking suspicious".

In Honolulu, you should go visit the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor See Here (http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm) and visit the USS Missouri, See Here (http://www.ussmissouri.com/)

There is an aviation museum, but I never went to it.. See Here (http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/)

I lived on Kauai--the garden Isle. Hawaii is about relaxing and taking it easy---too many people try to plan every minute of every day and o home for a rest..... Sitting on the beach watching the sunset is highly recommended. One should prolly take a helicopter tour if you are really interested in aviation and the beauty of the island.... There is an article about helicopter tours beginning on page 6.... (I am infinitely familiar with it). :) :) Kauai Magazine (http://www.kauaimagazine.com/issues/2002/spring/magazine.php)

BarbiesBoyfriend
26th Jul 2011, 21:48
FL

Thanks.
I looked at the USS Arizona site on GE and there's another Battleship (of exactly the same size tied up nearby. Must be worth a look.

I hear the old Airfield- maybe the one you mention- is semi-preserved 'as was' on the big day. Should be a great day oot.

Gordy.

I know. It's an accepted hazard.

We have no plans- or any accom booked. Looking forward to it tho.

I hear inter-island travel is cheap (or free (surely not))if you have airline ID.

Gordy, are you a helo pilot on one of them thar tours?

Can it be so?

Flying Lawyer
26th Jul 2011, 22:06
BB another Battleship (of exactly the same size tied up nearby.
The USS Missouri ("Mighty Mo") is bigger than the Arizona.
We didn't go there but I'm sure it's worth seeing.

http://www.ussmissouri.com/files/mo-and-arizona.jpg


I hear the old Airfield- maybe the one you mention- is semi-preserved 'as was' on the big day
Yes.
Ford Island is (I think) still an active military base but the museum is in preserved WWII hangars.

Re accommodation:
We've used www.hoteldiscount.com several times on American trips and have never failed to save money - sometimes a little, sometimes a significant amount. Prices vary with location. Hotels around Waikiki Beach are quite expensive - by American standards, not British.

FL

radeng
26th Jul 2011, 22:12
The submarine museum by the Arizona museum boarding point is worth a visit.

Otherwise, personally, I prefer Teneriffe - geologically and in climate terms, it's much the same but much cheaper.

BarbiesBoyfriend
26th Jul 2011, 22:31
radeng.

Thanks for that. Exactly the sort of info I didnt have. But do now.

FL.

So, it's the USS Missouri. Didn't know that. Have a look on GE when you get a mo. It's a striking contrast.

I know Barbers Point NAS is shut these days (I've seen a few boneyard a/c with that on their tails). Is anything else worth a visit from a 'photos of mil a/c' point of view?

ExSp33db1rd
26th Jul 2011, 23:02
When tired with that, the crowds are a little less at the far end of Waikiki Beach, 'tother end to the Hawaiian Village complex i.e. to the left as you look out to sea. Walk past the Aquarium to the last beach before the rocks start, safe swimming, reasonably unspoilt.

( not so good for booby gazing of course - less of them )

In the Ala Moana Shopping centre, and also on the main shopping street, Kalakua Ave,. the "Apple" stores let you play with all their new toys. Decided I don't like touchscreen technology, won't be buying an iPad.

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 01:07
Good Heavens. Waikiki is a zoo. One day there, tops, and that should include tea at the Moana. People have no imagination. Then leave it.

Kailua (Windward, East) side. Beaches are nicer. Country (North Shore) is nicer, too. Don't go to Wai'anae (West Side) unless you know where you're going. The West Side is lovely, but a tourist can get in a lot of trouble with the locals there.

Why in the world people go to a tropical island and then watch airplanes is beyond me (of course, I don't understand what most people call vacations, anyway), but the NAS is now at Kaneohe Bay (a peninsula near Kailua... it is also the home of Marine Corps Air in Hawai'i). A lot of training flights with heavy helicopters take place over the Bay and can be observed from Kailua's beaches. The closer you get to Bellows (an Air Force station, it is where the guesthouses for government officials are) the nicer the beach, in general.
Wheeler Army Airfield is up the Kamehameha Hwy in the center of the island. Its rows of hangars featured in Tora, Tora, Tora, and at least one of them still has the WWII-era roundel on it (Wheeler was and is an active base). It has a large number of Chinooks and other Army helicopters.
Dillingham (near Kaena Point, North Shore) was a WWII field, now is largely sailplanes (yes, you can get rides).
Haleiwa was where some fighters took off on Decmber 7, 1941. It's largely overgrown now, but still visible from the air.
Ewa Marine Corps Air Station is now closed (has been for decades), but its concrete fighter revetments now stable horses (they are so thick and so heavy there was no getting rid of them). There is a local club of some kind that races go-karts out there, too, I think. There were something like 40 airfields on Oahu at the height of WWII. Most are gone without a trace.
NAS Barbers is closed (it is now known as Kalaeloa), but CGAS Barbers remains open and is still at the airfield with about 4 C-130s and 4 Dauphin helicopters. The Hideaway Club is worth a look for the front end of a HH-52A (Sikorsky S-62) which hangs over the lounge and now houses the DJ (the story of how it got there is interesting). Beer's cheap, too... it's at the beach, food's OK, and it's generally full of actual Coasties who will think you are insane for looking at airplanes. None of the other clubs at other bases on Oahu are likely to be accessible to outsiders. There is a museum at what used to be NAS Barbers. I've never been.
Naval Air Museum Barbers Point (http://www.nambarberspoint.org/)

A tour of the battleships is striking. If you can get a VIP tour, those are better (active duty military can get those). One battleship was the centerpiece of the start of America's war in the Pacific, and the other one is where it ended (albeit in Tokyo Bay) with the signing of the surrender documents.

bearfoil
27th Jul 2011, 02:01
Howdy.

I usually spend a few days in Waikiki on arrival and departure. It is noisy, smelly, expensive, and high energy. Body surf at Makapuu, or Sandy Beach. Drive around the Island at least once. Wahiawa for pineapple plantations, and Haleiwa for grown up surfs.

Beeg Islann. Mos. Kona side dry, drive to Volcano House for lava (I think kilauea is still erupting). I went to Kauai last year for a short visit, and spent a month in the hammock above Secret Beach.

Gordy has it right. Kauai is Opium for the stressed. Good food, Beaches are unbelievable, and it will infect your soul. So bliss.

If you wish tail spotting, go to Sand Island East of HNL, between the airport and Ala Wai. Water ski there too. Booze cruise on the Catamarans.

Green Flash from de Russy with Mai Tai drip, da bes'.

Aloha.

Gordy
27th Jul 2011, 02:33
Ken:

Yep---was a helicopter tour pilot for 7 years on Kauai...... I no longer live there and now fly fires on the mainland....

Seriously....book your flights and the first few nights...then just "go with the flow"..... have an idea of what you would like to see or do, but do not plan anything, this is the essence of Hawaii and the Aloha spirit... Life is too short to plan everything to the minute.

Side story / thread drift... I was in a high stress helicopter flying job, took a job in Hawaii and immersed myself in the culture, (as best a haole could anyways)... I flew bare foot for 7 years, shorts, aloha shirt and flip flops. Life is an attitude, and a mystery to be lived----not a problem to be solved..... Go enjoy everything Hawaii has to offer and you will be re-juvinated.

Here is what you need to do in Hawaii----go to a grocery store, buy a bottle of wine, (remember to get an opener), buy one of those fire logs, "borrow" a blanket from your hotel, take Barbie to the beach, dig a pit, light the fire log, lay out the blanket, open the wine, lie back and watch the stars with the one you love..... Enjoy--Aloha.......

Edit: The "cheap" airline travel ended on 9-11. Prior to that, with airline or part 135 ID you could jump seat all over the islands with Hawaiian and Aloha airlines.....not so any more...

visibility3miles
27th Jul 2011, 03:16
One should prolly take a helicopter tour if you are really interested in aviation and the beauty of the island.

I've seen photos -- it's beautiful. Lush steep canyons, etc. Looks like a great way to see the island and it is aviation related.

Ask those with experience -- I've heard helicopters have higher accident rates there than elsewhere. (Those lush steep canyons...)

Get shaved ice when in the North Shore. If you're there in the winter, does watching people surf on big waves count as flying?

The Hau Tree Lanai restaurant is a nice place to enjoy a drink or appetizers (or a meal) on the ocean front. ***
Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant - Honolulu, HI | OpenTable (http://www.opentable.com/hau-tree-lanai)
Hau Tree Lanai at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel (http://www.kaimana.com/hautreelanai.htm)

*** Correct me if I am thinking of someplace else on the beach.

Slasher
27th Jul 2011, 03:43
We used to nightstop yonks ago at that same hotel Jack Lord
would turn around in during the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0
(old series not that stupid new one). I recall the rates at the
time were quite reasonable given the location. Might be worth
a booking Danno if its still in business.

Gordy
27th Jul 2011, 03:45
I've heard helicopters have higher accident rates there than elsewhere.

Statistically---NO, the problem is that every accident makes big news. The helicopter I flew averaged about 1,800 hours per year----this is typical of the tour helicopters on the islands.

Obliviously there are some companies that I would recommend more than others, but in reality, it comes down to the personality if the pilot giving the tour.

You can read about my tour in the article I linked earlier in tis thread----some pilots are "laid back" others are not.....

visibility3miles
27th Jul 2011, 04:04
The TV show LOST was filmed on/in Oahu, the North Shore, and Honolulu, if airplanes splitting apart in midair, followed by the passengers walking away, qualifies as "aviation." :hmm:

In Search of Filming Locations for ABC's Lost - Lost Locations on Oahu, Hawaii (http://gohawaii.about.com/od/oahuactivities/ss/lost_locations.htm)

hoofie
27th Jul 2011, 04:12
I've just come back from Hawaii/Honolulu and here's my thoughts.

Pearl Harbor:
Aviation Museum - pretty poor to be honest. Most of the original airfield is gone and the control tower was swathed in scaffolding. The museum has some very nice static exhibits but the other part is across the windy apron and is a bit underwhelming. [more junkyard than anything]. I thought there would be much more information about the attack outside but there was zip.

Submarine Museum - don't miss it; make sure you go inside the museum itself.

USS Missouri - really good although I would have liked to have seen the engine room but that didn't appear to be accessible.

USS Arizona Memorial - very moving. I would suggest wandering into the theatre around 4pm when it quietens down and missing the queues or go very early.

The one thing I would REALLY recommend is getting a flight over to Big Island and getting a helicopter trip over the volcano. Hilo airport on the east side has plenty of companies [we went with Paradise Helicopters 'cos they had a slot at short notice and were cheap !]. If you fly into Kona the drive between the volcanoes and through the lava fields is impressive. You could do it in a day trip as the flight from Honolulu to Hilo/Kona is less than an hour. The volcano isn't erupting at the moment but if you get the helicopter 'doors off' you will still see lava in the crater and be able to smell the sulphur and feel the heat - how often will you get the chance to fly over a volcano.

Wakikki - absolutely hated it; just a huge street of very expensive or tat shops lined with overpriced hotels. Everything is overpriced. If I ever stay in Honolulu again I will stay a street or two behind the main seafront and save $$$.

Polynesian Cultural Centre - a bit cheesy but some of the exhibitions/shows were pretty good, especially the evening 'Breath of Life' show which was very impressive. Tours are available or you can drive up.

I am planning to go back in 2 years [I live in Perth, WA so it's a bit of a long haul] as I loved Hawaii but I will only spend a couple of days in Honolulu and the rest on Big Island as it was much more laid back and relaxing. If you can only stay on Honolulu rent a car and get out of the city and go east/north/west. Dollar have a rent-a-car at one end of the main drag in Waikiki. You can of course rent one at the airport but you will be paying at least $20/30 a day for hotel parking and there is sod-all other parking available.

galaxy flyer
27th Jul 2011, 06:12
What to add:

Side Street Cafe, next to the Ala Moana Mall. A dive, but good food, inexpensive and an after hours chef kind of place.

Waikiki, yes awful and touristy, but you have to go just to impress non-travelers that you've been.

Climb Diamond Head, view is spectacular, if the trail has been re-opened.

If you have military privileges (NATO ID Card), Hickam has a golf course in the middle of the airport. Hickam and Honolulu Int'l are the same place. Hickam also has a nifty little beach for a picnic next to the taxiway out to the Reef runway. Don't moon the airliners going by, don't ask how I know this is bad idea. Good, mostly for the close up views.

Dillingham, on the North Shore, is a soaring center where sailplanes ride the ridge lift. Pretty much jet say how long you want to ride.

All the rest of the stuff is accurate. The Big Island is 45 minutes away and has all the Hawiian stuff, volcanos, lava, beaches plantations, cattle ranches.

GF

Hokulea
27th Jul 2011, 07:44
I live in Hawaii but not on Oahu - have been here for 15 years now and avoid Honolulu/Waikiki as much as I possibly can and therefore can't give too many recommendations for that island or city. The only good thing I can say about Waikiki is that there's a lot of entertainment and you don't have to go far to see it but most of it is over-priced rubbish. On the other hand, I really do recommend going out to visit the USS Arizona Memorial - it's very special. The North shore of Oahu is spectacular as well, especially if you get to visit during the winter when the massive surf arrives.

Not a spotter myself, but have heard driving to the end of Lagoon Drive in Honolulu will allow you to spot planes and the National Guard pilots will often put on quite a spectacular take-off and landing display when commercial traffic has a lull. I've seen some really amazing stuff while waiting for a flight to the mainland.

Not sure if you can get cheap inter-island flights if you're airline personnel from elsewhere, never heard of that happening but can't say it isn't available. If it isn't, inter-island flights are usually between $60-100 each way per seat depending on the island you visit. Bags another $10 to 20 each way (Hawaiian have just raised bag charges).

If you have the chance and the money and want to see the real Hawaii, I suggest visiting Kaui or the Big Island. Maui is beautiful, it's my favourite island but very touristy. Kaui is very beautiful with some wonderful beaches (not much plane spotting available I'm afraid) and the Big Island has everything - beaches, tourist traps, top resorts, Mauna Kea (a place I know very well), an active volcano, deserts, tropical rainforests, jungle hideaways: the list goes on. Feel free to drop me a line if you want more info.

hoofie - glad you enjoyed the helicopter flight over the volcano and probably over my house!

WillDAQ
27th Jul 2011, 09:30
Waikiki hit list:

- Beach obviously (quite scenic and depending on the wind you can see departures including C17s and the like)
- Have a bit of a snorkel, it's no where near as good as somewhere like Captain Cook on the Big Island but it does have turtles if you look hard enough.
- Purchase range of over priced surf paraphernalia (boardies and the like)

Then go somewhere else.

BarbiesBoyfriend
27th Jul 2011, 10:11
Thanks guys!

Hokulea. We want to get OFF the tourist trail and will definately be going to Big Island. My two daughters are desperate to swim with dolphins but apart from that and getting away from the tourists (and looking at planes!) we have no itinery.

Galaxy. Sadly my mil privileges were withdrawn when I left. Your beach sounds good though but off limits to a civvy?

hoofie. many thanks for the info

Too much here to reply to it all, I'll print this off and take it with me.

Gordy, sounds like you went native!

Must be a great place to live for sure. :ok:

BarbiesBoyfriend
27th Jul 2011, 10:19
Um lifting.
Thanks for that detailed post.

Bearfoil, sounds like a fun place. My kids liked Nevada and AZ best. But I think they're going to love Hawaii.

Hokulea
27th Jul 2011, 10:23
BB - don't know how old your daughters are, but if they are young kids and want to swim with dolphins then the best place is the Hilton Waikoloa on the Kona side of the Big Island. It's a family resort and definitely not my kind of place, but the kids will love it, I promise you!

BarbiesBoyfriend
27th Jul 2011, 10:58
Hokulea

They are 15 & 17. Getting a bit excited about their hols.

It's a long way from Scotland and will likely be quite a contrast!

Is shark attack an issue over there. I heard someione mention 'safe' swimming!?

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 12:21
Shark's Cove in Hale'iwa (North Shore) is lovely snorkeling... but only in the summer months. In winter virtually every year a tourist with a camera to their head gets too close and is sucked off the rocks and dashed to bits.

Living a free lifestyle in Hawai'i don't come cheap, especially on the neighbor islands.

Bear... bless 'im, recommended a beach for bodysurfing that I would only recommend for experts. That would be Sandy Beach, AKA Sandy's. The Honolulu Fire Dept. and the Coast Guard call it 'Break Neck Beach' for a reason. It's a beautiful beach. Don't bodysurf there unless you really know what you're doing... and if you don't know what that means, you don't know what you're doing.

There are plenty of sharks in Hawai'i, from sand, to basking to tigers. If you don't go swim in muddy water after a rain, the risk of attack is infinitesimal. Sharks simply don't like the taste of people, and will only hit them if they can't see them or if they're sick and/or the people are wounded or otherwise vulnerable.

Gordy
27th Jul 2011, 15:25
BB

Is shark attack an issue over there. I heard someione mention 'safe' swimming!?

Sharks are not really an issue close to the beaches. The ocean WILL kill you if you are not careful. Before you go swimming, you should watch the ocean for 30 minutes, unless you are in a protected area. Even small waves can produce powerful undertows and rip tides. There are brochures on safe swimming---please read them....and you will do fine.

There were an average of 11 fatal drownings on Kauai EACH YEAR during my time there, and only 2 shark attacks in the the 7 years.

galaxy flyer
27th Jul 2011, 15:32
Yes, the beach is "on base", so you'd need an ID. Haunama Bay, east of Koko Head is good for snorkeling, but often crowded.

GF

PS. Please let us know how the hols work out.

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 15:37
gf-

Hate to differ, but Hanauma's done. Too many people feeding fish and leaving their suntan oil in what is not a naturally well-flushed bay.

When I left there almost ten years ago, Hanauma was only open a couple days a week.

BTW... Olomano is a fun (not technically difficult, but steep, and quick) hike. At least it used to be. You need at a minimum running shoes, lightweight hikers are better. Also bring some water. The view is spectacular from the top.

V2-OMG!
27th Jul 2011, 15:37
Doris Duke's Shangri La.....

Home Page - Doris Dukes Shangri La (http://www.shangrilahawaii.org/)

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 15:39
Doris Duke's Shangri La.....

Lotta money in coffin nails...;)

SpringHeeledJack
27th Jul 2011, 15:39
Living a free lifestyle in Hawai'i don't come cheap, especially on the neighbor islands.

Amen to that brudda. During my time living there, it was very obvious that if you had no money and just wanted beach/surf/sun it was doable, if you had a professional job and earn't well it was doable, but if you were in the middle it was always a struggle and you might as well have been anywhere for all the time you got to enjoy being in the islands. I knew many who had 3 jobs, often worked one after the other during the course of each working day :uhoh:

I would concur with all the other posters, spend a brief bit of time in Honolulu (it has it's attractions after all) and get out to Hawaii, Kauai, Maui and even Lanai and Molokai if there for longer. I wish I was there now, have a great time.


SHJ

V2-OMG!
27th Jul 2011, 15:45
Lotta money in coffin nails...

Ummm....lifing...unfortunately, yes.

From what I remember in Duke's bio, her father did not smoke and forbade her to smoke too.

Good thing a lot of Duke's philanthropy is dedicated to health care...

Home - Duke University School of Medicine :: (http://medschool.duke.edu/modules/som_rt/index.php?id=1)

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 15:50
From what I remember in Duke's bio, her father did not smoke and forbade her to smoke too.

Which would make him a...? Doris did some good stuff, but her old man... that was one conflicted fellow.

V2-OMG!
27th Jul 2011, 15:53
Which would make him a...?
Rich hypocrite?

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 15:54
We have a winner... someone send V2-OMG a free round-trip ticket to Tulsa.

V2-OMG!
27th Jul 2011, 15:58
someone send V2-OMG a free round-trip ticket to Tulsa

Hey! How come some get Hawaii and I get Tulsa? :{

Oh well. I would get to see con-pilot. :ok:

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 16:00
It wasn't that hard a question.;)

We'll throw in round-trip limo to con-pilot's pub.

V2-OMG!
27th Jul 2011, 16:07
We'll throw in round-trip limo to con-pilot's pub.

You mean the oak-panelled den with the fine cigars and single-malt scotch? Even though I don't drink or smoke, I'd take it up just to have con-pilot regale me with his flying days amidst the smoke-filled haze.

The man is also a gourmet cook.

Ecstasy. Sheer ecstasy. ;)

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 16:22
That's the boy. I'd almost welcome an action against my FAA certificate so I'd have to go to OKC to protest... simply so I could visit the fellow.:p

visibility3miles
27th Jul 2011, 16:23
Hawaii's Official Tourism Site -- Travel Info for Your Hawaii Vacation (http://www.gohawaii.com/)

Big Island

The Hilo and Kona Airports are probably dull as dishwater for spotting.

An airplane became a convertible one time inflight. Not good.
Aloha Airlines Flight 243 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243)

Hilo -- the less touristy side of the island. The Hilo farmer's market (open wednesday and saturday morning) is a great cheap place to buy and sample the local products.

Hilo beaches tend to be lava -- good for snorkeling, not bodysurfing

The lava is as sharp as glass and cuts are slow to heal. I'm told it's because it introduces who knows what, so use some antibiotic cream.

Don't park under coconut trees; coconuts and fronds can damage your car.

Tsunami warning horns: go uphill. "Hilo's location on the shore of the funnel-shaped Hilo Bay also makes it vulnerable to tsunamis."

Hilo counter clockwise around island: waterfalls, taro root plantation (steep road into it), north side/west side -- Kona Airport, coffee trees, white sand beaches (good for athletic bodysurfing), Volcano National Park, Hilo Airport.

Saddle Road: up & over island. Side road to Mauna Kea and the Visitors Center. Don't drive to the summit. Take a tour bus.
Sunset (and just before) is a great time to be at the summit and watch the telescopes open up and start aiming for a night's observing. It is cold up there.
Visiting Mauna Kea (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/mko/visiting.htm)
Welcome to MKVIS - Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/)

Lava fields: Find out in advance if it's active and how far you'll need to walk to see the lava dripping into the ocean, sending up spouts of boiling water. Go there in time to see it in daylight then sunset for a spectacular glowing view. Wear gloves (available for $$ in gift shop), boots, and long pants, bring flashlights, water bottles, cameras,.. You can cut yourself badly on the lava.
=============
I snorkeled at the Molokino Crater then drove up to Haleakala the same day. Both are beautiful, but my eardrums hurt while driving down Haleakala. I stopped several times to let them clear.

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 16:30
The lava is as sharp as glass and cuts are slow to heal. I'm told it's because it introduces who knows what, so use some antibiotic cream.Coral, among other things. Got a coral cut of about 1 cm in length on a finger while surfing years ago (paddled too deep and grazed the finger on some coral). It closed about a year later.

Ol' Da' ran the magnetic/seismic observatory a half-century ago on what is now one of the runways of the now-closed NAS Barbers Point. He was there in 1960, when the big tsunami hit Hilo town. While he was a young nobody-in-particular, he rapidly became the governor's right-hand man for quite a while afterward, and boy wasn't he (and Mom) surprised. He finally rolled out the newspaper clippings a couple years back. We never knew!

There are still marks on the shops downtown that show where the high water mark was, and one of the town clocks is still stopped at the time it happened. Tsunamis are not to be toyed with.

Molokini's pretty. I've spent some time over it in the hover while they serviced the navigation light on the top. Haleakala is spectacular, but it sucks you right in. Hiking into the crater is like being in seven-league boots, 3-4 metres at a step, easy... hiking out to that 11 thousand-something foot elevation on that volcanic shale is like being Sisyphus.

con-pilot
27th Jul 2011, 16:38
Ah you guys. :O

Back on subject.

I really don't if just anyone can do this; a tour of Midway Island?

Midway is not all that far from Honolulu, Pacific Ocean distance wise, however, it is a fascinating place when one considers the impact this little island had on World War Two's Pacific Theater of Operations.

Sadly I have only been there just long enough to refuel, have been invited back to spend a few days fishing and touring the outer islands of the Atoll.

As consumed with history as I am, I would love going back to take them up on their offer. Just for the history......

Oops, I just found the answer to my own question.

Midway Atoll - US Fish and Wildlife Service Tours (http://www.fishdive.com/midway/History/usfwstours.htm)

I need to plan on doing that, after all, it's just money. :p

Um... lifting...
27th Jul 2011, 16:52
Spent a day there once, con... working a SAR exercise. We flew out on a C-130 from Hawai'i, spent one night, came back. More birdstrikes on Midway than any place on earth. We were there out of nesting season, and there were still more gooney birds (Laysan albatross) than you could shake a stick at. There were seals basking on the beach, and we stayed in the old barracks.

Far is relative. I seem to recall it's about 1100nm from Honolulu.

Excellent trivia question for a beer bet... in what state is the longest U.S. county from East to West?

Hawai'i. Midway is part of Honolulu county... or at least it used to be.

Another good one... name the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost U.S. states.

Alaska, Hawai'i, Alaska, and Alaska (that is correct... figure that one out).

con-pilot
27th Jul 2011, 17:14
Far is relative. I seem to recall it's about 1100nm from Honolulu.



Very true, that's why I included the Pacific Ocean distance disclaimer.

As for the birds, very, very true. The first time I landed there, we were too early, landed an hour before sunset instead of just after sunset, during the mating season. Things were a little anxious on the approach.

One thing I forgot to relate about Midway.

Yes it is under the management of the US Wildlife folks (has/had a US Flag flying over the hangar)

Yes, the island is part of Honolulu County.

You really never leave US airspace.

Never the less, you have to clear customs when reentering US territories or a US State.

Figure that one out.

Now returning to Hawaii may have an exclusion, but not when landing at Guam after a non-stop flight from Midway.

I repeatedly asked the US Custom's people as to why, never got an answer other than; 'because'. :rolleyes:

11Fan
27th Jul 2011, 19:14
Another good one... name the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost U.S. states.

Alaska, Hawai'i, Alaska, and Alaska (that is correct... figure that one out).

International Date Line

Excellent trivia question for a beer bet... in what state is the longest U.S. county from East to West?

Con got that one.

Um... lifting...
28th Jul 2011, 00:42
Technically... it's the 180 meridian. The IDL actually jogs west of Attu, so Alaska never crosses it. Attu... horrible place, not least for the battle fought there in May, 1943.

WillDAQ
28th Jul 2011, 08:11
The lava is as sharp as glass and cuts are slow to heal. I'm told it's because it introduces who knows what, so use some antibiotic cream.
A whole world of THIS!

If you're going to be anywhere near rocks in the sea:
- Rock shoes (rubber plimsoll things)
- Tube of Neosporin
- Pack of plasters.

Managed to collect 15 lacerations on hands and feet trying to get out on slippery rocks. Came out of the water with a completely red hand... 40 minute kayak before I could clean the wounds.

The Neosporin was recommended to me by a local diver, can get it in ABC stores* and it really speeds up the healing.

* There are 84 in Waikiki alone.

Hokulea
28th Jul 2011, 08:28
Hokulea

They are 15 & 17. Getting a bit excited about their hols.

It's a long way from Scotland and will likely be quite a contrast!

Is shark attack an issue over there. I heard someione mention 'safe' swimming!? BB - I mentioned the Hilton Waikoloa and think it's aimed at kids slightly younger than yours, but suspect they'd like it nevertheless. If their overriding need is to swim with dolphins then that's the place to go. I think you can visit without staying there but be prepared to pay some exorbitant parking charge - just like most other resorts here I'm afraid ($20-$30 I suspect).

As others have mentioned, sharks aren't the biggest issue. Yes, we have sharks including tigers which are very nasty and aggressive but relatively few and far between. Just the other day many beaches on the Kona side of the Big Island were closed due to tiger shark sightings but think they're open again. Actual shark attacks are extremely rare, you're much more likely to be killed by the surf or rip currents. I think it's fair to say that more local anglers have been killed fishing on the cliffs than swimmers by sharks in the time I've been here. Actually, now that I think of it, you're much more likely to die in a helicopter tour than be killed by a shark - but there are one or two places and times I won't go snorkeling (sharks love sunset!).

Again, please feel free to drop me a PM if you need any tips, happy to provide them if I can.

Rollingthunder
28th Jul 2011, 15:06
How to die in Hawaii.

Helol
28th Jul 2011, 19:48
Molokai - we stayed there for a few days, marvellous place, and would recommend it to anyone, great place to fly sport kites too.

fleigle
28th Jul 2011, 20:56
I would echo Um-lifting's early post about Dillingham Field. It is a superb setting, with the runway parallel to the beach and a big ridge. The glider flight I took was towed aloft by an old Cessna "Bird Dog" right into a monster thermal that got us above the ridge in no time, after leaving the thermal we had sighting of wild boar on the ridge on the left, and spouting wales just offshore on the right, money well spent!
Enjoy!
f

Um... lifting...
29th Jul 2011, 01:53
Most of the time it's a ridge lift at Dillingham. Very dependable 20 knot trade winds bang into the cliff and you can go as high as you wish. Sailplanes have from time to time gone to Molokai (some 70nm distant, with no lift on the way there once you clear Oahu), caught the ridge lift there and returned.
Friend of mine turns wrenches on the Cessnas at Dillingham from time to time. C-130 flight engineer before his hair went gray.

http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gcmap?PATH=hdh-lup&PATH-COLOR=red

I0JNY8OKifc

BarbiesBoyfriend
29th Jul 2011, 21:15
Sounds great guys and many thanks for the replies! :ok:

We set off from Glasgow tomorrow morning. I may well add a few posts when (if- staff travel!) we get there.

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Jul 2011, 21:45
One should prolly take a helicopter tour if you are really interested in aviation and the beauty of the island....
Except do it on the Big Island and drop into the crater.

Coool Hand Luke
29th Jul 2011, 23:22
Great post(s). We (Me, wife, junior and daughter) are headed out to Waikiki next Wednesday for 8 days, then on to the big island for 7 more days. Wonder if the helicopter tour operators in Hilo (or Kona) offer an airline employee discount? Can't wait to go somewhere cool - we have had 28-straight days of 100+ temps. here in Texas and on the day we leave it is supposed to be 105.

galaxy flyer
30th Jul 2011, 07:37
BandAide

The HaleKoa Beach Bar, aka "the barefoot bar" is no more--it's just an expensive place to get a drink on the beach and it's public! The old Mai Tais that had you wondering where your feet went are also gone. Sad, but true.
GF

Hokulea
30th Jul 2011, 08:43
BB and CHL - if you can make it to the Big Island I'd definitely recommend a helicopter tour of Kilauea volcano - it's very active at the moment. There's no ocean lava entry currently which has been the big thing for many years but the summit and Pu`u `O`o crater are very active right now and everyone here is wondering what's going to happen next. There's no real way of seeing the activity other than from the air or from webcams:

HVO Webcam Page (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/cams/)

CHL - I've not heard of discounts for airline employees, I suspect there are none but no harm in asking the tour companies. I would recommend booking in advance, they're very busy these days. I know, they fly over my house most days!

Coool Hand Luke
1st Aug 2011, 00:19
Hokulea,

Excellent advise on the helicopter tour. I plan to do this, airline discount or not. Should I take a sunset flight so as to see the lava better in the low light conditions? Thanks!

Hokulea
1st Aug 2011, 07:08
Not sure how many sunset flights they do but it would certainly be a good time to go - I suspect they'll be very popular so might be hard to get a seat. As I mentioned before, you probably need to book well in advance. The weather this time of year is pretty stable so there's much less chance of having a flight canceled so an advance booking should be less risky. During the winter it's a different story.

There are boat tours available as well to view the ocean lava entries close up, but right now there's no lava flowing into the ocean and given you're visiting pretty soon it's unlikely there will an ocean entry during your trip, so probably not worth considering.

One other thing you might consider is a tour of Mauna Kea's summit at sunset. The best tour companies charge approx $200 per person, so it isn't cheap but they do take care of you (plus some star gazing on the way down if you're interested in astronomy). You can do it yourself in a 4WD rental for a lot less money but then you're on your own and without the benefit of a tour guide. Just about everyone I know who has visited the Big Island has said that sunset at the summit was the highlight of their visit - including those who did the helicopter tour of the volcano.

Personally, I'd do both if you have the cash.

MagnusP
1st Aug 2011, 10:34
For Big Island snorkelling without exorbitant parking charges, there's a sheltered area at Kahaluu beach park, about 5 miles south of Kailua-Kona on Alii Drive. It's even better when there are sharks around, as they can't get past the breakwater, but lots of fish take shelter.

The Saddle Road is a nice drive, but check with your car rental company; some prohibit using the Saddle Road. Waipio valley is spectacular, even just from the lookout if you don't fancy tackling the road down. The botanical gardens at Onomea bay are worth a visit, but drench yourself in bug repellent first.

WillDAQ
1st Aug 2011, 11:14
The Saddle Road is a nice drive, but check with your car rental company; some prohibit using the Saddle Road

Dollar allow it, don't know about the rest.

Coool Hand Luke
1st Aug 2011, 15:03
This is all good info guys. Thanks a bunch! My first time to the Big Island, and should be a nice way to wind down after a week over in Waikiki. Finally, I have also been reading: "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed The Ultimate Guide Book" and they recommend that I rent a 4WD as opposed to a regular car. Naturally those are nearly 3-times more expensive to rent...do you think this is really necessary?

Hokulea, who do you fly for?

Um... lifting...
1st Aug 2011, 16:04
On the Big Island, use the car to get from one distant point to another where you can park it and put on your off-road boots. Whenever I was there or any other island I didn't live on, I'd just rent any old car to move by road from point A to B... and bring my boots.

Any time of the year, stout hiking boots or shoes are very much called for on the Big Island. The best stuff can't be seen by car, it takes walking... and that takes boots.:ok:

WillDAQ
1st Aug 2011, 16:05
There are two places the 4x4 is of use, firstly getting up to the observatory and secondly getting out to the green beach.

Beach car park is here (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=hawaii&hl=en&ll=18.919841,-155.670307&spn=0.001586,0.002154&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=42.987658,70.576172&t=h&z=19), beach is here (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=hawaii&hl=en&ll=18.936117,-155.646124&spn=0.001586,0.002154&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=42.987658,70.576172&t=h&z=19). Good hour walk each way if you don't have a proper off roader... If you walk, make sure it's in trainers. If you happen to have cut your foot open the day before, walking the distance with open toed sandals is a really stupid idea, as it's dusty as hell.

Oh, and the best black sand beach is here (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=hawaii&ll=19.134242,-155.505268&spn=0.003142,0.004308&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&gl=uk&t=h&z=18). It's less than 25 years old and turtle infested.

Coool Hand Luke
1st Aug 2011, 23:13
Hiking is out, as this is not practical with a 6-year-old princess (not to mention my 41-year-old princess). So I need to decide if I want to be cheap and go with a car, or spring for the 4WD. I read about the green sand beach, and naturally we want to see a black sand beach as well. Thanks for the links to the beaches.

By the way, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters offered me a 20% discount for airline employees (American Airlines in my case, can't say what they do, or do not, offer other airline employees).

I also read where I can rent a 172 and do the areal tour myself but considering I have exactly 1.0 hours in a light general aviation airplane in the last 15-years or so I'm not sure I want to subject the family to that. :=

Gordy
2nd Aug 2011, 02:24
Sunset helicopter tour------forget it----the pilot just wants to get home, you will not have the best tour......

As for airline discount---everyone will offer you a discount if you ask for it...like everything else in life, they have a bottom line number they have to make...what price are you getting the discount off? If you really want to save money---the thing to do is to call and say you can be at the airport last minute.....often times they will have 4 people booked and hope to fill the last 2 seats last minute---this is when you can get two for one, (most companies want to have 5 paying seats)....

Rollingthunder
2nd Aug 2011, 04:32
Just get away from Wakiwaki as soon as you can.

Hokulea
2nd Aug 2011, 05:03
CHL - I don't work for an airline, I work at one of the observatories on Mauna Kea. I am a regular AA passenger though!

You don't need a 4WD other than for a few spots. I've lived here for 15 years without one! WillDaq is correct about needing one for Mauna Kea if you go there although many get up there in a regular rental. I don't recommend that at all though, I've seen too many come to grief up there. The other place Will mentioned, Green Sand Beach, requires a hike and I think you are no longer allowed access anywhere near to the beach using a 4WD, you have to hike there. I wouldn't recommend it with a young kid (and neither would I recommend Mauna Kea with a young kid either I'm afraid due to the altitude).

Another place a 4WD drive is useful for is getting down into Waipio Valley which is an exciting drive to say the least, but I think these days the rental companies won't let you take a 4WD down there - not so much safety related but I heard a tourist destroyed a farmer's tarot crop so there's some liability issue.

Most of the island is perfectly accessible with a regular car and if you really need to you could just rent a jeep for a day. As Lifting mentioned, some really nice spots require a hike whether you have a 4WD or not but there are enough great places left that require no hike or 4WD!

Incidentally, there's a black sand beach in Hilo (Richardson's) with great snorkelling and it's good for kids as well. Punaluu is the best known black sand beach on the island and is about 1.5 hrs south of Hilo. Both have turtles as well although there are more at Punaluu. There are plenty of wonderful white sand beaches on the Kona side and my favourite is Beach 69 near Hapuna - very tropical feel to it and relatively quiet although not as quiet as it used to be. Decent snorkeling as well but don't leave valuables in your car.

I hope you have fun and happy to answer any questions.

PS. Magnus - not sure if you're aware but the Saddle Road is now one big highway apart from a few miles construction near Hilo. It's now the best highway on the island but all of the excitement and danger has gone! Many rental companies still won't let you take their cars on it though - suspect it's more of a remoteness thing and the cost of getting a tow if you break down.

MagnusP
2nd Aug 2011, 07:46
Thanks, Hokulea; last time I drove the saddle road, the worst bits had been improved considerably, but there were still a few interesting stretches between the MK turnoff and Waimea; that was 5 or 6 years ago.

Hokulea
2nd Aug 2011, 08:30
Last time I drove the Saddle road between the summit turnoff and Waimea was great - the road now goes between the army base and Mauna Kea and the last few miles before Waimea have been repaved so no need to drive in the middle of the road anymore and play chicken with oncoming traffic. There are still some dodgy bits though. The construction area nearer Hilo is a pain though and although most of it is paved it's 25mph and will remain that way until it's blessed. Sigh...

WillDAQ
2nd Aug 2011, 11:34
The other place Will mentioned, Green Sand Beach, requires a hike and I think you are no longer allowed access anywhere near to the beach using a 4WD, you have to hike there

Was there exactly a month ago and the place was infested with 4x4s, including people offering a return trip from the car park to the beach for ~$30.

there's a black sand beach in Hilo (Richardson's) with great snorkelling and it's good for kids as well.
Did visit there as well, but I think the lava must be that much older as it seems to be more gray than black.

One more thing, it may well be worth getting the higher level of insurance on the hire car. Most common mistake is to take the key in the sea and they'll charge you $$$ to send someone out with a new one.

Hokulea
5th Aug 2011, 10:05
For Cool Hand Luke or anyone visiting the Big Island, this just started yesterday and can only be seen from the air, at least for the time being:

‪Pu'u O'o Lava Flow Aerials - Mount Kilauea, Hawaii - August 4, 2011‬‏ - YouTube

Suspect the tour helicopters might be difficult to book in the next few days.

lomapaseo
5th Aug 2011, 15:38
Suspect the tour helicopters might be difficult to book in the next few days.

Save your money, get a lava lamp :)

The wife and I got a good look and nightime shots like the ones above, when we took the cruise ship visiting the islands. They schedule between ports for the ship to pass by the lava flows down the mountains and into the sea shortly after the first dinner seating.

BarbiesBoyfriend
9th Aug 2011, 21:00
Update.
Firstly, we had a heck of a job getting on ANY flight to the Islands from LAX. BA staff travel gave us priority somewhat below everyone.

In the end we were lucky to all get on a flight to Lihue, so that's where we went.

Inter island 'jumpseating' is not possible unless you are 'CASS approved'. Non-Americans can not be so. Therefore, although it's free, you can't go in the cockpit. You need a seat and your family need tickets.

Helo rides around the island of Kaua'i are about $1000/ hour. About half that in an Airvan.

Everything is quite expensive here- 'high season' and 'living in paradise' bs.

We are now in Sharks Cove in Oahu. just starting to worry about getting off the island now with our crappy priority.

It is a truly lovely set of islands, from what we've seen so far.

family all looking forward to getting home though!

145qrh
9th Aug 2011, 22:22
HI Barbie, went to Maui on honeymoon a few years ago. Long trip, beautiful place, but lots of nicer and cheaper places much closer to home.

Glad I did it, Maui, that is not the marriage :=

BarbiesBoyfriend
10th Aug 2011, 20:13
Hi Jungle!

Well, ya live and learn.;)

I don't think we'll be back.

Not to take anything away from the physical loveliness of the location of course but I have never seen so many 'keep out- no trespassing' signs anywhere else in the US.

Also it's like 'Gran turismo 4' on the roads. Whenever you try to turn off the road there's a big metal barrier physically preventing you going down the side roads.

There seems to be a fair bit of resentment between those who consider themselves 'Hawai'ians'. those who are incomers and the actual natives who've been given their own wee island. I think this is at the root of the 'Get Orf Moi Land!' stuff.

Who knows? Leaving a bit early tomorrow on any flight we can all get onto, to anywhere in CONUS.

Kids off to the beach to mess with the turtles.

visibility3miles
11th Aug 2011, 02:40
One other thing you might consider is a tour of Mauna Kea's summit at sunset. The best tour companies charge approx $200 per person, so it isn't cheap but they do take care of you (plus some star gazing on the way down if you're interested in astronomy). You can do it yourself in a 4WD rental for a lot less money but then you're on your own and without the benefit of a tour guide.

Yes, sunset is great. They have stargazing at the visitor's center every night unless the rain clouds are very high (normally you're above the clouds and it's "clear on top.") The visitor's centers is at Hale Pohaku, about halfway up the mountain (9,000 ft vs. 13,500 ft.) You don't need 4WD to reach the visitors' center.

I would not rent a 4WD for this unless you are very good. Most of the road above the visitor's center is (lava) gravel, few (no?) guard rails, and if you go off the road it's steep enough that you'll slide down on the gravel until you hit something sturdier. The road paving starts again as you get close to the summit as the dust is bad for the telescopes and clear air.

Driving to the summit right before sunset is rush hour, so try to go before the tour buses. The tour buses are slow, and you don't want to be stuck behind one. Astronomers and personnel drive it daily, usually downhill at sunset, so drive like a bat out of hell.

The taro farm may be the only other place you'd want a 4WD.

Only two companies rent 4WD vehicles and I don't think the insurance covers damage on the road to the summit. (The saddle road goes up and over the island in the saddle, so is much lower than the summit road which is a side road.)

The tour buses carry oxygen in case people can't handle the lack of air (i.e. medical emergency.) Rental cars do not have oxygen.

The other standard rental car is way to underpowered to reach the summit.

The saddle road isn't bad, although for long straight stretches the newest paving is one lane down the middle, so expect to see someone coming directly head-on. Don't worry, they should pull into their side of the road when you get close. The corners are paved all the way across (both lanes) when it gets twisty dropping down to the water.

hoofie
11th Aug 2011, 05:59
I would not rent a 4WD for this unless you are very good. Most of the road above the visitor's center is (lava) gravel, few (no?) guard rails, and if you go off the road it's steep enough that you'll slide down on the gravel until you hit something sturdier. The road paving starts again as you get close to the summit as the dust is bad for the telescopes and clear air.

I'd second that. I had a hire Jeep 4WD and it struggled just to get up the slopes to the visitor center on the blacktop [only when I got there did I realise we were at some 9500ft up]. I took one look at the rest of the track and thought 'no thanks' despite having some 4WD experience here in Oz.

The saddle road isn't bad, although for long straight stretches the newest paving is one lane down the middle, so expect to see someone coming directly head-on. Don't worry, they should pull into their side of the road when you get close. The corners are paved all the way across (both lanes) when it gets twisty dropping down to the water.

I found the lower west part of saddle road towards Waimea very dangerous - very narrow with lots of blind crests and corners. Coming down that in the dark, fog and rain was not a barrel of laughs at all. On the East side the road is being heavily widened and straightened so most of that was on gravel but at least it was wide. The bit in the middle was easy.

Hokulea
11th Aug 2011, 06:08
visibility - not sure when you last drove the Saddle Road but the worst bits are now fully paved, so there's no longer a need to drive in the middle of the road. Also, the long straight bits you refer to, I assume near the Pohakuloa military training area, have been bypassed with a modern highway. There are only a few miles now on the Kona side that await realignment and a few miles on the Hilo side that are currently under construction.

But the way, the main advantage of a 4WD vehicle on the mountain is not so much the 4WD but the low gear ratios required for the trip back down. Many rental cars have come to grief on the way down including 4WD vehicles driven by people who didn't know how to drive them.

Not sure about insurance but I believe Harper's is the only company on the island that specifically allows you to drive their vehicles on the mountain so assume their insurance covers you for the whole trip if you buy it - they are often used by the observatories when they need extra cars and have no heard any complaints about coverage - doesn't mean there aren't any.

In any case, for a first time visitor to the summit the tour companies are probably the safest but most expensive bet.

Hokulea
11th Aug 2011, 06:32
Hoofie -

I found the lower west part of saddle road towards Waimea very dangerous - very narrow with lots of blind crests and corners. Coming down that in the dark, fog and rain was not a barrel of laughs at all. On the East side the road is being heavily widened and straightened so most of that was on gravel but at least it was wide. The bit in the middle was easy. When did you visit? The last few miles of the road is still quite narrow and with blind bends on the Kona (Waimea) side but has been improved recently. Night time fog is very common on both sides of the mountain which is one reason I would recommend that first time visitors use a tour company.

In a few years the whole road, apart from perhaps a few miles on the Hilo side, will be modern highway similar to the middle part. You should have seen it 10 years ago!

Coool Hand Luke
9th Sep 2011, 22:12
The saddle road was not bad, as a recent poster noted.

The submarine was cool, and the airline discount was great

The Blue Hawaiian Helicopter was just awesome, and the airline discount was great...I would have paid the full price to do this. Also, the T-shirts are cool and cheap.

Black sand beach, while a heck of a long drive, is worth it.

Waikoloa is great because it's always sunny, and I mean always.

The Hilton is terrible, and I would only stay there if you are using points.

Kona Brewing company is a can't miss.

Rainbow waterfall is awsome, do this when you do the helicopter out of Hilo.

Finally, thanks to everyone on here that provide me with good intel. Beers are on me next time you are in Dallas.