It was great to spend a few days in Sydney before heading off to Hawaii. We met up with Maeve and a few friends and visited some of our favourite places. We had grown so used to living in Wellington that when we arrived into bustling, cosmopolitan Sydney we realized how much we had enjoyed our time here too.
Our flight to Honolulu left at 6pm on the Saturday, it took 9hrs with a 21hr time difference, so we arrived around 7am on Saturday morning. So our first Saturday morning was spent in Bondi and our second was spent watching volley ball and testing out the waves on Waikiki Beach.
Hawaii consists of 8 islands, with O'hau being the most populated and having the capital. It's the 50th State of the US and has the Union Jack in its flag as it was historically occupied by lots of European settlers.
We stayed in Waikiki just along from Honolulu for our first 2 nights, it's the main tourist hub. Just back from the beach is the main strip with all the designer shops that Kim could swing a cat at, then all the American restaurants and then a huge amount of hotels.We stayed in a hostel 2 streets from the beach. The surf in Waikiki is great for learners, nice and gentle so we both hired long boards and got out there. We hired a car and drove to the North Shore (30miles) to watch "The Eddie", a surf competition where the waves must be at least 20ft. 24 of the best surfers from around the world were there but unfortunately the waves weren't frequent enough. But it was still great to watch these guys and girls tackle these immense waves. It's named after a life guard on Waimea Bay where it's held, who was lost at sea performing a rescue. On our way back to Waikiki we spent a morning on quad bikes driving around a ranch. The ranch was over 4000acres and has been used for lots of films, including Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbour and Godzilla.
We also visited another island for a couple of days, The Big Island, a 50min flight away. This island is made up of 2 huge peaks and an active volcano. This was the reason we visited, as we were able to explore old lava flows and various lava formations throughout the National Park. There is a flow of lava which is encroaching onto private land and when we were there the flow was about 50m from a guys house. Many houses in the area have already went up in flames and it's only a matter of time before this one goes. Pretty crazy living beside a volcano, you could nip out for groceries and come back and when you come back your house could be incinerated.
We hired a car here too and drove around the island visiting black volcanic beaches and visiting the most southern point of The States.