Many Australians are flocking to the shores of Honolulu to experience Hawaiian culture, weather, and a relaxing getaway. During my short two-night stay in Honolulu I was determined to experience all the island of Oahu had to offer, which was made possible by going on a 15 hour Ultimate Day Tour with E noa Tours.
E noa have a range of tours on offer, starting from as low as $35.00. But in order to see and experience all that Oahu has to offer in just one day, the best option is to book the trio package of Pearl Harbour, Circle Island Tour, and visit to the Polynesian Cultural Centre.
The day began bright and early at 6:45am when we were collected from our hotel, Ala Moana Hotel. Our tour guide Carlos was eager to get the day underway and provide an informative and intriguing commentary along the way. We were joined on the tour by just 6 other guests – 2 Australians, and 4 Americans from Alabama. As this is low season we had the benefit of enjoying a small guest to tour operator ratio, but be sure to book ahead in high season as the tours are often booked out in advance.
Before long we reached our first point of interest, Pearl Harbour. The memorial is a must-visit for many if not most Americans, as well as tourists visiting Hawaii from around the globe. We were allocated a generous 45 minutes to wander the site, before entering the theatre for a short 30 minute film to explain the history and timeline of events at Pearl Harbour. From there, we were shuffled onto the boat to visit the USS Arizona Memorial – this was a somber and moving visit that enables visitors to pay their respects.
The tour then escapes the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and embarks on a drive to the Dole Plantation. This pineapple paradise is incredibly touristy with prices to match, but a chance to stop for a snack all the same.
One of the highlights of the day was our drive along the North Shore of Oahu to get a view of the iconic waves that roll in madly, one after the other. Carlos was fantastic to have with you at this point, as he gave a running commentary of the history of Oahu’s surf conditions and competitions, while being able to answer any questions we had along the way. We then stopped off for lunch at a local Shrimp Restaurant on the side of the road, which had reasonable prices and unbeatable fresh food.
The final stop of the day was to visit the Polynesian Cultural Centre for a memorable afternoon and evening. The tour includes a generous buffet dinner, as well as entry into the “Ha-Breath of Life” show at the end of the evening. We had ample time to enjoy the Polynesian Cultural Centre and learn a lot along the way. While it was an incredibly long day of touring, this is undeniably the best way to see all the highlights of Oahu in just one day, leaving you ample time in your holiday to relax and enjoy the rest of Oahu at a slower pace.
I could not fault the service and expert knowledge of our guide Carlos, who has been running these tours for fifteen years. His passion for Hawaiian culture and history is second to none, so I recommend you request for one of his tours and work your schedule around that.
The trio package tour with E noa is available for $150.45 per Adult, $112.45 per child. Group discounts are available.
(note: Special thanks to E’noa Tours Hawaii for hosting my visit – my opinions is, as always, my own).