Monday, September 13, 2010


We did a few short hikes this weekend!

First we visited Kaniakapupu which is the ruins of the Summer Palace of King Kamehameha III and his wife Kalama. The palace was built in 1845 and held a Luau of 10,000 people, mostly foreign celebrities, chiefs and commoners! This place is pretty small, it's hard to believe it held that many people. Off to the right of the main house is the remains of a small detatched kitchen. It's a very neat place to visit and imagine what it once was.. also a good place to teach the kids some Hawaiian history or to take some nice photo ops.

Take the Pali Hwy toward Kailua and turn right onto Nuuanu Pali Dr. Keep driving until you pass a Board of Water Supply building on your left. Go about 20 yards further and you still see the opening of the trail into a bamboo forest of the right side of the street. If you go just past the trail there is enough space for 3 or 4 cars to park along the side of the road. Follow the trail for about 300 feet and turn left and follow this trail for another 350 feet and you will come into the clearing of the ruins!

Beginning the hike

Coming into the clearing

This is such a nice little relaxing hike, just minutes off the road. It is hard to believe we had the palace all to ourselves on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pali Lookout and Old Pali Road

The Pali Lookout is along the Pali Highway, which runs from Kailua to Honolulu. It is set in the cliffs of the Koolau Mountain Range and gives a spectacular panoramic view of the Windward Coast. You get a breathtaking view of Kaneohe bay, along with Chinaman's Hat and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The Pali Lookout is open from 9-4 daily, weather permitting. Parking costs $3 but if you are a local or are in the military you park for free. Don't leave valuables in your car as this is a high theft area, there are signs posted to remind you. Because of the trade winds the lookout can be VERY windy! Hold on to your hats and your children's hands while admiring the view.

A section of the Old Pali Highway is located to the right of the lookout. The road hasn't been driven on for about 50 years and is now overgrown and eroding.

The Pillars holding up the Old Pali

The road becomes even more overgrown the further down you go and eventually you run into a pile of boulders. Just past them are a couple of hiking trails, one of which is a longer route to the Likeke Falls (I will post about this in the future)!

A baby mongoose crossing the path:

You can see more of the Old Pali on the other side of the new Pali Highway:

There are many great photo ops along the way! The scenery along with the history of the road is just amazing.

 Another view of the Kaneohe Bay and Chinaman's Hat from the Old Pali Hwy:

The Old Pali Hwy is a fun little hike full of history and breathtaking scenery, and it is stoller friendly (as long as you turn back at the boulders I mentioned earlier). Just remember it does gradually go down the mountain and what goes down must come back up so be prepared to walk back up to the lookout!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Laniakea Beach

Laniakea Beach is also known as Turtle Beach because there are almost always green sea turtles or 'honu' basking in the sun on the shore. This is one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of these endangered turtles in their natural habitat.

This is one of the first stops we made when we arrived on Oahu and we were pleasantly surprised with how many turtles there were. Only one was napping on the beach but there were atleast 5 others swimming right along the shore. The kids were able to wade right along side them!

Laniakea Beach is located on the North Shore just 1.5 miles past the town of Haleiwa on the Kamehameha Hwy. There are no markings for this beach. You will know you are there because you will see a bunch of cars parked in the gravel on the right side of the road, just pull on in and walk across the 2 lane hwy to the beach! The turtles hang out in the little cove on the right side of the beach.

There is no lifegaurd on duty or facilities. This beach is great for snorkeling and surfing but I wouldn't let the kids do more than just wade.
If you get too close to the turtles they have been known to nip, but only if they feel in danger. They really are a friendly bunch.
Usually there is a volunteer group on site to keep the turtles safe since they are endangered. If there is a turtle on the beach they will mark him off with a red rope. Don't cross this rope and be respectful of the turtles.

Have fun visiting the turtles on Laniakea Beach and making lifelong memories in Oahu!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Likeke Falls

On the windward side of Oahu there is a beautiful waterfall that cascades about 15-20 feet. My husband and I took our 3 (the baby in a front carrier) on a short hike to the falls this weekend and it was amazing!

Directions: The easiest path to the falls starts from the parking lot of the Koolau Golf Club in Kaneohe. Park in the farthest parking lot from the Club House and you will see a maintenance access road that has two metal posts and a chain blocking it so no one can drive on it. Walk past the posts and up the road until you see a HUGE water tank. Just before the tank there is a path that goes off to the left. Stay on this path until you reach the large clearing on an old cobble stone road and take the trail that is to the right. Follow this until you reach the rewarding falls!

The Old Cobble Stone Road:

Likeke Falls

A Few TIps:
Wear shoes with good traction. There are parts of the trail that are slippery.
You may want to bring bug spray. The bugs weren't bad when we were there but I can imagine they do come out.
On the way back to the parking lot, there is a spot where the trail splits off. You want to make sure you stay to the left of the fork.

There you have it! The Likeke Falls. Great short hike for the entire family, including the dog. Now, go enjoy the waterfall!