North Pacific Island Hopping, United States

Driving around the Island of Oahu in a Cabriolet Rental Car


The last few days had been spent living in a small bubble called Waikiki and before picking up our Chrysler 200 Convertible rental car, we had no idea what there even was to see at the rest of the island. The only things we had already done was the compulsory hiking trip up Diamond Head and a day visit to Ala Moana Beach Park/”Magic Island“, with much more to see of the island. When getting in our rental car at 4pm and setting the goal to Sunset Beach, we did not know what we had ahead of us. Luckily for us, we had a GPS that, impressively enough, was speaking out all that we needed to know about the places we drove past, making it easy to stop at the places that sounded interesting to us. From being a hundred percent random, it turned out to be a great driving route for a 24 hour road trip that I would easily reccomend copying if you ever have the chance:

At 4PM we were already were tired of staying at the beach in Waikiki, we decided to pick up our car early and drive non stop up to the North Shore. We skipped the famous Dole Pineapple Plantation, so if you are planning on visiting the plantation and it’s so claimed World’s biggest maze, you should consider driving from Waikiki a couple of hours earlier

At 5.30PM we arrived at Sunset Beach, just in time to see the sun set at the beach in the North Shore with the biggest waves. Some professional surfers and body boarders also gave us quite a show, riding waves several meters high just before the sun went down
At 7PM the sun had set, so we crossed the road to find the only backpacker accomodation in North Shore, simply called Backpackers. The reception usually closed at seven, so we were lucky and happy to get half of a two bedroom cabin, which we shared with a nice Argentinian couple that we stayed up and talked with until the outside had gotten quiet and everyone were in bed, ready for riding the waves early the next morning

At 10AM the next day we started driving, and just after five minutes on the road we had reach our first stop Waimea Park, kind of a botanical garden where you could walk through tropical trees divided up by countries, most of it looking like it was taking out of the movie Jurressic Park. At the end of the park we got to the famous Waimea Waterfall, which frankly was just a piss of water running down a small mountain.

At 11AM we were back into the car again, and started driving along the North Eastern shore of Oahu, seeing some beautiful beaches, an old sugar cane mill and the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is the biggest paid attraction in Hawaii.
At noon we stopped at Kualoa Regional Park to see some beautiful mountains, laying right by a beach with small islands right outside of it. A great place to go kayaking from the looks of it, and a good place for us to eat our lunch pack.
At 1PM we made a short stop at the the Japanese temple, surrounded by churches with nice cut grass and flowers. We did not stay longer here than some time to take a couple of photos before we got into the car again to drive further South down the East Coast of the Island.
At 1.30PM we got off at the Makapu’u viewpoint and did a short walk to the top to get the best view. There is also a parking lot at the bottom where you can get a good look out on the big ocean.
At 2.30PM We arrived at the Halona Blowhole, just to see a very small hole in the ground blowing a littlebit of water out every time a wave came crushing in. It was much more impressing watching a family of wales swim close to the shore, and blowing bigger amounts of water into the air.
At 4APM we returned the car at the rental office and called a cab to take us to the airport for a 28 dollar flat rate, which was way cheaper than the 52dollars that the car rental company would have asked for if we had returned it at the airport instead of the downtown location. We felt like we had gotten the most out of our time with the rental car and did not regret for a second that we took a day to drive around the island. It would have been even more perfect if we would have had two full days in order to stop at some more places that we passed along the way.