Best choice of words I’ve ever seen for a tour company. What an EXPERIENCE! I feel like if I only had one day in Oahu and chose to spend that day on a tour with The Oahu Experience, that I would feel I had a well-rounded idea of what Oahu is all about and leave feeling satisfied. That NEVER happens for a traveler. We ALWAYS want more! But I think it’s because we just did so much! All of which were unique and diverse in their own way, that I was sitting w ondering how we were fitting it all in. You know how they say you have the same amount of hours in a day as Oprah? I FULLY understand that now.
Rise and shiiiiiine! Off we go, bright and early at 6:00am with Michael, owner and operator of The Oahu Experience. I had previously mentioned we were up for anything and to just design a tour for us based on what he thought was the best, but you can design your own tour whichever way your interests lead you towards – it’s completely flexible. We started ours with a sunrise hike up the Lanikai Pillbox Trail – it was short but steep and totally rewarding with those views at the top and the warm, salty, summer air breeze washing over you with that fresh and crisp morning-feeling that rivals your shot of espresso! What a way to wake up!
After our hike we ventured off to Maunawili Falls to hunt down a waterfall! This time we were joined by Lauren, Michael’s fiance, fun fact: she designs her own active wear made from bamboo! How cool is that?! So, I’ve somehow found a new talent I possess – choosing the most inappropriate hiking shoes….ever. It was like hiking Mt Batur in Bali all over again in my lace ups, except this time I had downgraded to ballet flats and lots of mud! No dramas, everyone likes a portable foot-spa! On our way, Michael & Lauren showed us these leaves the locals call “Sleeping Grass” – when you touch them they close up, like going to sleep! I was like, Pocahontas was right – every rock, tree and creature DOES have a life, spirit and name, although I was warned not to quote “Sleeping Grass” as the accurate name, who can pronounce fauna names anyways? I’m going with Sleeping Grass.
So our troop kept on trooping until we came to this beautiful opening, it was time to cross the river and time for me to wash my mud-slapped feet slightly clean, I barefooted it and crossed the stream to head towards the fresh-water pool and this sight for sore eyes – the waterfall! Michael was a dare devil and jumped from way high up, but I was slightly more of a wimp and just jumped from the little rock. Hey, I had fun! It was refreshing, fun and I felt so island woman, climbing up rocks, jumping through waterfalls and swimming in the fresh, slightly icy, water. Oh, Nature, you never cease to amaze me.
I was so impressed with the day so far, but it wasn’t nearly over yet. Off we headed on our way to lunch, stopping via the Chinaman’s Hat beach to search for seashells and take goofball photos pretending to wear said Chinaman’s Hat.
For lunch we went to this awesome farm called Kahuku Farms where they grow and serve you food from right there in the fields. You can walk the farm fields as well while your meal is cooking – first time I’ve ever seen my fave Dragonfruit actually growing on the plant, I had no idea, I had a dragonfruit smoothie, bought some dragonfruit and took a picture of the Dragonfruit….obsessed is an understatement. The meals were super delish and we even squeezed in a little authentic banana-bread with lilikoi flavoured ice cream – yummmmm! I could go one right now.We had some time on the drive for our stuffed tums to settle before we parked at Shark’s Cove for some snorkeling. BEST THING EVER – We saw a SEAL. An actual, wild, seal. Just chilling on the rocks an arms length away from us, I mean, beyond cool. Was such a highlight. We spent the next hour snorkeling through the cove and chasing some coloured fish with our GoPro. Not once did we feel rushed or on a time crunch, it honestly felt like we were just hanging out with friends all day, doing really awesome things. It was so much fun, so casual, so rewarding in every way. I said to RJ – “This day is perfect.” And yes, there is such a thing as perfection and this day was the epitome of it.But wait, there’s STILL more! On the way back from our 8-hour (slightly over) tour we stopped at Kaniakapupu – Summer Palace Ruins. A short walk through a bamboo forest to some rocky ruins which once held 10,000 people for celebrations. Wowee! The sun started to set above us and we headed back to the car for our journey home.
From dawn to dusk, hands down, best day ever filled with some of the best things to do in Oahu in my opinion! It was such an experience, Michael and Lauren were so fun and friendly, offering great tips of places to eat and see, having good conversation, lots of laughs and getting to know each other, it was seriously just like hanging out with friends. Michael is so about just connecting with people, making sure they are having a good time and fitting the tour to their wants and needs. He’s never going to rush you, force you to do anything you don’t want to do and will completely design the tour based on your wants and needs. You want to hike a mountain for 4 hours? Sure. You want to just chill at the beach? No problems. You have your hearts set on finding a sea turtle. You WILL find a sea turtle! They’re always private tours to be fully accommodating YOU. The prices are in line with fellow competitor tours, but considered cheap for the fact that you get so much more, they are private tours, they are designed by you and for you, or by him if you’re like me and don’t have a preference and lastly, that the key focus, is for you to make some wonderful memories in Oahu. I for sure definitely have.
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