Adventure, baby!


Hawaii Honeymoon: Kauai Part 2, Up In The Air

Around 90% of Kauai isn’t accessible by land, so the only way to see it is with a helicopter flight. We decided to take the Jack Harter Helicopter tour because they flew a Hughes 500 with the doors off for maximum photo greatness. I was incredibly excited about taking photos from the air – only to find myself squished in the worst possible seat because I was the lightest person on board – between a fat lady and the pilot, which left my arms pinned in a position like a T-rex. I put Alec in charge of the camera and enjoyed the view.

“I’m in a helicopter!”

The waterfall in Jurassic Park …

… is tiny compared to some of the other falls on Kauai!

Kauai is known as the garden island because of the lush landscape and tropical waterfalls. It is home of the wettest spot on Earth, as well as Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. While smaller than the Grand Canyon (it’s still massive, mind you), I think it’s actually more beautiful. 

The amazing red soil.
Kauai is also famous for the Na Pali Coast – a stretch of coast that you can also only see by air or boat. It’s also stunning – cliffs, canyons, set against turquoise water.

Part of the Na Pali coast.

Wedged in tight.

More lush valleys. Is there a dinosaur in there?

Last waterfall of the flight – we visited it on land not long after.

We had a particularly lovely sunset that night – amazing lighting for a few photos.

Taken off Poipu Beach.

Beautiful light for portraits.

Do we have to go home? Really?

Hawaii Honeymoon: Kauai Part 1

For a change of pace we spent our second week on Kauai. We stayed in a boutique hotel on the beach in Poipu. We had a gorgeous view from the window and it was amazing falling asleep and waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

Lovely decor.

Not a bad view!

Just another perfect day in Hawaii!

At the hotel pool bar with the first of many cocktails.

Staying on the beach allowed for many walks in different lights. Thanks for being such a good model Alec 🙂

Sand bar on the beach in the dying light.
I was hoping to spot a rare Hawaiian monk seal on our visit, but since they’re classed as critically endangered (only around 1500 left in total, 150 of which are on the main Hawaiian islands), so we were stunned to see a seal on the beach right outside our hotel on our first night. The next morning we went for a walk along walk along the beach, and saw a second one. Two days in a row, what amazing luck. The seals had hauled themselves out on to the sand and lay there for hours having a snooze. Local life guards set up barricades around them to keep people away.

Ignoring the paparazzi.
We stayed in an area where we saw amazing sunsets every night, right outside our room.

We also stayed right on a beach with great snorkeling. The water was crystal clear, so we had perfect visibility. There was a surprising amount of fish as well – in amazing colours. The fish were really relaxed about us snorkeling all around them, letting us get really close.

How’s the serenity?

Doesn’t get much better than this.

Monk seal spotting #2.
We hadn’t realised Kauai was famous for … chickens. That’s right. There are wild feral chickens running all over the island. You literally can’t take a step without tripping over a chicken. They are thought to be a cross between the chickens the Polynesians brought across many years ago, and the more recent fighting chickens, making them a very hearty breed. I’ve never seen such healthy, happy chickens, so island life clearly suits them well.

No, I’m not your dinner …

Hawaii Honeymoon: Maui Part 3, Under The Sea

People who get sea sick should NOT get on boats. It’s as simple as that. Yet, I always find myself on a boat when I go to Hawaii. This time I was enticed by the idea to visit the Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui.

The crater, rising out of the ocean.

Wearing a wetsuit top as the water was pretty cold still.

Lanai island in the background.

In the water, the ocean life was pretty average – I’ve definitely seen better variety and numbers in other places, such as on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It was still enjoyable though, even with the sea sickness!

The next stop was “Turtle Town”, an area off the coast of Maui with a large population of turtles. I think I saw about five different giant turtles. Seeing them swimming towards us through the clear sea was amazing – gentle giants of the ocean.

Here they come!

Bye for now!

Back on land, we received a tip from a local photographer on a place to spot more turtles, a beach called Black Rock. We swam a few meters off shore, and, sure enough, there were more turtles!

Black Rock – another gorgeous beach.

This guy ate a lot of sea grass. Or fungus. Or whatever it is they eat.

Lookout on the way back to our hotel.

Last night in Maui.

Hawaii Honeymoon: Maui Part 2, Sunset on Haleakala

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to watch the sunrise from Haleakala, the second tallest mountain in the world (the second is on the Big Island of Hawai’i). This adventure required us to get up at 2:10am (!!) for our 2:30am pick up. I felt pretty terrible on the bus, driving through the night up the side of the volcano, but it was all worth it when we arrived at the summit at about 5:30am, just before the sun rose.

The sun rise is spectacular from this spot as the sun peaks through the clouds, giving a view like none I’ve ever seen before.

Dark. And cold (5 degrees!).

Getting lighter (but no warmer).

I was getting pins and needles in my hands at this stage, but kept on snapping!

Finally, the sun peeks over the clouds.

The glow fills the sky.

Oh hai there! Amazing to witness.

Freezing, but worth it!

Fully risen – beautiful!
We took a tour with Maui Downhill to the top because we wanted to bike down the mountain after seeing the sunrise. As a bonus we got to wear these sexy banana suits. I was seriously doubting whether or not I could wear one, but I was so cold that I was willing to suffer the fashion disaster to stay warm. Clearly I’m no fashionista. 

Obligatory pose for the honeymooners.

Check out the view from up here!

After an easy bike ride down the mountain, we stopped at the base – near some lovely horses. This fellow wanted to be friends.

We arrived back at our hotel at about 11am – and went straight back to bed! It was exhausting, but an amazing experience.

Hawaii Honeymoon: Maui Part 1

A delayed honeymoon is a great idea for several reasons. 1. It’s practical as you can save up after the wedding for your trip. 2. It extends your wedding celebrations even longer. Our honeymoon was delayed because we wanted to go to Hawaii and the rainy season extended until the end of March.

We decided to visit two islands we hadn’t been to before – Maui and Kauai, with a day on Oahu at the end for shopping.

First stop on our trip was Maui. Each hotel gave us a complimentary bottle of Champagne with a really sweet card congratulating us on our wedding and honeymoon. The funniest was the last hotel, who address the card to “Mr and Mrs Knight”. *snigger*.

Free champagne? Yes please!

Lovely bedroom in our suite.

Mai Tai? Don’t mind if I do!

Celebrating with cocktails. Yay we’re married!

We stayed just outside of the main town of Lahaina, on North Ka’anapali Beach. The town is a bit touristy, but has the most amazing Banyan tree. It’s impossible to capture how large it is in a photo – suffice to say it’s worth visiting the town just to see the massive tree.

Biggest tree ever.

We bought this pineapple for a dollar on the side of the road.
During our stay we drove the road to Hana, which stretches along the coast. We stopped off at many parks and waterfalls along the way. 

No idea what this is. Love Hawaii and the weird and wonderful things lying around in the national parks.

One of many falls on the side of the highway.

The most beautiful waterfall was right at the end, called the seven pools of Oheo. It’s basically seven waterfalls that stream into each other – amazingly beautiful.

Photo op!

Sunsets on Hawaii are just amazing. We pulled over while driving a few times to photograph the sunset on the side of the road.

Beautiful view on the side of the road!

Just another perfect day in Maui.

Nelson Bay Mini-moon

After the wedding, Alec and I head up to Nelson Bay for a post-wedding break. We are going to Hawaii in April for our real honeymoon, so this was just a quick break to de-stress and enjoy being married.

We had originally booked to stay at Amarna Resort, but when we arrived we found it completely unsuitable (no privacy, room with glass wall on the ground floor on a main thoroughfare, over-priced, over-crowded beach). I was pretty upset as it was already 3pm and peak season, so I thought we either wouldn’t find somewhere else, or if we did, it would be just horrible, but we were so lucky and found a two-story apartment vacant at Nelson Bay Breeze Apartments. The apartment was roomy, private, with air-con, and only 200m from the beach.

Dinner at Sanook Thai in Corlette. Excellent Thai food.
Nelson Bay – the end near our apartment.
Checking out my new wedding ring! Every time I look down I can’t believe I’m wearing a wedding band.
Marina at Nelson Bay.
Being sun-safe at Fingal Bay.
Posing. Of course.
Oh hai!
Stunning weather, not another soul in sight.
Wheee we’re married!
Alec jumps for joy at being a husband.
Dinner out at Zest restaurant in Nelson Bay, the wine going to my head.
Climbing to the summit in the national park.
Looking down on Shoal Bay.
Self-portrait as the clouds roll in.
Yay, holidays!
Taking a dip after bushwalking at Shoal Bay.
Sweaty bettys.
Check out the crystal-clear water.
Dinner back at the apartment – pizza and Buffy marathon. Blissful!
Last day – morning tea at the Inner Light Tea Rooms, at the Nelson Bay Inner Lighthouse.

We had such a fabulous, amazing break, where we spent time just enjoying each other and bring married. It was three days filled with bliss, joy, and so much love it was overwhelming. I’m loving being married!

Hawaii – Highlights (July 10 – 14)

First stop on our round-the-world, month-long adventure, was the big island of Hawaii.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and was surprised at how much I loved it. It was ultra American, but has retained lots of islandy-feel to it.

Some highlights from the four-and-a-half days we spent there …

The best pizza I’ve ever tasted. Made with spelt grain. Best. Thing. Ever. So good we went there twice.

Snorkling at Kealakekua Bay, site of where Captain Cook met his end. Also a place of shallow reef with lots of colourful fish.
Watched a live volcano flow lava into the ocean.

Swam with wild dolphins, including a dolphin calf.

And the absolute highlight, swam with manta rays at night. Freaky but sensational. The look scary but are so gentle, and look like underwater butterflies performing a ballet …

I wish we had stayed longer now, there was so much more to see! We will definitely be back …