Thursday, August 13, 2009
With the tourists of Waikiki behind him, Jason Dundas took a 45-minute hop to the most scenic of Hawaii
's islands, Kauai.
The Cinderella of the islands boasts an ancient volcano, deep canyons, dramatic cliffs, waterfalls and beaches. It's the least-populated and greenest of the islands. There's not a lot happening in the nightlife arena, but with so much else going on you probably won't miss it. Hike the Na Pali Coast, sunbathe in Poipu and explore the wonderful Waimea Canyon.
Jason hitched a ride with Island Helicopters and was amazed to see the massive Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as the Jurassic Falls as it was filmed in the beginning and end of the movie, Jurassic Park
. Island Helicopters started running in 1980, and pilot Curt Lofstedt took Steven Spielberg over the falls so he could see how the filming was going. Owner/pilot Curt Lofstedt instructed Harrison Ford on the techniques of helicopter flying during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark
. It seems it was great fun for both of them.
Over the ridge is Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It's beautifully coloured in greens, browns and reds. As you leave the canyon, you’re greeted by the 32km panorama of the isolated Na Pali coast. The view includes majestic mountains, pristine cathedral cliffs, secluded beaches, waterfalls and the legend of the Lost Tribe. It's a place of ancient caves and terraces and you fly over Hanalei Valley and Lumahai Beach.
Weather permitting, you’ll fly over the Mt Wai'ale'ale crater. Responsible for Kauai's majestic waterfalls, it's said to be the wettest place on earth with about 1170cm of rain every year.
Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation Resort
Kauai's south shore is the sunniest part of the island, making Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation Resort on Poipu Beach a popular place. Its architecture is reminiscent of Hawaii
's 19th-century plantation past and is relaxed and carefree.
As you'd expect it has lots of palm and monkey pod trees, and the scent of plumeria blossoms fills the air. It offers a wide variety of rooms, has a children's program and pool, spa and tennis court. There are barbecue and picnic areas, bars and cocktail lounges and a restaurant. The Poipu shopping village is close-by.
The Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Hawaiian Airlines has special Take a Mate fares to Honolulu. That's two tickets for the price of one.
- Sydney $1352
- Melbourne and Brisbane $1712
- Adelaide $2032
- Perth $2352
For sale and ticketing until August 17, 2009, for departures until September 24, 2009, between October 7, and December 16, 2009, and January 13 to March 31, 2010.
Terms and conditions apply. Connections to other islands are available.
Island Helicopters' Deluxe Kauai Grand Tour is $211 per passenger if booked online. The regular rate is $316. Tours are about 55 minutes and leave from Lihue Airport between 8am and 4.15pm.
Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation accommodation starts at $195 a night twin-share in a one-bedroom garden-view room. There is a minimum two nights' stay.
Prices correct at August 13, 2009.
For further information
Ph: 1300 669 106
PO Box 831
Lihue HI 96766
Ph: +1 808 245 8588
Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation
2253 Poipu Road
Koloa HI 96756
Ph: +1 808 742 6411
Fax: +1 808 742 1699
Aloha Ho'okipa Vacation House
HC01 Box 959
Waialua HI 96748
Ph: +1 707 528 0894
Fax: +1 707 528 0896
Visas: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine-readable passport with at least six months validity after the departure date, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. From January 2009, Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.
Electricity: 110V to 115V at 60Hz. Outlets take two-parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.
Time zone: Hawaii is GMT -10.
Currency: The American dollar.
International dialling code: +1.