North Shore Beach Bus fun, Oahu
I’m not usually one for organised tours, but this was a cracker! I signed up for Aloha Hawaii’s North Shore Beach Bus tour after over-hearing an agent explaining it to some other travellers. I’d only just arrived in Waikiki and was wanting to get my bearings around the island. So I thought one day on a tour wouldn’t hurt to get myself familiar with a few places I could go back to with local buses over the coming week. So I joined the tour. This one might have changed my mind about tours… it was a bundle of fun.
I got picked up in town around 7am with a coffee in hand. The guide, Kevin, was very energetic (even at the early hour) and very quickly went about making sure all the people met each other. There was about 16 or so on the tour, a mix of all ages, some couples, some solo travelers, and some friend groups.
So, here’s how it panned out…
1st stop: Coffee plantation and café
Good idea… we all needed one of them. Plus, our guide made sure we all knew about the taste testers of the coffees, teas, and chocolates on offer!! Woot woot!
2nd stop: Waimea Beach
We stopped here for a swim, and for those brave enough some cliff jumping. I must admit, I did chicken out this time. But a few of the group took on the jump several times. Watching the locals jump was something else. They sure know how to make people think they’ve stuffed it up with a huge belly-flop only to save it at the last second.
3rd stop: Banzai Pipeline
This is the beach where the serious surfers come in winter to catch the 40ft waves. In the summer though, it was a bit tame. It was a beautiful beach, and very quiet, but not much surf, so we didn’t get to see the pipeline. As for fun, Kevin made a bet that there would be nobody on the beach. And of course, we took him up on that. For every person, he had to do a pushup. He did end up doing about 7 pushups, but for a beach that reaches as far as the eye can see, that aint bad.
4th stop: Turtle Bay Beach
We were promised turtles, and turtles we got. Snorkelling within the shallow bay, we swam alongside these huge graceful creatures. Even those standing on the shore were rewarded with a turtle coming right up to the shoreline to feed. Lucky for me I’m a decent swimmer, so I got to swim alongside a rather large turtle for about 15mins all to myself.
5th stop: Prawns and a tortoise
We stopped at a farm on the north shore for some famous prawns (or shrimp as they are called there). I had the coconut prawns, which were seriously yummy. The farm was alongside a river, and also had several tame tortoises who kept us company while we ate and tried to eat our lunch.
6th stop: Paddleboarding / Kayaking
By now, the group was very comfortable with each other, and having a lot of laughs together. Kevin showed us how to paddle, then promptly showed us how to get tipped off. Ha ha. Was great fun. I started in a double kayak, and switched to the paddleboard for a bit too.
7th & final stop: Dole Pineapple plantation
I have to admit, the pineapple ice-cream with Li Hing powder on top was delicious, but the plantation itself was seriously touristy and the queues were a little insane. But ice-cream in tummy, it was worth the queue.
Of all the activities and fun on the tour, the best part was the people. I met some awesome people on this trip. Some of us ended up going out for dinner after the tour. I made some great friends on this day-trip, and it really set the scene for the rest of my time in Waikiki.