Monday, May 22, 2006

Makapuu Lighthouse Road

Makapu'u Lighthouse is one of Hawaii's most familiar landmarks commanding a spectacular view of the Windward side of O'ahu. The lighthouse was built in 1909 and automated in 1974. A 2-mile paved trail leads to the lighthouse and a fantastic view of the entire coastline and the island of Molokai in the distance.

The lighthouse from above

The trail at the whale lookout

Coast and Sealife Park looking north

Looking down from the highest point

A Cardinal along the way

Once used as an Army anti-invasion lookout during World War II, this location later served as a nautical navigational aid site and lighthouse by the United States Coast Guard. The road was ceded to the State of Hawaii. The automated lighthouse, which was once manned, is still in operation today. From Makapu'u Point, shoreline views from the terminus include Makapu'u Beach to Kailua and Sandy Beach to Koko Head Crater.

No more parking along the Highway
Star Bulletin Article :: July 28, 2005
Four years after the state bought 300 acres of Ka Iwi coastline for a state park, construction has begun on parking lots and roadside improvements to give the public better and safer access to the area.

"It's going to be safer, more scenic, and parking on the highway will be prohibited," said Dan Quinn, state parks director.

Contractor Robison Construction Inc. began work Monday on a $5 million project that will add:

» Two parking lots, one to serve the Makapuu Lookout and another for hikers heading to Makapuu Lighthouse or the Ka Iwi lowlands.
» Turning lanes on the Kalanianaole Highway for each of those lots.

» An addition of a second lookout area at Makapuu.

» Handicapped accessibility to the Makapuu Lookout.

» Landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants.

Collection of Makapuu Lighthouse Road Fotos

Koko Crater Botanical Garden

An easy 2 mile loop hike between Hawaii Kai and Sandy Beach inside Koko Crater adjacent to Koko Crater Stables and Hawaii Kai Golf Course. There is also a Koko rim trail that is harder, longer and dangerous in places.

Koko Crater Botanical Garden entrance sign

Palms and Cactus from the Americas section

Wide trail

Plumeria Grove

Trail is also used by utility vehicles

The 200 acres inside the Koko Crater was set aside for development into a botanical garden in 1958. Sixty acres of the inner slope and basin is now cultivated with rare and endangered dryland plants. Long-range plans for this site is continued cultivation of plants suitable to these desert-like surroundings.

This garden specializes in African plants, cacti and succulents, Plumeria cultivars, native wiliwili, dryland palms, and Bougainvillea. Additional Useful Information: This garden is still in the early stages of development. There are no restroom facilities, drinking fountain, and other visitor accommodations.

Collection of Koko Crater Botanical Garden Fotos
Honolulu Botanical Gardens
Plumeria *101*

Manoa Falls Trail

The Manoa Falls trail is directly behind Waikiki Beach and the University of Hawaii Manoa. The Arboretum is right at the entrance to the Trail Head but was not open the weekend I was there (possibly a Sunday). Parking at the Pay Lot is $5 but includes "bug spray". You can park about 6-8 blocks back in residential - and walk. Hiking in valleys you'll find bugs - hiking ridges you won't. The difference is the amount of wind/breeze. This hike can be very wet and slippery with steep slopes. Be very careful with kids - and when it rains

Entrance sign to the trail

Manoa falls

Bridge on the trail

Upper part of the trail

Manoa Falls is a spectacular site as it tumbles down a near vertical cliff for approximately 150-feet into a small pool. The hike to the falls is classified as "easy" and travels through a bamboo forest, rainforest, and base of the Ko'oaus Mountains. The trail is approximately a 1 ½ mile hike, but DO NOT swim or drink the water. The small pool at the bottom of the falls is filled with boulders and the bottom of the pool can not be visualized making it unsafe for swimming or diving. Swimming violators may be cited.

Collection of Manoa Falls Fotos
Harold H. Lyon Arboretum

Monday, April 24, 2006

Waikiki - what else

Waikiki beach is the most famous of all the Hawaii beaches. It is almost perfect in every way - long days of endless sun, fine golden sand, excellent surfing and body surfing, a long stretch of shallow sandy bottom lagoon ideal for swimmers, both inexperienced and experienced, protected areas with no waves and exposed areas with frolicking waves, lots of water activities from catamaran cruises, hobby cat sailing, paddle boats and snorkelling trips and most of all, lots of people, lots of high rise hotels with fantastic views, lots of restaurants and good nightlife.

Waikiki Beach is located on the sheltered south coast of Oahu a few miles to the east of downtown Honolulu. Waikiki stretches for almost four miles in an almost unbroken stretch of soft white sand and has over a hundred high rise hotels to choose from and lots of smaller inns and units for rent but only a few of these are absolute beachfront.

Waikiki from the air

Waikiki from the 'Pier'

Kapi'olani Park Beach

Waikiki Surf

International Market

Hawaii's royal family enjoyed private estate living in Waikiki for more than 500 years before the arrival of outsiders in 1792. Prior to the building of the Ala Wai Canal, rain-fed streams from the Ko'olau Range filled fishponds and pools in Waikiki, a wetland area of taro, sweet potato and banana farms whose ocean-side farmers supplied the community with a diet rich in shellfish. With the arrival of whaling ships and foreign visitors, royal estates were replaced with luxury hotels and Waikiki's way of life was changed forever. During your first days on O'ahu, journey through Waikiki's story - from past to present - and take a stroll along its white sand beach as you reflect on the island's rich past and modern-day abundance.

Collection of Waikiki Fotos
Waikiki Historical Trail
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Most of my favorite Oahu places for surfing, hiking and hanging out. The list has to include Waikiki and Honolulu but mostly centers around the Hawaii Kai - SE side of the island