|Fantastic Hawaii Island Cruise:
Part 1: Island of Oahu
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Fantastic view of Waikiki and Honolulu from the top of Diamond Head Volcanic Crater.
Upon arriving at Honolulu International Airport at the noon time of Wednesday August 15, the first thing that we
did was to get a rental car and to drive on the Diamond Head Road through a tunnel into the center of Diamond
Head Crater. There is a visitor center and a large parking lot in the Diamond Head Crater for visitors to park the
cars. Then we took the 2-hour 1.5 mile round trip hiking trail to hike up to the top of the Diamond Head Crater.
Then the hiking trail becomes zig-zag trail with guard rail to go up along the side wall on the rim of
Diamond Head Volcanic Crater. There are lots of loose gravel and dirt potholes on the trail.
Then we went through this tunnel. The floor of this tunnel is not level, but is still going up hill. This tunnel takes
visitors from inside the crater to the Pacific Ocean side on the outside of the crater.
Amazing view of Hawaii multi-color ocean! Green-blue for shallow water and the coral reef near the shore and
deep blue for off-shore deep water.
檀香山情調彌漫的維基基海灘，夕陽晚霞， 夢幻黃昏， 金色戀曲，涼風習習，海水寧靜
Romantic sunset with palm trees at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. What a perfect way to start our tour in
Hawaii! The soothing sounds of the waves crashing on the beach was just wonderful.
After 2 hours of round-trip hiking up to the top of Diamond Head Volcanic Crater and down, we drove our
rental car to Waikiki Beach in Honolulu to relax and to enjoy the spectacular and romantic sunset views on
Wednesday August 15, 2012.
晚霞多彩絢麗， 夕陽西下之時，沿著沙灘散步， 仔細品味落日的輝煌，從平靜中感受一
At this time of day, Waikiki is one of Oahu’s most beautiful places to be no matter what you’re doing—surfing,
socializing, or simply stopping to admire the beauty of Hawaii. We were very happy to enjoy such romantic
sunset view on Waikiki Beach on our first day in Hawaii.
Our Hawaii Islands Cruise started at Honolulu on Saturday August 18, 2012. We flew and arrived at Honolulu
International Airport at about noon time of Wednesday, August 15, 2012 so that we had 3 days to tour the
Island of Oahu before the island cruise starts.
夏威夷檀香山 從山上觀景台遠望景區全貌的無限風光：威基基，鑽石頭火山口 與 藍海。
Gorgeous panoramic view of Honolulu, Diamond Head Volcanic Crater, Waikiki and the Hawaiian blue ocean
as viewed from the lofty vantage point of Scenic Overlook Platform in Puu Ualakaa State Park. It is 1,048 feet
above Waikiki on the mountain behind Honolulu. This lofty Scenic Lookout offers the best sweeping vistas of
Oahu's south shore. We had two extra days to tour the Island of Oahu after the Hawaii Island Cruise ended on
Saturday August 25, 2012. On Sunday, August 26, we drove the rental car up on the winding, zig-zag
RoundTop Drive in Honolulu to reach this state park and the fantastic viewing platform. Puu Ualakaa State
Park is at the end of Nutridge Street which is off RoundTop Dr. in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Puu Ualakaa State Park on the mountain in
While we were at the scenic viewing platform in Puu Ualakaa State Park, it rained briefly and
produced this beautiful rainbow over the Valley of Rainbow in Honolulu.
The beginning of the hiking trail was easy cement trail and we saw some red headed birds, doves and other
birds along the way.
After the tunnel, we were faced with two options of "killer" long stairways that go almost straight up. The steps
on the way up are brutal, very steep and unforgiving. If you want a good cardiac hike for exercise, then this is
the place to come.
登峰絕頂，豁然開朗。這個 762 英尺高的火山口絕頂，是全島最佳觀景點，登高到鑽石
This is the viewing platform at the top of Diamond Head Crater with elevation of 762 feet above sea
level. On this platform, you felt like the king of the world.
The gorgeous 360-degree views from the viewing decks are breathtaking! Not because you’re out of
breath from climbing all the stairs, but because of the panoramic views of Waikiki to Waianae, the vast
Pacific Ocean, the Ko’olau Mountains and eastern views reaching out to the Koko Head Crater.
The parking lot is at elevation of 200 feet. The net gain in elevation in the one-hour hike is 562 feet,
equivalent to climbing up a 56-story building.
The switchback trail has several lookouts for visitors to take a moment to catch their breath and enjoy some
beautiful views along the way. There were a few intermediate lookout points along the way.
The next section of this Diamond Head hike involves stairs – lots of stairs! 99 steps will lead you
straight up to a dimly lit 200-foot long tunnel that will lead you to the Pacific Ocean side.
Fantastic view east from top of Diamond Head Crater. Very breezy and refreshing at the top with awesome
Great view north toward Honolulu from the top of Diamond Head Crater.
Breathtaking views of Oahu’s lush and exotic Windward Coast (North Shore) from Nuuanu Pali Lookout on
the 2,000-foot high Pali (cliff). This is just a 5-mile drive on Pali Highway (Highway 61) northeast of
Downtown Honolulu. You’ll see the city disappear and the tranquil beauty of Hawaii’s natural landscape
emerge. Perched over 2000-foot sheer Koolau cliffs above the Oahu coastline amid mountain peaks
shrouded by clouds, Nuuanu Pali Lookout is one of Oahu’s best scenic points. “Pali” in Hawaiian means ‘cliff’.
More gorgeous views from left to right, magnificent views of the Koolau Mountain range and Kaneohe Bay.
Exquisite, 180 degree views of breathtaking sky, valley, sea, and mountains.
The short drive through tall trees and dense forests to this lookout is peaceful and relaxing.
老林 在鑽石頭火山口 山峰步道上留
A picture of me (Sing Lin) on Diamond Head
hiking trail near the top.
While touring the heart of the Civic Center of Honolulu and Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu, we often see
very beautiful white colored and graceful terns (燕鷗) flying in the sky.
These beautiful terns often appear in a pair very playful with each other while flying very high in the sky,
sometimes they fly so high that they become specs in the blue sky.
Or a pair perching on a tree branch in charming courtship gestures. These birds form lasting pair bonds and
mate for life.
In Waikiki, Honolulu we saw this big tropical tree (Banyan Tree) with massive trunk consisting of many aerial
roots. We saw similar big trees at several other places on the Island of Oahu.
Another big tree with massive trunk in Moanalua Gardens in Honolulu.
One of several big trees growing horizontally with massive trunk in Moanalua Garden in Honolulu, Hawaii. The
Japanese company, Hitachi Group, loves this big tree so much that Hitachi has been using the image of this
tree in Honolulu as Hitachi corporate logo and has been donating substantial amount of money every year to
Moanalua Gardens to maintain this beautiful garden in Honolulu.
On the other hand, it is very soothing to see such lovely slender and tall palm trees at several beautiful beach
parks along coastal areas of the Island of Oahu.
We also toured beautiful gardens in the Island of Oahu such as Foster Botanical Gardens in downtown
Honolulu, Moanalua Gardens in Honolulu and Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe to see many beautiful
flowers and tropical plants.
Breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful Hanauma Bay along stunning southeast volcanic coastline of Oahu. It is
at 7455 Kalaniana 'ole Hwy Honolulu, HI 96815 and is about 10 miles east of Waikiki just off the main coastal
road (Kalaniana'ole Highway, Route 72). It is gorgeous and absolutely breathtaking.
Zoom in from Lookout Platform to see many people enjoying snorkeling in the beautiful pristine aqua blue
Hanauma Bay to see all kinds of colorful and beautiful tropical fish, eels, sea urchins, octopus, turtle, etc.
gathering around them among shallow coral reef.
There are also many people on the beach of Hanauma Bay.
Three views of Halona Cove on stunning southeast volcanic coastline of Island of Oahu. Great views of
powerful waves crash against the sides of the narrow bay. You could hear the sound of the waves like
Stunning southeast volcanic coastline of Island of Oahu viewed from Blowhole Scenic Lookout. On a clear
day one can see the islands of Molokai and Lanai and gorgeous blue water from the Scenic Lookout here.
This is a big tourist spot in Hawaii. People come from all over to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the beach at the
cove, and in the winter it is the spot to go to see the humpback whale as they take their journey leaving the
North Pacific or the Honu (The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) swimming about.
Halona Blow Hole before the big wave comes in. It is on stunning southeast volcanic coastline of Island of Oahu
Spectacular Halona Blow Hole in action when crashing waves push through the lava tubes. The water is
compressed as the lava tube becomes smaller and smaller causing the pressure to increase forcing a stream
of water to shoot up to thirty-feet into the air. The blowhole is a natural occurrence formed by molten lava
tubes from volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. The lava tubes run to the ocean and, when the surf is
right, the blowhole shoots water up to 30 feet in the air. The larger the waves, the larger the spray.
Water flowing back into the Halona Blow Hole after the big wave subsided. Halona Blowhole is just a 10-15
minute drive from Waikiki and is a spectacular scenic stroll. Located at 8699 Hawaii 72 Honolulu, HI 96825. It
is off the Kalanianole Highway and north of Hanauma Bay, the lookout at Halona Blowhole is worth the stop.
The lookout offers an excellent view of the coastline and outer islands, such as Molokai and Lanai, on clear
days. During the winter months, the lookout is a great spot to watch whales at play.
I took a movie clip of Halona Blowhole in action as shown in the following YouTube website:
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Halona Blow Hole.
Situated to the right of the Halona Blowhole is the Halona Beach Cove, also known as the “Peering Place.”
This secluded small sandy beach at the cove is great for swimming when the surf is calm. The site is known
for the famous love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the movie entitled "From Here to
Eternity" (1953). If you’re lucky, you can see the resident honu (endangered Hawaiian green sea turtle).
Our 8-day Hawaii Island Cruise also took us to tour three other islands of Maui, Big Island-Hawaii and
Kauai. This Hawaii Island Cruise was run by the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) on board the Pride of America.
We are grateful to National Taiwan University Early Graduates Association for organizing this Hawaii Island
Cruise 2012 Hawaii Reunion with assistance from Regal Travel, a very experienced travel agent at Honolulu.
More than 100 senior alumni participated in this Hawaii Island Cruise. Many of them are more than 80 years
old. It was a pleasure meeting these senior alumni of National Taiwan University in the breakfast and dinner
on the cruise ship everyday.
The rental car and our own familiar portable GPS navigator enable us to do our own driving tour with great
freedom to reach any point of interest to us. For the Island of Oahu, we essentially followed the Driving Tour
Loops #1 and #2 recommended by TripAdvior at the following website:
Driving Tour Loop #1 covers the Points of Interest on stunning southeast volcanic coastline of Island of Oahu
plus Pali Lookout.
Driving Tour Loop #2 covers the Points of Interest on the windward coast (north shore) of Island of Oahu
plus Pali Lookout.
The visitor takes a total of 277 steps on the stairways in addition to the hiking trail to reach the top. These
steep stairways make it more interesting than just walking a plain path. It is a great experience.
You truly get to appreciate the beauty of the island from this vantage point, the contrast of the turquoise blue
of the ocean with the emerald green of the farms in the valley and the rich, forest-green mountains rising up
to the clouds.
It is often very windy at this spectacular lookout, the winds will literally take your breath away (and your hat
too). Bring a sweater or jacket. The temperature at the lookout is at least 20 degrees cooler than the city /
Of all the amazing sights in Hawaii, this lookout is one of the most jaw-dropping. This is described by Mark
Twain as one of the most beautiful views on Earth
The sky turns into a brilliant golden painting.
Rugged mountain at Nuuanu Pali Lookout.
When I was on the lofty Scenic Overlook Platforms at Puu Ualakaa State Park on the mountain, at the top of
Diamond Head Volcanic Crater, and at Nuuanu Pali Lookout on the Island of Oahu, I took not only single
frame picture, but also panoramic pictures by using the Stitch Assist Mode of my camera to take a set of
several pictures covering the wade angle range of the panoramic view, and using the photo editing software
tool to stitch (merge) the set of multiple pictures into a wide angle panoramic picture.
I have uploaded four such panoramic pictures （全景式風光）on the Island of Oahu to my web page at:
Please enjoy such spectacular panoramic views on this web page.
Our Hawaii Island Cruise took us to visit four islands; Oahu, Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii, and Kauai. These
four islands are very different and each has different beautiful sceneries and very interesting things for
visitors to enjoy. My six web pages from this Hawaii Island Cruise are:
Part 1: Tour of Island of Oahu
Part 2: More on Tour of Island of Oahu
Part 3: Tour of Maui
Part 4: Tour of Big Island of Hawaii
Part 5: Tour of Kauai
Part 6: Spectacular Panoramic Views in Hawaii
There are two or three blowholes on the rocky reefs that lie off the beach, at the long, narrow Pupukea
Beach Park with a rocky shoreline at Pupukea on the north shore of Oahu. The large cove here is a
snorkeling paradise with tidepools, lava cave formations and blowholes. This is also a popular area to see
turtles. The picture below seems to show a turtle on the water surface in addition to the blowholes.
Map: Click here for an interactive Google Map showing location of Pupukea Beach Park
For bird watchers, it is also possible to see red-tailed tropicbirds and brown booby flying in this rugged Ka
Iwi Coast of East Oʻahu as shown in the following two videos:
The Ka Iwi shoreline is the coastal area with spectacular cliffs along coastal Highway 72 (Kalanianaole
Highway) on Oahu’s south-east coast between Hanauma Bay and the Makapu`u Lighthouse. This shoreline
gets its name from the Ka Iwi Channel between Oahu and the island of Molokai. During winter whale season,
this area is also good for watching migrating humpback whales.
During mating season, the trees on the grounds of civic buildings, parks, and courtyards in the heart of
historic Honolulu become nesting sites for White Fairy Terns as shown in the following video: