Aloha Hawai’i. Escape the winter into a tropical paradise. Our holiday wraps up the island’s nature, history and heritage with tropical tastes and the warm hospitality of the Hawaiian people.
Meet Graham at Sydney airport for the flight to Ohahu, Hawaii. We’ll be presented with leis when we arrive, which serve to instantly proclaim holiday time! Before we check in to our hotel, we’ll stroll through the Forster Botanic Garden in the heart of Honolulu. This living museum features a wonderful collection of tropical plants. Then it’s on to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as The Pink Palace. This Honolulu landmark, right on the beach at Waikiki, has recently undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment and is back to its luxurious and romantic best. Our Welcome Dinner this evening will be in the restaurant of the hotel, overlooking the moon shining on Waikiki.
A treat today as members of the Honolulu Garden Club welcome us into their extraordinarily beautiful private homes and gardens. You’ll love Hawaiian hospitality.
A free day today to enjoy the hotel, take a shuttle to the shops, or join Graham for an emotional experience visiting the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbour. Later Graham will take you out for drinks at the nearby Moana Hotel, which was built in 1901
Step back into the 19th century this morning with a visit to Queen Emma’s Summer Palace, which is now managed by the Daughters of Hawaii. Membership of the Daughters is open to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawaii prior to 1880, with no restrictions to race. A passionate guide will show us through the charming Hawaiian-Victorian palace, and then we’ll explore the exceptional garden. The afternoon is free.
We take a morning flight to Kauai, where Allerton Gardens will be our first stop. This was Queen Emma’s garden estate. She named it ‘Lawai Kai’ which means ‘Garden by the Sea’, and carefully introduced exotic species into the natural landscape, including bougainvillea and Morton Bay fig. Between 1938 and 1989 Robert and John Allerton introduced more plants from around the world, along with garden features, such as water channels, cascades, pools and waterfalls, latticed pavilions and European sculpture. It’s eclectic in design and dazzling in botanical diversity. Opposite, on Kauai’s South Shore we’ll see the spectacular Spouting Horn blowhole, then check in to our hotel, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, on the beach at Poipu.
Hanalei is our destination today, on Kauai’s scenic north shore. We’ll explore the town and the famous pier on Hanalei Bay, and get a good view of the emerald quilt of taro farms from the Hanalei Valley Lookout. Limahuli Garden and Preserve is nearby, set in a lush tropical valley and surrounded by towering peaks. The American Horticultural Society selected Limahuli as the best natural botanical garden in the USA. We’ll see intriguing lava rock terraces built by Limahuli’s early inhabitants, learn more about taro, and about the native plants of Hawaii, the so-called ‘canoe plants’ brought to the islands by voyaging Polynesians, and the flowers and fruits introduced during Hawaii’s plantation era.
You’ll recognise scenes from Jurassic Park when we visit Waimea Canyon on the western side of Kauai this morning. This is the largest canyon in the Pacific and it’s a dramatic sight. Lines in the canyon walls depict the volcanic eruptions and lava flows that have occurred over the centuries. The elevation makes the air 10-15 degrees cooler than in the valley and by afternoon much of the mountain is shrouded in cloud. The afternoon is free to relax and have a swim. Wear your lei tonight for our Farewell Dinner in the resort restaurant!
Say aloha to Kauai – after breakfast we fly back to Honolulu and onward to Sydney.
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