25 Nov Navigating Oahu’s Circle Island Tour
The first thing that you will need to know is that you will need to drive counter-clockwise around the island so that the ocean will be on your right. Otherwise, your view will be obscured by the Ko’olau Mountains and oncoming cars on the other side of the road. Leave early as it will take you about eight hours to complete the tour.
Stop 1: DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT
Beginning at Kalakaua & Kapahulu Avenues at Waikiki Beach, take Kalakaua Avenue and bear left onto Monsarrat Avenue ( which becomes Diamond Head Rd.) & go 1.6 mi. to crater entrance road (right side). Turn Right onto entrance road.
Stop 2: HANAUMA BAY NATURE PRESERVE
Turn Right onto Diamond Head Rd. & go short way (0.7 mi.) to Kahala Ave. (stop sign)
Turn Left onto Kahala Ave. & go 1.5 mi. to Kealaolu Ave. (follow signs to Hwy 72E)
Turn Left onto Kealaolu Ave. & go to Hwy 72E
Turn Right onto Hwy 72E &go 6.3 mi.to entrance road
Stop 3: SEA LIFE PARK HAWAII
Return to Hwy 72E
Turn Right onto Hwy 72E & continue 4.5 mi. to Sea Life Park entrance (left side)
Stop 4: NUUANU PALI LOOKOUT
Courtesy of author, all rights reserved
Turn Left onto Hwy 61S & go 4.8 mi. to Pali Lookout Exit (right side-0.9 mi. beyond tunnel)
Turn Right onto Pali Lookout Exit & go 1.1 mi. to parking lot
Stop 5: BYODO-IN TEMPLE
Turn Right onto Hwy 61N & go 2.3 mi. to Hwy 83W (Kamehameha Hwy)
Turn Left onto Hwy 83W & go 2.3 mi. to Hwy 63
Turn Left onto Hwy 63 & go short way (0.5 mi.) to continuation of Hwy 83W (now called Kahekili Hwy-right side)
Turn Right onto Hwy 83W & go 2.6 mi. to entrance
Turn Left onto entrance road & go short way (0.8 mi.) to the parking lot.
Caution: Please don’t disturb the peacocks!
Stop 6: KUALOA PARK
Turn Left onto Hwy 83W & go 7.2 mi. to entrance
Caution: Swim at your own risk-currents, deep holes.
Stop 7: POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
Turn Right onto Hwy 83W & go 12.2 mi. to Cultural Center entrance (left side at Mile Marker 19)
A Hawaiian-style theme park-seven model villages designed to authentically recreate ancient Polynesia.
Note: Entry charge, open Mon.-Sat.12:00-9:00, tel.293-3333, restaurants, luau, Polynesian revue, gift shops, restrooms.
Stop 8: KULIMA COVE
Turn Right onto entrance road & go to public parking lot (on right just before security gate)
A sandy inlet at the Turtle Bay Resort. One of the nicest swimming and snorkeling areas on the north shore. Note: Food concession, showers, restrooms. The cove is located on right when walking toward the hotel.
Caution: No lifeguards-swim at your own risk. Inlet has a sharp coral bottom, dangerous current beyond buoys.
Stop 9: SUNSET BEACH
Turn Right onto Hwy 83W & go 3.7 mi. to pkg. lot
Note: Lifeguards all year, picnic, restrooms. Caution: Swim at your own risk-very dangerous in winter.
Stop 10: PUU O MAHUKA HEIAU
Turn Left onto Pupukea Rd.& go short way (0.6 mi.) to entrance road (first road on right at heiau sign)
Turn Right onto entrance road & go short way (0.7 mi.) to pkg. lot
Stop 11: WAIMEA VALLEY AUDUBON CENTER
Turn Left onto Hwy 83W & go short way (0.7 mi.) to park entrance road (left side)
Note: $8.00 entry charge, $2 .00 parking. Open daily 9:30-5:00, tel.638-9199, visitor center, restaurant, snack bar, gift shop, picnic, restrooms.
Caution: Wear hiking shoes on trails.
Stop 12: HALEIWA TOWN
Turn Left onto Hwy 83W & go 4.7 mi. to unpaved parking lot in town (right side, opposite Church)
A plantation town that has come of age-old general stores co-exist with modern boutiques, art galleries, and eateries.
Note: The “in-spot” on the north shore-great shaved ice!
Stops 13 & 14: DOLE & HELEMANO PLANTATIONS
Bear Left onto Hwy 99S & go 6.2 mi. to Dole Plantation entrance (left side)
Dole Plantation-showcases varieties of pineapples grown worldwide. Be sure to try their pineapple sorbet for $3.95…YUM!! Helemano Plantation-people caring for people in a “real world” work environment.
Enjoy an 8.50 lunch buffet at Helemano Plantation which is 2.08 miles from Dole Plantation.
Note: Dole is open daily 9-5:30, tel. 621-8408, snack bar, gift shop, maze, train tour, restrooms.
END OF DRIVE-RETURN TO WAIKIKI
99S80SH-2SH-1EEXIT 25A:KING ST
(29.1 Mi./50 Mins.)
**Thanks to Alternative-Hawaii.com for their immeasurable assistance with this report! For the most comprehensive, in-depth resource for all things Hawaiian, please visit them and be sure to patronize their sponsors!