Hawaii is an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. It is also a 50th state of USA, hence the official currency here is the US dollar. Hawaii has 6 main islands with Oahu having the only big city - Honolulu. It's islands are well known for rugged coastlines with white, gold, black and even green sand beaches, waterfalls and tropical folliage.
We started our Photo Tour in Honolulu on Oahu island. From the plane you can immediately recognise Waikiki beach as well as Pearl Harbour
This bay which is formed within a volcanic cone, is famous marine for pristine water and rich marine life. You can snorkel freely around the bay but before you do, you need to watch a video about the marine life, preservation and conservation. The entry fee to the park is $7.50 per person (locals with ID have free entry) and the park is open from 6am to 6pm. The parking lot is located on the ridge above the actual bay. Parking is limited so go early in the morning to make sure you’re able to get in. Once it fills up you’ll be turned away. Parking costs $1 for the whole day. One more thing to remember, Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays.
As we landed in Honolulu in the afternoon, we've decided to move along the coast with the intention to sleep in the camp in Waimanalo Bay State Rec Area. The drive itself is scenic, the water is unbelievably azure and clear. We stopped when it was safe to take few shots along the way.
Driving around Oahu is very easy and distances are very short (at least for us when we usually driving several hundred kilometres a day). When we arrived at Waimanalo Beach, we immediately noticed many homeless people and couldn't really see the campground. We asked one lovely lady who lived there and she told us that not many people actually camp there as it is quite dangerous. She recommended that we move along and don't stay here at night. It is a real shame as the beach was absolutely fantastic with the white sand and crystal clear water.
It was getting late and we still didn't know where we are going to stay for the night. Our intention was to camp around the island and be as closed to the location for photography as possible. Unfortunately as we found out very early into our trip, there are not many campsites around the island and the few small government owned campgrounds are quite hard to find. The worst part is that if you didn't book in advance and printed the receipt, your chances to stay there are very slim.
We drove another 20km or so to Lanikai Beach which is also incredibly beautiful but quite popular with tourists. Once again, there is no campgraound in this area and when we asked about B&B, they are apparently booked a year in advance and you pay approximately 300USD per night for nothing special. Parking is quite hard as you need to find the space on the road in the residential area.
As there were no resorts around here either, we have decided to drive back to Honolulu and find a hotel for the night. Hotels on Waikiki are generally very expensive, the best deal we could find was in the Outrigger Hotel for 250USD plus 42USD for parking.
Waikiki itself is the place where you can find all tourists on one long beach. Unless you are looking for a holiday to stay on the beach and lie around the hotel pool, this place is nothing special. There are nicer beaches and cheaper places to stay around the world. There are plenty of restaurants and choices of food. Japanese cuisine is available at every corner.