Chasing The Sun: Hawaii – Part 2: Adventures on Oahu
Blue Water Chaser – Lauren in Waimea Bay
Sometimes called “The Gathering Place”, Oahu certainly lives up to its name. Nearly a million of Hawaii’s 1.4 million inhabitants call Oahu home. The third largest island in the Hawaiian archipeligo is a diverse fusion of cultures east and west, with underlying origins of Polynesian heritage. The diversity makes for an enticing cultural (and culinary!) smorgasboard. One moment you’ll be swimming in the clear blue waters of Kailua Beach looking out to the infamous Mokes Islands, the next you’re walking through the bustling metropolis of Waikiki, wading your way out to surf between beginner city-slickers and old Hawaiian legends.
Our Adventures took us from Kailua to The North Shore and back down to Waikiki. Roadtripping up on the North Shore, we stopped constantly to jump out and photobomb the beautiful scenery that lay just off the side of the road. The town of Haleiwa got to know us pretty well as most days we’d venture over to fill our bellies with the moreish tastes of Beat Box and Haleiwa Bowls after a fun morning surf at Chuns. We got lost in the palm forests, swam in the crystal clear waters of Waimea Bay and surfed up a storm down in Waikiki.
The south shore of the island has been built up, bulldozed and generally paved. It’s like the extreme wildness of the roaring Pacific had to be countered for comfort by the most humanly tame scape imaginable – concrete, steel, glass.
It’s a strange juxtaposition to stroll down the streets of Waikiki at dark, knowing the surf is pumping just on the other side of those highrises; that so many myths and legends of our surfing culture have happened just there, cattycorner from overpriced European high fashion houses catering to tourists. Waikiki feels like an anthropological experiment set in the spacious lab of the Pacific ocean on the most isolated landmass on the planet.
The beauty of Oahu may sometimes get overshadowed by the other islands in the chain, but hiking up to the Pillboxes in Kailua really puts into perspective how beautiful and majestic this island really is. Oahu may have been tamed more than the other islands, but it’s beauty is still undeniable.
We felt like where ever we travelled to on Oahu, there were an abundance of friends around us, new and old, hanging out, passing through, showing us round. It definitely felt like The Gathering Place…
La & Ming xx
Images by Ming Nomchong & Lauren L. Hill
Palm plantation hide and seek
The view of Makapu’u Beach on the east side of Oahu
The cutest little tourist town, Haleiwa on the North Shore. This place makes you want to spend all your money on Aca’i bowls and surf gear.
Waikiki Beach lifeguard tower. The beach is so beautiful but is totally juxtaposed by the high rises across the street.
The sunset crew down at Waikiki
The colours of Hawaii never get old
Waimea Bay – One of the most famous bays in the world for surfing in winter time when massive swells roll in creating waves in the 20-30ft range and hold prestigious surfing competitions like the Eddie Aikau. In summer though, you see a very different bay. Calm glassy waters attract swimmers and snorkelers exploring the crystal clear sea.
Lauren swimming in a split screen in Waimea Bay
When a place like Waimea Bay gets imortalised in the 60’s by The Beach Boys in “Surfing USA”, you know it’s a place worth checking out.
Playing fish in Waimea Bay
My mate Trev the Turtle. There are hundreds of Turtles that call Oahu home. There are bays where you can stand in the shallows and feed them seaweed. Watch your fingers though!
Waimea Bay “Jump Rock” or more affectionately called by locals “da Big Rock”
Jump Rock exit route
Blues, Aquas and clear seas. My kind of paradise.
Did you know that there are over 2500 kinds of species of Palm Trees in the world? Hawaii has one main Palm tree family that is native to Hawaii and within that family there are 29 members. The coconut is prevalent but was originally brought to the islands by Polynesians way back before the 1800’s.
This is me, stuck in a desktop screensaver. Lanikai Beach.
The view out to the Mokes, Lanikai Beach, East Oahu
Sunrise over Lanikai
One morning I hiked up the top of the Pill box behind Lanikai just as the sun was rising. It’s such a stunning view of the whole east side of Oahu
The view from the Pillbox hike looking out to the mountain ranges
Sunset at Waikiki
Lauren taking a walk down Palm Avenue – Exploring palm fields on the North Shore
Rock pools and big oceans
Getting lost in a magical tropical wonderland
The end of the road on the North Shore. The hills engulf the coast of the island until you hit the West side and the only access is by foot on a small path at the bottom of the mountains.
Lauren keeping an eye out for falling coconuts – North Shore Oahu
Waimea is an underwater playground. Rock running is popular and we thought we’d give it our best shot at it. Turns out, it ain’t easy…
Relishing in the wide open space of Waimea
We got to hang with the Sanuk crew for a couple of days on Oahu. They were a pretty boring bunch…
Adam Walker, Lauren Hill, Tony Vercelli & Artist Susan Wickstrand – Aka Team Sanuk
Sand smoke, Waimea Bay
Shooting me shooting you. Waimea Bay
A happy little Vegemite in Aloha waters
The day we had to say goodbye to the islands. Last day in Hawaii. We almost missed our flights due to the traffic. We weren’t too upset about the thought of having to spend another couple of days in Hawaii…
Hawaii – You’ve stolen our hearts. Sunset – Waikiki