Swimming with dolphins in Hawaii with consultant Isabella Thompson
Our fabulous Student Flights Indooroopilly consultant Isabella Thompson recently jetted off to the island paradise of Hawaii. here she shares her top picks for where to eat, drink, shop and of course swim with wild dolphins...
How long were you in Hawaii for?
5 quick days!
Where did you travel to in Hawaii?
We went to the Big Island where we split our time between Hilo and Kona. Our final days were spent in world famous Waikiki, Oahu. I absolutely loved Kona, it has that small town island vibe, a tropical getaway, a sun-soaked paradise with its own unique character with the most friendly and passionate locals.
What was your favourite hotel for sunset drinks? And your go-to holiday cocktail?
Favourite hotel has to be the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, it is pure luxury, a veritable pink palace with its perfect location right on Waikiki Beach, sunset cocktails in the cabanas there are the best. My favourite Cocktail..That’s definitely a hard one!! We drank so many but it has to be sipping Mai Tais beachside at the gorgeous Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian.
Did you do any fun tours?
We were so fortunate to go and check out one of 5 active volcanos in Hawaii. It was hands down the most incredible thing I have ever done. Picture hot active lava flowing into the ocean at Sunrise, absolutely 10/10! In Kona, we were up at the crack of dawn to be able to swim with wild dolphins, it was a bucket list dream!
Where was your favourite place to shop, eat and have a drink?
Ala Moana Centre, incredible!!!! It’s the largest open-air shopping mall in the world. It has everything!
Waikele Outlets - where you go for the bargains. You’ll need to get a 30min shuttle out there but definitely worth it; it’s the best shopping if you’re willing to take a ride. A lot of the stores at Ala Moana have their outlet stores there too (although likely to be different stock). Pro tip, sign up as to the VIP club (top right on website) and you get a discounts book from the information booth out there with heaps off. Just need to show the email you receive when you sign up so have that on your phone.
If you go to Waikiki you HAVE to try Dukes it’s a local institution with great food, terrific atmosphere, ocean views and lots of fun. In terms of bars I had a couple of favourites: Sky bar for its incredible views, Rumfire for its Dance floor and Wang Chung's karaoke bar. I would recommend doing your own Cocktail Beach Crawl.
If you start at the Helukalani and then walk east along the beach stopping at hotel bars along the way – Rumfire at Sheraton, Mai Tai Bar at Royal Hawaiian, Westin, then head to the Moana Surfrider to watch the sunset.
What would you recommend is an absolute must do in Hawaii? Why?
If you can see any active volcanos you will be very lucky, so if you do have the chance, definitely do this! I also thoroughly enjoyed going to Kualoa Ranch, you can do ATV driving here which is a lot of fun especially with friends. The Scenery is second to none; it’s a perfect combination of Hinterland and ocean... Also it’s where Jurassic Park was filmed, need I say more!
How long have you been with SF and what made you decide to join?
I have been with Student Flights for just over a year. I wanted to join the team because I am passionate about travel, interested in other cultures, love experiencing new challenges and ultimately want to learn more about the world. There are so many wonderful things to see on this beautiful planet!
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