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Getting to know Oahu

By Lizzie Williams

Posted: 30th September 2015 12:08

By Lizzie Williams

Affectionately dubbed as ‘the gathering place’, Oahu is Hawaii’s third largest island and a huge business trading hub and deep sea port, thanks to its prime location in the Pacific Ocean. All major transporters operate services from the urban metropolis that is Honolulu, Hawaii’s main airport and capital city. Served by international and domestic carriers, it is sometimes referred to as the gateway to Hawaii and is the entry point for nearly all tourists visiting the group of islands. Home to nearly two thirds of Hawaii’s population, Oahu is more diverse than its sister isles and proud of the multi-cultural heritage it has in spades.

Located on the South shore is Waikiki, popular for its beaches and famous as the birth place of surfing. Here the white gold sands and green-blue ocean provide a picturesque playground for any wannabe water babies with perfect conditions for snorkelling, diving, water skiing and sailing to name a few. There is more to Oahu, and the rest of Hawaii for that matter, than just glorious sands and perfect surfs. From the beauty of some of nature’s finest beaches to the urban metropolis of Honolulu’s man-made cityscape, Oahu’s scenery is a fascinating assortment of contradictions.

What really sets Hawaii apart from other tropical destinations though is the culture; mysterious, musical and mythological, although formed historically it is nonetheless a living and vibrant culture still relevant in modern times. Steeped in custom and tradition it is based on a system of core values that include pleasantness, love, patience and peace. Ancient Hawaiian’s were expert canoe makers and - without the use of any navigational instruments - skilled travellers. They were also known to be prolific musicians and storytellers, with many of their myths, legends and songs still told today. With the music comes dance, and the Hula is possibly Hawaii’s most popular global export.

Oahu also makes a huge contribution to Hawaii’s historical relevance. Within its shores are the locations of Pearl Harbour - with all its military significance and the former royal retreat of Iolani Palace – the only royal residence, ever, in Hawaii. These provide a sharp contrast to buzz of the huge open air Ala Moana shopping mall and the creative vibe of Honolulu with its arts and crafts venues. After nightfall the island encourages dining out, dancing and every other kind of socialising imaginable. Drink cocktails while listening to live music in Waikiki or meet Chinatown’s contemporary artists and drink trendy rum-balls with them; when it’s a question of choices Oahu leaves nothing out. The island is almost Hawaii in a nutshell and whatever your pleasure, Oahu won’t disappoint you.

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