A long weekend in Hawaii? Waikiki not!
If you live on the East Coast, a long weekend in Hawaii could be the ultimate mini-break – and it’s easier than you might think. The key is the International Date Line. Make it work for you!
DAY 1 (Thursday or Friday)
Work a full day (or a half day if you’re travelling from Brisbane or Melbourne), then jump on Qantas’s long-weekend-friendly 7.15pm Sydney – Honolulu service. The magic of the Date Line means you’ll arrive the very same day at 8.30am, just in time for brunch. The nine-hour flight gives you plenty of time to sleep, helping you skip the jet lag.
Qantas is currently flying its 747 on the Sydney – Honolulu route, with some pretty amazing deals for Premium Economy (on certain dates it’s only $200 more each way than Saver Economy and worth it for the extra comfort). Get on it!
Pro tip: Jetstar also offers long-weekend-friendly flights out of Sydney, and Melbourne too!
Stay: The Modern
Head straight to The Modern for brunch by the pool. If early check-in isn’t available, grab your swimmers and activewear and leave your luggage with the concierge. The long weekend starts now 😎🍹🌊
Swim: Waikiki Beach
The Modern is a short walk from the famous sands (much of it shipped in from LA and China. Who knew?!) of Waikiki Beach. Find your patch and flop and drop.
Lunch: Whole Foods
Does anyone else love Whole Foods Market? Jump in an Uber and hit Whole Foods for a healthy and wholesome lunch. The self-service stations offer an amazing array of hot and cold foods, and you can stock up on other essentials and goodies. Like choc chip cookies.
Surf: Ty Gurney Surf School
Waikiki boasts one of the world’s best breaks for learning to surf. The water is warm (and surprisingly clean), the waves gentle, and sitting behind the break is like sitting in a postcard.
The friendly instructors at Ty Gurney Surf School will get you standing on a long board in your first lesson. Give it a go! And say hi to the turtles.
Dinner: Buho Cantina
You might not be impressed by Buho Cantina’s entrance – it’s via a lift and along an office-block corridor – but the reward is rooftop dining with a view, delicious Mexican food and classic margaritas. Salute!
DAY 2 (Friday or Saturday)
Hike: Diamond Head
Get up early and take a short drive to the Diamond Head State Monument for a pre-breakfast hike. The summit offers spectacular views along the coast. A round trip from the car park takes about an hour, so you’ll raise a sweat.
Brunch: Sunny Days
On your way back into town, you’ll find Sunny Days serving up quality food and chilled-out vibes. Try the local dish Loco Moco (white or brown rice, topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg and brown gravy) or granola topped with Hawaiian-grown fruits. Yum!
Leonard’s = amazing donuts. Pick up a six pack (per person – they’re that good. And you’ve had a surf and a hike, so… )
Shop: Ala Moana Center
You’re in America, so you may as well do some shopping. The Ala Moana Center, just a short walk from The Modern, is brimming with all your favourite American brands and department stores.
Dinner & Drinks: Lulu’s
Right on Waikiki’s main drag, Lulu’s offers all-American dining with an incredible view. Think chicken wings, nachos, burgers, margaritas and big-screen TVs. It’s doesn’t get much better! Grab a table early for happy-hour deals and watch the sun set – you’ll be racing it home the next day.
DAY 3 (Saturday or Sunday)
Alas, the International Date Line taketh as well as giveth. The trade-off for the extra day you got when you arrived in Hawaii is a morning flight back to Sydney. Qantas’s civilised 10.50am departure will get you into Sydney at 5pm the day after you depart, which means you can go about your normal Sunday (or Monday) evening routine, then roll into work the next morning with a tan, a story and no jet lag. How good?!