Manoa Falls, Hawaii


CLASSIC: because when there is a skinny waterfall, you take this photo.

It was a spur of the moment decision to visit this magnificent place. 

The logic was basically “I’ve spent a day relaxing and I’m bored now”.

So I did zero research other than glance at trip advisor to ensure participants of the hike had come out alive, then rang up and booked a spot on the next available trip.

That might not seem well thought out but sometimes when time is short and the stakes are low, you just need to make a call.

It turned out to be one of the nicest days in Hawaii. Particularly exciting, is the fact they filmed bits of Jurassic Park there. Naturally I spent a large portion of the hike conjuring up dinosaur scenes in my head, hiding in trees, pretending they were chasing me etc.

It’s not a difficult hike to the falls. You definitely do not need to take a guided tour here. In saying that, our guide was great. She taught us about the plants and gave us a history of Hawaii. Their history is amazing.  There’s no poisonous plants or animals here because the islands have never needed to defend themselves! Biology and evolution are mind blowing. 

She also told us about how the water in the falls is currently carrying some sort of deadly bacteria so you’re not supposed to swim in it. There are signs but there were still a bunch of people swimming. I was tempted until one girl got out with a cut and our guide told her to see a doctor immediately because there was a good chance the deadly flesh eating (I didn’t confirm it was flesh eating but it probably was) bacteria would make her very ill. 

There’s just something special about hiking in a Hawaiian rainforest. It’s 30 degrees, all humidity. A time for skimpy tops and care free surf hair. 

On the way back to base I made sure I took a minute to really soak up the moment. To commit all the little details to memory. 



Waikiki wipe out


I had been in Hawaii all of 12 hours and I had the itch that only ocean lovers know. The pool is great but a beach is better.

After burning off some excess energy in the gym I needed to get on a board and in the surf. 

The Modern is around a 20 minute walk to the main part of Waikiki beach along the boardwalk so towards the crowds we wandered on Thursday morning. Bringing surfing gear would not have been practical on this trip given 80% of the time we’ve been in remote deserts so I had to hire a surfboard in Hawaii. As the waves were small, I went for a fun mini mal and paddled out to one of the less crowded reefs to try my luck. 

I managed to get a few sweet little waves and avoid face planting into the reef until my last wave when I snagged my leg rope, went flying over the top of my board and crash landed on a sandbank. 

The issue wasn’t physical injury but rather my skimpy bikini. I had been too cheap to hire a rash vest or wetsuit. It took a while to sort out with some slightly too eager help from some of the lads. #stillgotit.

We wandered through Waikiki after my surf and then in the afternoon, I was let loose in the Ala Moana shopping centre… Bye money. 

Spending dome quality time with the Duke.

Aloha Hawaii


If I had been starting to feel any end of adventure blues, it was soon stamped out of me when I stepped off the plane in Hawaii into 30 degree sunshine and air that was wet to breathe. 

By the time I saw the hotel room at the Modern Honolulu, I was basically starting a whole new type of holiday. One that involved long and lazy days by the pool drinking pina coladas and playing candy crush saga. 

Uninspired to do much other than bask in this lifestyle for a while, Kristy and I headed strait to the supermarket for nibbles and tequila ($20 a bottle unfortunately for my liver)before sitting by the room window overlooking the ocean and debriefing all the things we had done in the past month. 

Here we stayed until the nibbles had been polished off when we migrated to the pool to finish off the first afternoon in Hawaii. 

Sometimes I second guess my life choices, especially when I am travelling and become removed from my everday situations. Here is a snap of me not questioning the choice to order a frozen lime and coconut mojito.

America, 2001.


Being in the early planning stages of my next big adventure, and given that this adventure will be taking place on American soil, I have been thinking a lot about the last time I was there.

It was on a family holiday in 2001. We stayed in Arizona with friends, before fulfilling my childhood dream of going to Disneyland in California. On the way home, we stopped for a week in Hawaii. It was your classic family trip, but also one of my happiest childhood memories. I felt like the luckiest kid alive when we were on that plane to LA. Being the diligent eleven year old I was, I kept an extensive diary of everything we did. Every entry stars with “today we went to…” but all in all, I am quite proud of the effort  I must have put into this journal. Mum, the darling that she is, also made a scrapbook of all our photos. I’ve put together a little collection  from this trip, to inspire thoughts for the next one.

Even aged eleven, I was aware of the importance of happy hour. Even now, aged 24, I have the same intensely satisfied look when sipping cold drinks after five.

Even aged eleven, I was aware of the importance of happy hour. Now, aged 24, I have the same intensely satisfied look when sipping cold drinks after five.

April 18 2001, Wednesday:
“The toilets are very weird. When you flush it sucks it away very loudly and you can feel air”- On the plane to LA.

“Luckily for me dads work partner camble who is flying with us saved me from dying by giving me a time out bar. The food is okay but I still am glad I have my time out bar”- On the plane to LA.

When in Mexico...

When in Mexico…

April 22 2001, Sunday
” Today we went to old tuscon it was funtastic. My favourite parts were the car rides, the mine train, the shows and the ice-cream. My favourite show was darth vader  Zorrow.”- Tucson, Arizona

” We went on a mine train ride. Tegan, Nick and I were making bets on who would die first.” – Tucson, Arizona

April 23 2001, Monday
“Today was the best day so far. We went to Mexico. It was a bit freaky at first but you get used to it. You can’t be everywhere at the same time even though the Mexicans think you can. They all want you in their shop at the same time”- Mexico

“When you bargain they say how much you give me lady?!!!!! it got annoying but as I said you get used to it.”- Mexico

29th April 2001, Saturday

“When we were coming home we stopped for photos by a huge cactus…When we got home we played in the pool with my dad he threw us really high in the air”- Tucson, Arizona

This is the moment that captures the entire reason I wanted to come to America in the first place. Disneyland.

This is the moment that captures the entire reason I wanted to come to America in the first place. Disneyland.

1 May 2001, Tuesday

“Today we went to disneyland. it was great. we went on big-thunder mountain rail road first. we went on all the good rides. My favourite was splash mountain and star tours.”- Anaheim, California

” Dad whinged the whole way about his food deprival and his socks. All day.”- Anaheim, California

2nd May 2001, Wednesday

“Today we went to California Adventures. It was exelent. I went on the roller coaster 14 times…we also saw a show called it’s hard to be a bug but I took my 3D glasses off the whole time. ” – Anaheim, California

3rd May 2001, Thursday

“Today was our last day in disney land. it was sad to leave but all good things must come to an end. We did all our favourite rides but on splash mountain we got more than we bargained for. we were about to go up the hill where we would drop, when every thing went still. Someone came and told us it had brocken down. so we had to get out and exit early. but it started again soon after. we got a fast pass for it though.”- Anaheim, California

Meeting my disney hero.

Meeting my disney hero.

4th May 2001, Friday

“We went to Hollywood. it was so boring. We also went to Beverly hills and venus beach they were not boring…Beverly hills is where stars live…all the houses are big but some are mansions. They are bigger than the haunted mansion in disneyland.” Hollywood, California

At the top of Diamond Head, Hawaii. My taste in holiday hats appears to have remained constant throughout my life.

At the top of Diamond Head, Hawaii. My taste in holiday hats appears to have remained constant throughout my life.

5th May 2001, Saturday

“We went down to the beach first thing when we got here. I did not have a good swim though because when we first got here I fell off the bed and got big carpet burns on my back and they stung really bad but apart from that Hawaii is very nice.”- Hawaii

7th May 2001m Monday
“Today we went to pearl harbour…we had a voucher to collect 27 stamps so thats just what we did there were different prints to collect. We found all of them. We hired a car…it is a green four wheel drive its very comfy, with power windows.”- Hawaii

May 9th 2001, Wednesday
“Today we climbed up diamond head. It was a nice walk. diamond head is a creater.”

“Our flight was meant to be at 12 20 am but our plane ran over a flock of birds and there were feathers in the engine so we got delayed. We ended up leaving at 3 30 am.”- Hawaii.

May 11 2001, Friday
“We got home today…on the way home I had a look in the cockpit. I got to give out lollies and I got a goody bag for doing it. its nice to be home.”

This is what I meant when I said "classic family holiday".

This is what I meant when I said “classic family holiday”.