Want to go Hang Gliding in Hawaii on Oahu? How about jumping out of a plane with Pacific Skydiving Oahu?
…or really the ultimate guide to the most bad ass activities you should do on Oahu. ‘Cause hey – most are priced similarly to the mainland, so why wouldn’t you want to do them in the ridiculously gorgeous land that is Hawaii? Precisely. So here are the top adventure activities to experience in Hawaii.
I’ve always seen people doing this, soaring high above the sky with nothing but a parachute and a harness tugging them behind a boat. The higher you go, the more epic (and the more costly, sadly). Hop on Groupon to find great discounts as this is an experience you don’t want to miss. While you’re only up there for about 8 minutes, the views of Honolulu are spectacular from above, and it’s well worth it if you can find a cheap ticket. There are constantly sales on Groupon; we used X-treme Parasailing and got it for $40 per person – a bit pricey for eight minutes but hey, you have to try everything once. This company also had tandem ones so you can go up with a friend or significant other.
I’d never been in a helicopter before so what better place than Hawaii?! I chose Novictor as they are one of the only companies on Oahu that will let you go with the doors off – the true experience and way better for photos. While I did the daytime 45 minute tour, there are night tours as well, and even a fireworks tour every Friday night!
Snorkel with Turtles
When I went on this tour I thought it was just that – snorkelling with turtles. But then they told me it was from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. Wait, what? I went with Hawaii Turtle Tours and they actually do a loop of most of the island, stopping at beautiful spots (which can inspire you of where you’d like to return to to spend more time at) for 10-15 minutes each – just enough time for a little exploring and some wicked photos. The last activity of the day is the highlight – snorkeling with turtles. And it’s fantastic. It’s amazing seeing animals in their natural habitat, just remember: this is their home, not yours. Keep your distance, don’t touch, just look and love every moment. You get a whole hour and a half at the beach to snorkel, so you can spend the whole time exploring what’s under the water or spend part of it lazing on the beach. It’s really a two in one tour – you get a circle tour of the island AND snorkeling with turtles.
I went hang gliding for the first time with Hang Gliding Hawaii, which is pretty much a one man operation – and what a wonderfully fun man! Seriously, I’d hang with this guy just in ordinary life. To boot, he had the best motorized hang glider money can buy. To quote him, it’s the Ferrari of hang gliding. Those spectacular views while in a completely open vehicle are amazing. He even let me drive for a while, teaching me how to turn, and to go up and down and straight. Of course his hands were always lightly on the bar so should I mess up, he was there to fix it. This made it super fun and less nerve wracking. Plus now I can say I’ve flown a hang glider! Also it’s pretty cool that it’s only you and the pilot – such a personal adventure! This was located in the north shore, providing way different views than those from the helicopter. I definitely recommend Hang Gliding Hawaii on Oahu!
I’ve been zip lining many times, but CLIMB Works Keana Farms was one of my very favourites. They even have dual lines so you can zip line at the same time as your partner in crime, or if you’re alone zip on over with one of the instructors (who you’ll quickly befriend as they’re all outgoing and extremely friendly!) This zip line place was unique in that they had a couple other activities like repelling, and not only let you, but made you (okay if you REALLY didn’t want to they wouldn’t force you, it was just encouraged to face your fears) go backwards on one line, and upside down on another! The views of the ocean and the working farm below (hello fresh cherry tomatoes and apple bananas midway through) also make it very special.
This was my first ever skydive, and I chose Pacific Skydiving Honolulu as it was cheaper than the alternative, but totally great. I was scared for about one second as we jumped out and then just reeling from how amazing it felt. If you’re going to jump anywhere, do it in Hawaii; we went over the north shore – a gorgeous part of Oahu – with ocean and mountain views all around. If you only do one of these activities, this is the one.
Of course there’s always the obvious you’ve no need for me to mention; there’s the hike up to Hawaii’s most well known landmark – Diamond head – and a ton of beaches to explore. Get out of Waikiki and find some awesome beaches that are more secluded. Talk to locals to find the best spots so you can find the true hidden gems rather than sticking only to tourist attractions. And most importantly, have a ball in Hawaii!