The Diamond Head crater from the air.
The Diamond Head crater from the air. CarstenHeyde

Say aloha to adventure in Hawaii

ZIPLINING through the incredible Ka'a'awa Valley definitely tested my nerves, but after stepping off the tree-top platform for the first time I felt a complete sense of freedom. When my best friend told me he was taking me on a "congratulations you're engaged" holiday to Hawaii, my first thought after extreme gratefulness was - I want to zipline.

I had been once before but I knew ziplining at Kualoa Ranch would be an experience like no other. Kualoa Ranch was once the home of kings so you can imagine the tranquillity the area offers. It is also home to one of the most popular ziplining tours on the island.

 

Meghan Harris and Chris Burling ziplining at Kualoa Ranch.
Meghan Harris and Chris Burling ziplining at Kualoa Ranch. Meghan Harris

My stomach was riddled with butterflies as I was being strapped into the equipment, knowing I was about to step off elevated platforms in the middle of a rainforest valley. After each tandem I became more confident and eager to leap off.

The instructors assured us we would be safe and if anyone became stuck in the middle of a line, hanging in the air, they would be rescued. That rarely happened, they said. It happened to me.

I was zipping along the longest and highest tandem, when I felt it slowing down mid-way. I urged myself forward but I was soon left suspended in the middle of the line, 30m in the air.

They said it was because I was so small. By that point I wasn't scared or nervous. I actually used the time it took to be rescued to take in my surroundings. It's almost impossible to panic when you are in the middle of so much natural beauty.

 

Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch are (from left) Tahneea Hoffman, Meghan Harris and Chris Burling.
Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch are (from left) Tahneea Hoffman, Meghan Harris and Chris Burling. Meghan Harris

Ziplining at Kuloa Ranch wasn't the only amazing adventure we went on in Hawaii. The island is a magical place where you can explore everything from extinct volcanoes to rainbow trees to underground caves.

Visitors travel from across the world to get a first-hand glimpse of Diamond Head crater and I was lucky enough to stay at a resort right beside the volcanic tuff cone, with almost panoramic views of the natural crater.

 

The view from the Diamond Head crater trail.
The view from the Diamond Head crater trail. Meghan Harris

I am not an athletic person but I could not wait to climb the extinct volcano. It was a 2.5km hike to the summit and it was packed with tourists, but even that failed to take away the beauty of the view.

After exerting myself more than I had done in a long time I was in need of some food and we knew exactly where to go - The Cheesecake Factory.

It has the most diverse menu I have ever come across, not to mention it has every flavour of cheesecake you could possibly imagine.

We dined there five times in the nine days we were there. We could have eaten there for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and still not scratched the surface of the menu.

 

Hawaii travel article from Meghan Harris. Chicken waffles for breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory.
Hawaii travel article from Meghan Harris. Chicken waffles for breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory. Meghan Harris

We indulged in waffles and fried chicken for breakfast, mac and cheese balls for lunch, and chicken and mashed potato for dinner. Hawaii is a tropical wonderland full of adventures and delicious food.

 

Meghan Harris Hawaii trip article. View from Diamond Head crater trail.
Meghan Harris Hawaii trip article. View from Diamond Head crater trail. Meghan Harris


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