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Waikiki’s free time favourites!

Yes, there’s actually going to be some (much-needed) downtime slotted into the jam-packed Global Gathering schedule this year, which means that you’ll have a cheeky few hours free to explore Waikiki.

We tracked down our very own Honolulu Tour Guide Russell Williss, New Zealand Country Director of Hawaiian Airlines to ask ‘what can we simply not go home without seeing or experiencing?’

Funnily enough his initial reaction was “Oh my gosh, this is so hard!”, but we soon teased out what we wanted to know!


Bars of Waikiki

“There’s just too many good options to fit it” he said; but if he had to give us a Top 10…

  1. Tiki’s
  2. Lulu’s
  3. Maui Brewing Bar
  4. USA Growler Bar
  5. Honolulu Beer works (Kakaako)
  6. Skybar (4pm onwards)
  7. LAYLOW Hotel Lanai bar
  8. Banyan Tree Beach Bar Westin
  9. International Marketplace bars level 3
  10. Frozen Coconut Mojito at the Modern Pool Bar

Shirokiya Japanese Village Walk at Ala Moana


Eats of Waikiki

“Hawaii food and beverage has come such a long way in last 5 years, so there are many fabulous options now” said Williss. From high-end to cheap and cheerful, below are his Top Picks:

  1. Shirokiya Japanese Village Walk at Ala Moana
  2. Waikiki Yokocho gourmet alley
  3. Uncle’s Seafood Pier 38
  4. Koko Head café (Kaimuki)
  5. Arvo Café (Kakaako)
  6. Goofy Café
  7. Buho Mexican
  8. Noi Thai
  9. Chibo
  10. Lucky Belly (downtown)
  11. Livestock Tavern (downtown)
  12. Pig & the Lady (downtown)
  13. Scratch Kitchen n Bake (downtown)
  14. Tucker & Bevy (hangover toasties etc)

But most importantly, we needed to know about…


Coffee of Waikiki

Surprisingly the list for this one was a lot shorter than the bars and eats!

  1. Kai Coffee (Hyatt Regency courtyard)
  2. Kona Coffee Patisserie International Marketplace
  3. Cinnamon’s at the Illakia
  4. Bills of Sydney.

And for those of your extending your trip, we made sure we asked what we should be doing if we had 24, 48 and 72 hours in Waikiki…


An early morning walk up Diamond Head is a must! (A grass skirt and coconuts is optional)


24 hours in Waikiki

  1. Get up early walk Diamond Head.
  2. Hire car do Oahu loop with lunch at Haleiwa or Roy’s Beach house Turtle Bay resort
  3. Sunset cocktails Waikiki


ATV’s at Kualoa Ranch are awesome!


48 hours in Waikiki

  1. All above + Kualoa Ranch
  2. Shopping Waikele outlets, Waikiki or Ala Moana
  3. Hire a board and paddle out for sunset off Waikiki
  4. Flop Drop RELAX, you’re in Hawaii people !
  5. Swimming with turtles and dolphins is just magical


72 hours in Waikiki

All of the above plus throw in a stunning hike, Snorkeling, swim with turtles or Pearl Harbour tour ! just explore !…or a bar crawl (see BARS)  

Hyatt Regency Courtyard Farmers Markets TUE & THU 4-8PM

Pamper Westin Spa or The Modern Spa

Flop Drop RELAX, you’re in HAWAII people

From that list, I think it’s safe to say that you won’t be short of things to do while you’re in Waikiki. Thanks for the insights Russell!

Don’t forget to check out the Global Gathering website and the FCTG Facebook Page for details of trips, excursions, famils and more!

Aloha x

About the Author
Becca is an avid traveller, a trained copywriter and one of Australia’s leading video marketers. As a creative content producer she’s pumped to be engaging, entertaining and intriguing the FCTG nations with written and visual communications in the run up to Global.