This is Ko’Olina resort in Kapolei, Hawaii. Owned and built by the same Disney as Disney Land Resorts in California, this tropical resort is amongst top picks for all-inclusive vacationing available in premier spots on Oahu. From the private beaches to the beautiful mountains along the west side, the Aulani Disney Resort is an escape compared to the bustling cityscape Hotels common inside of Waikiki. The waters surrounding Aulani are calm and perfect for swimmers of all ages making family vacations feel more family oriented. This all-inclusive Hawaii resort is home to more activities than any other vacationing spot on the west side of Oahu. Our Hawaii photographers were able to capture the special moments children have participating in the Menehune Adventure Trail, where kids from young to adult can enjoy an island themed scavenger hunt on the resort grounds. As to be expected, Disney does a fantastic job promoting family activity and at the end of the day everyone can enjoy Ko’Olina’s outside theater for a late night movie. There is plenty available to do here on the famous beaches of Hawaii including a dolphin adventure, where the whole family can swim with dolphins and their trainers. The best activities for young (and older) adults are the ocean kayaking, while kids can learn how to make elegant sculptures in the sand. When it is all said and done the Aulani Resort at Ko”olina is impressive and boasts that it can do it all.
The most fantastic weddings, our team of Hawaii photographers have had the opportunity to shoot were from the magnificent Disney resort. If you are looking for a perfect wedding in Hawaii than planning the wedding at Aulani will provide for an unforgettable experience. The excellent hospitality, the resort staff offers is world class and alongside the other events at Ko’Olina it is a sure bet for even the most picky of guests. No matter the purpose of a Hawaii excursion, Aulani has everything needed to make a perfect vacation, unforgettable. Our photographer’s favorite service provided at the resort was the beachside meals Aulani staff cater right on the beach. This type of 5 star class is further proven at Laniwai Spa with their most decadent of body therapies to relax the spirit. Laniwai is Ko’Olina’s hidden gem of relaxation, as it is a pleasant surprise, for any adult on vacation especially in Hawaii. The spa offers, lomilomi massage, Shiatsu and Traditional Thai Massage. Not to forget Aulani’s great selection of the best facial treatment found on the islands. Ko’Olina Resort and Spa is a world class option for vacationers and islanders alike. Make no mistake, as Disney will go to great lengths to provide an excellent service that represents true to their name. By pure definition of rest and relaxation, Aulani exceeds all the expectations.
Far past Makaha lies an almost remote section of beach called Yokohama Bay. The name originally given to the beach by the native Hawaiians who lived and fished there was Keawa’ula. Keawa’ula means “The Red Harbor” and was likely named that because the area is known for becoming a squid breeding ground. The squid were known to turn bright red during mating. Though populations are not enough for Keawa’ula to become red with squid these days, at one point in history, Keawa’ula would flourish in natural wonder during the mating season. Thanks to the heavy influences from Japanese fisherman who dubbed the beach to what many locals now refer to simply as Yokes. In the few miles between Yokohama Beach and Makaha lies a remote stretch of mountains that are home to throngs of mongoose and wild boar. On top of and inside of the mountains there are many things to see including abandoned military bunkers and even an old army tank. This photograph from Oahu, Hawaii is of a Waianae mountain peak near the entrance to the bay. The Yokohama surf spot is known throughout the world for famous waves during the winter months. These waves are a great attraction to surfers from all over the world who seek the adventures surfing these waves have to offer. This surf spot may appear, at times calm and even as a gentle spot for novices but the beach doesn’t always have lifeguards and has a reputation for being a very difficult place to surf when waves pound in off a southwest swell.
Yokohama Beach wasn’t always a pleasant place for tourists to watch surfers. The white sand beach have no shade and most of those planning to stay on the beach should bring an umbrella and sunscreen.
Local urban legend indicates a history of famous zombie warriors called the nightmarchers. According to the legend, the nightmarchers were the ghosts of ancient Hawaiians and the fiercest in every battle. They carry kukui torches and come down from these mountains on sacred marches to ancient battle sites or to carry a soul to Ka’ena Point, a place Hawaiian’s believed was a “jumping off” point for souls or in the Hawaiian language leina. Many locals still say they fear the nightmarchers even to this day. On one adventure a group of our Hawaii photography staff met with a lady named Lei’ Ko’Opii who said that she had witnessed the nightmarchers coming down from the mountain and marching straight to Keawa’ula. Even if our photographers had a chance to see the nightmarchers we would not be able to take a picture because according to legend, taking a photograph of the nightmarchers may cause instant death. Lei also recommended that if we did see nightmarchers not to panic. If it so happened that we became trapped in their path, she recommended to lie flat on our faces to show the nightmarchers respect. Other than that it is best to avoid the nightmarchers at all cost!
As a special thank-you to readers of the Hawaii photography blog, we are happy to present to following special discount: $5 off airport parking. Use code CJNAT1 at checkout.
This photo from Hawaii looks like the savannah. This was a fun landscape experiment with a toy camera technique. The landscape came out looking great, even without processing. In the background there is a clear sight all the way down Oahu’s west side over the Nanakuli and Maili beaches. This park is somewhat abandoned and occasionally filled with houseless residents of Waianae. There might be a sharks nest around here and maybe a pot of gold too…