What Can I Expect to see on the Hawaii Walks Walking tours?
During either the East Waikiki or the Central Waikiki Hawaii Walks Walking tours, you will see a variety of local flora and fauna, both native and introduced. We will identify every bird that flies above you and every tree and plant that we pass. We will explain the arrival of different flora and fauna in context with the geological development of the Hawaiian islands. Please see our “Gallery” page to see examples of the kinds of plants, animals, and birds that we may encounter on the walk. You’ll be given your own souvenir bird ID card to help you keep track of your sightings. We will also pass along the world famous Queens’ Beach, where Hawaiian monarchy once spent much of their time relaxing.
do i have to reserve ahead of time?
Yes. Each tour has a 10-15 person maximum. Certain dates are blacked out. Please register ahead of time. Even though our times and locations are publicly posted does not mean we have space for folks who just show up!
What if it is raining?
All of our walks are rain or shine. We provide umbrellas in the case of rain. If the rain is too severe or there are other weather concerns, we will email you as soon as possible to let you know about the cancellation. Because weather in Hawai’i changes quickly, cancellations are sometimes last minute and made the morning of the tour. All tours cancelled due to weather will be refunded in full.
Are the Hawaii Walks walking tours physically demanding?
Our walks are all moderate in physical activity. Both The East Waikiki and the Central Waikiki walking tour has flat terrain, a large bike path for strollers, and moves at a leisurely pace. We provide refreshments for the walk, including water and ice cream, but we do not recommend the walks for anyone with heart or lung problems, or issues with walking for more than one hour. However, our tours are inclusive of all physical abilities if we are contacted ahead of time and can make necessary arrangements. All customers must sign release form prior to participating to agree to the potential hazards of walking outdoors in the sun for 1-2 hours.
why aren’t your walks free?
Free walking tours are certainly a popular way to attract customers to attend your tour. However, you as a guest are still expected to tip for these tours, usually $20 or more! Hawaii Walks has no gimmicks, and our per-person fee is clear and up-front. We believe a sustainable world starts with sustainably paid workers who are compensated for their knowledge and labor. Our guests also receive more time and goodies than any free walking tour guest. All Hawaii Walks guests receive an Ice Cream, a Hawaii Walks sticker and pen, and a bird and history ID card with their walk–along with expert information from a local guide that goes deeper and covers more information than free walking tours. Put simply, you get what you pay for!
are your walks kid friendly?
Yes! We love kids of all ages, and kids 6 and under walk for free! There is nothing more magical than getting children excited about the natural world. There may be aspects of the tour that become technical at times, but we always make sure to engage young ones about why their relationship to the animals and land they see is important. However, if you have kids and want to leave them behind, ask us about affordable childcare options available in Waikiki.
who will be my tour guide?
Our tour guides all have lived in Hawai’i for a minimum of 10 years, have a masters degree or higher, and have all studied Hawaiian history and ecology from a de-colonial perspective. This means you can expect the most comprehensive and accurate information from Hawai’i Walks, without spin or candy-coating of information or facts as we know them. Our tour guides are trained educators who can impart information in engaging and exciting ways. We believe the strength of our tour guide’s knowledge is what will make your time with us distinctive, fun, and memorable.
Why do some tours say “coming soon?”
Since COVID-19 caused tourism-related businesses to close most of 2021 in Hawaii, we were also closed most of this year. Partner hotels also closed, and in some cases, with indefinite re-opening windows. We were also faced with the “new reality” post-COVID, where gathering people together is no longer a great idea, given the pandemic. These changes caused us to end our North Shore tours and our History and Drinks tours. We are re-opening now with our bread-and-butter East Waikiki walk tour, and our newly launched Central Waikiki tour which can better adhere to the new normal of post-COVID-19 life. We have left some older tours as “coming soon” because we do plan on bringing them back, when that is possible!
What is the difference between East Waikiki and Central Waikiki Walking tours?
The East Waikiki Walking tour is much more focuses on birds, nature, and natural history. We do cover major political and human events, but since we are walking in an undeveloped park, much of our focus is towards the natural world and its changes over time. We meet on the edge of Waikiki, and walk further away from it. We never technically even enter the urban center of the city.
The Central Waikiki Walking tour stays in the urban core and focuses more on architecture, development, colonialism, and man-made landmarks. This tour is perfect for people who want to dive into their immediate surroundings as a visitor staying in Waikiki. The East Waikiki Walking tour is better for people wanting to get a bit away from the buzz of the city.
You can go on both tours and learn totally different things. There will be a lot of overlap as we cover overall Hawaiian history during both tours, but both are different enough to learn new things during each.
Do you offer Zoom tours, since COVID-19 is still a major concern?
Yes! We do these as-requested. As former teachers who have taught extensively online, we are uniquely suited to online teaching environments and have adapted our tour to fit well with online formats. We take viewers through history as we view antique photographs from yesteryear, and then discuss their present-day significance as well. We move together around a google map to contextualize these images in space, all while learning engaging stories and histories that will leave everyone with a working knowledge of the island.
To arrange an online walking tour, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens If I need to cancel?
We understand that things happen. We provide full refunds for any cancellation up to 24 hours before your registered tour. However, if you book through Get Your Guide, Tripadvisor, or another concierge, booking cancellations must go through those third parties. Email us at email@example.com if you encounter an issue.