One day three ways: Waikiki

PENNY PINCH

Grab a ticket for TheBus (thebus.org; one-way $2.90); dorm bed at Waikiki Beachside Hostel (waikikibeachsidehostel.com; $43.50 including tax). Start your day at Leonard's Bakery with a bag of steaming malasadas, crunchy, chewy Portuguese puffs of perfection which have been served here since 1952 (leonardshawaii.com; $1.15 each). Work the carbs off by hiking to the summit of Diamond Head (hawaiistateparks.org; $1.15 for walk-ins). Afterwards, catch the bus back to Waikiki for a bowl of freshly made noodles at Marukame Udon (2310 Kuhio Ave; $8). For the cost of a tube of sunblock, laze the afternoon away on the beach or hire a longboard from Waikiki Beach Services (waikikibeachservices.com; $15). For dinner, head to the creative community of Kakaako, where street art and street vendors are resurrecting this formerly derelict district (ourkakaako.com; $14).

TOTAL: $96.60

EASY DOES IT

Hawaiians love a big breakfast. Fuel up on "Loco Moco", a traditional favourite of ground beef, rice, eggs and mushroom gravy, at the Hula Grill Waikiki (hulagrillwaikiki.com; $18). Sign up for an outrigger canoe ride on Waikiki Beach (waikikibeachservices.com; $28.60) before catching the Waikiki Trolley to Chinatown, hopping on and off at historic sites such as the Iolani Palace (waikikitrolley.com; one-day pass, $20.60). Dine at Brasserie Du Vin, in Downtown Honolulu (brasserieduvin.com; $30), before a 90-minute bike tour of Downtown Honolulu (holoholobicycles.com; $46). Afterwards, stay for a drink at Manifest, next to the cycle shop (manifesthawaii.com; $9), before a beast-sized bowl of ramen at Lucky Belly (luckybelly.com; $16). Sleep at boutique hotel Shoreline Waikiki (shorelinewaikiki.com; $272, including taxes).

TOTAL: $440

SPLASH OUT

You'll be staying at the pretty-in-pink Royal Hawaiian hotel, so enjoy an al fresco breakfast at Surf Lanai restaurant (royal-hawaiian.com; $35) before spending the morning on your private beachside chaise lounge ($46 for two, a day). Keep lunch simple by grabbing a traditional lunch snack from Highway Inn (myhighwayinn.com; $13.75) before enjoying an afternoon road trip along Oahu's east coast in your hired Mustang convertible (discounthawaiicarrental.com; $102.80, a day). Back in Waikiki stroll along Luxury Row, a strip of eight upmarket stores including Gucci, Chanel and Tiffany & Co (luxuryrow.com). Finish the day at the Royal Hawaiian with a sunset mai tai ($13.75) before dining on locally caught seafood at Azure Restaurant (tasting menu, $90.50). Keep with the royal theme by staying overnight in a royal ocean room ($758, including taxes).

TOTAL: $1059.80

The writer travelled with the assistance of Hawaii Tourism Oceania.

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