The off-road Segway tour includes time for photo ops amid spectacular scenery. // © 2015 Marty Wentzel
Feature image (above): Turtle Bay Resort's Segway tour takes clients along a quiet, undeveloped coastline. // © 2015 Turtle Bay Resort
Clients can have a great time riding Segways on the sidewalks and streets of bustling Honolulu. But when they join Turtle Bay Resort’s off-road Segway trail tour, they’ll get thrills of a different sort while rolling through the restful, rural landscape of Oahu’s North Shore.
I recently went on the Off-Road Trail Tour ($99 for 90 minutes), which starts with a Segway-operating lesson on pavement. The two-wheel electric scooters are a cinch to ride. After just 10 minutes of practice, each member of our group had mastered the art of maneuvering. Riders move the machine forward and backward by shifting their body weight, and they turn right and left by tilting the handlebar.
Following are four reasons to roll out on Turtle Bay’s off-road Segway trail tour:
Each Segway tour is led by a guide who is well-versed in the region. Our capable leader, Pono Makaneole, was born and raised near the hotel. At different stops, he told stories ranging from his family history and his love of surfing to the legends and lore of the immediate area and Hawaii in general. He took time for photo ops and did a great job making sure everyone in the group was engaged.
Fun on Two Wheels
A Segway is the perfect vehicle for exploring the backroads of Oahu’s North Shore. It’s clean, eco-friendly and quiet, so clients can enjoy the sounds of the surf, the breeze and the birds without disturbing the sense of peace and quiet in the area. The vehicles are preset so that participants cruise along at about 8 mph maximum, a pace that's well-suited for this laid-back region that locals call The Country.
Since this is an off-road tour, clients wind along hiking trails, through pine forests, on a few golf-course pathways and even through sand. The excursion leads to serene places not accessible by car, including the northernmost point of Oahu. Spinning along one of the island’s last undeveloped shorelines, clients have a good chance of seeing natural treasures such as monk seals, sea turtles, shorebirds and whales in winter.
World War II Airstrip
During the tour, clients are led to what’s left of a former WWII airstrip. While it was open for less than 10 years, the runway served as an important pilot and crew training facility. In the late 1940s, it was shut down. Locals remember going to sports car races along the airstrip in the 1960s. Today, sand, bushes and trees are gradually overtaking the remains of this fascinating artifact on Oahu’s North Shore.