My friend Shane Eubanks of Insider Travel Group recently experienced Kauai from the air with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours. Shane agreed to tell us about his tour and share some tips. Mahalo, Shane, for your review of this tour.
There are plenty of ways to see various sites in Kauai, but the one that will guarantee you see just about the entire island and get breathtaking views is a helicopter tour around the island. Blue Hawaiian offers helicopter tours around the various Hawaiian islands and the Kauai tour is simply amazing!
You’re required to check-in about 45 minutes before your scheduled takeoff to take watch a mandatory safety video and get assigned pilots and seats. Once this is complete, you’re taken via a shuttle over to the airport to board your helicopter. You’re only allowed to bring what you can hold or fit in your pocket – no backpacks, camera bags, purses, etc are allowed. They will store them for you until you return from your flight though. Just keep this in mind especially if you have a camera with more than one lens and plan on taking photos.
Another tip if you plan on shooting photos is to wear dark clothing. This way you do not get as much glare or reflection from your clothing when shooting through the window.
The tour takes a clockwise route around the island and the right side of the helicopter offers most of the best views, but the pilot will maneuver so that people on the left get great views as well.
Along the tour, the pilot will point out various sights and give a brief explanation or history behind what you are viewing. You’ll see sites such as the various towns, taro fields, waterfalls (including the famous waterfall shown in the movie Jurassic Park), the Waimea Canyon (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), the Napali Coast, and if the weather permits you’ll fly into the heart what use to be the volcano that created the entire island which is now a lush cascade of trees and waterfalls and is incredibly breathtaking!
Upon returning to the check-in you’ll be given the opportunity to purchase the DVD from your flight for an additional fee, which is great if you weren’t able to take photos.
As a final tip, Kauai can often be cloudier in the mornings with a lot of the fog & low level clouds burning off throughout the morning hours. You might have better luck with the weather booking a flight in the afternoon as a result. If you have a weather delay, they will try to reschedule you.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
3501 Rice St # 114
Lihue, HI 96766-1760
A note from Sheila: Kauai is arguably the best island for taking a helicopter tour. You can only see gorgeous Na Pali coast from either an air tour or boat. Seeing Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks from the bird’s eye perspective, is also a sight you won’t soon forget. To get a taste of what you might expect, see this link for video clips of Kauai from Blue Hawaiian.
Mahalo to Shane for offering his helicopter tour advice. Note that you can also find a couple more tips in my post on choosing a helicopter tour in Hawaii.