Kauai by Air
Our Helicopter Tour of the Island
We decided to kick things off in Kauai with a private helicopter ride. We were both pretty nervous, but figured it would be a great way to get an overview of the island.
It was a bit shaky in the beginning, but the views were outstanding. Many of the tours are in big helicopters where you may get stuck in the middle seat, so Lisa and I opted to do a private tour. It was just us with the pilot, and we had the doors off!
Starting to fly over Waimea Canyon.
More views of Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
Starting to leave Waimea Canyon, on our way to the Na Pali Coast.
The Na Pali Coast beginning to come into view.
The shoreline coming into view.
The Na Pali coast is one of the fastest eroding shorelines in the world. It makes for great scenery though.
The only access to the coast on the ground is the Kalalau Trail. It was closed when we were there… the road was washed out in a storm and was under construction for the past few months. The trail is apparently very treacherous though, and people do fall and die.
More coastline views
Views of Hanalei Bay and Princeville (the upper peninsula). We were staying in Princeville for the first half of the trip. We wanted to get a taste of both the North and South shores.
Starting to leave the coast, headed inland.
Looking down… it was really cool having the doors off the helicopter. A little unnerving, but worth it for the views and experience.
Views down into a valley
We totally lucked out with the weather. According to our pilot, this was the clearest day he had seen in months. Most times, at this point, there are too many clouds to really see anything.
Kauai is definitely special
Mount Wai’ale’ale, the top of the island, and the wettest spot on earth. The pilot told us he only gets to fly over this spot 3-4 days out of the year due to conditions. Did I say we completely lucked out with the weather? Mount Wai’ale’ale also has the highest swamp in the world.
According to the pilot, this was the original volcano that formed Kauai.
Looking into the volcano, long since caved in.
Heading back towards the airport, even the “boring” parts of Kauai are pretty spectacular.
Approaching the airport
We survived! It was definitely a “spring for it” thing, but the helicopter ride was worth every penny. What a great way to see a place as breathtaking as Kauai.
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