It is my opinion that if you go to Kauai, you need to make sure you have enough money to take a helicopter ride. My friend Tom describes Kauai this way, “Think of Kauai as a head and the Napoli Coast is the jaunty beret.” You can only see the Napoli Coast from flying over it. There are trails that you can hike, but they are long and often arduous. You won’t see the same views as you would in a helicopter. I am very lucky in that this is the second time I got to view the island from the air. My husband is a bit of an adrenaline junky and he wanted to hire a helicopter that flies with the doors off. We were lucky to find one with availability. We flew on Air Kauai and it is the only company to have six seater helicopters that fly with the doors off. All the other companies only have two or three seats. I would assume this makes it more expensive.
We arrived about 45 minutes before our flight. We were asked to wear closed toe shoes, pull our hair back into a bun or braid if it was long, and not have anything in our pockets. We were not allowed to have sunglasses or hats. They took our cell phones and put them on lanyards and were told to keep our hands on it at all times. They also asked for our jackets sizes because we would be provided with a wind jacket. Then we had to watch a safety video. After that they took us out to the helicopter. We had to put on life vests around our waists and don our jackets. They also gave us safety googles. Our pilot was Adam. He has been in Kauai for fifteen years. We got on the helicopter and fastened the seat belts, which were just normal plane seat belts. I thought there would be a bit more of a harness, especially for someone sitting next to the door, but nope. We put on our headsets and our goggles over top of them. Adam explained that there were three cameras that they would be recording our whole flight. Jef sat next to the door and took all the pictures. I just enjoyed the view. The only pictures we couldn’t really get were the whales. We saw a bunch.
This is the tree tunnel road. It is made up of eucalyptus trees. The sections of trees on the other side are also different varieties of eucalyptus trees as well.
These are the falls that you see at the beginning of the movie Jurassic Park. They call them Jurassic Falls.
The next photos are of Waimea Canyon. Although we took some lovely pictures when we drove on the Canyon Road, they are nothing compared to what we saw on the helicopter.
After the canyon, we flew over the Napoli coast line. It is incredible. This is when we saw the whales jumping and later a mom and her calf.
You might recognize this arch from Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp was running through it.
The Ka’au Crater was the last cool area that we flew into. It receives around 450 inches of rainfall every year. When we flew in, there was another helicopter there and it looked like a speck. When we flew in, Adam kept the helicopter at the same height and turned us 360 degrees. It was super cool. This crater made me feel like we were smaller than dust. It was so incredible.
After our helicopter ride, we decided to drive as far as we could up the north road. We knew that the last couple of parking lots for beaches needed reservations, because Adam told us about it as we flew over them. On the way we stopped at a couple of waterfalls, a lighthouse, a couple of scenic overlooks, and a cave.
This is a view of the Taro fields.
These Hawaiian Geese are also called Nenes. There were signs everyone that warned you Nene Crossing. They are endangered geese and are banded to keep track of them. We saw them everywhere. They were adorable.
I love Kauai. There are way more people there than when I visited about twenty years ago. I prefer to visit places that are a bit more quiet, like this island and the Big Island. It is also called the Garden Isle and the beauty of it is unreal, as you can see from my pictures.