If you are on the Islands of Hawaii, you know this already: Hawaiian helicopters are everywhere. Almost all the time! It's good news, and it's bad news. The good news is that the helicopters on Hawaii are generally full of people that are discovering (for the first time) that Hawaii is accessible, negotiable, geographically understandable, and certainly beautiful. These people are being proffered an experience unlike any they have probably experienced here to for. And, it will leave a lasting impression of the majesty and grandeur of these Hawaiian Islands that will last for a generation or longer. Certainly, the equity of Hawaii is enhanced in this process, as people return to visit Hawaii, and tell their friends what capital entertainment they had, and experienced - generally inviting others to try it too.
The downside? Noise - (the chop-chop-chop), and the visual associated with helicopters rushing into your vista, and diverting your attention. It is hard to ignore a helicopter approaching or transiting. They are marvelous and wonderous inventions even in their own right. They can take-off without a runway, and land pretty much where they choose (Actually, the State of Hawaii does regulate this practice). They can swoop in close to a waterfall crest at 500 feet, and hover to the amzement of all onboard and around. They then, can swoop off at 140 mph to their next point of interest, and do it all over again. Technically, amazing. No wonder we all stop and stare. Isn't "free flight" the dream of all humans who were born without wings? Hawaii gives birth to the vision, and the visitors haven't relented since the first helicopters arrived here after World War II. No sign of that happening in the future either, so lets talk about some ways to make peace and perhaps enjoy the wonderful phenomena of Helicopters in Hawaii.
Hawaii Helicopter options for touringIt would be untrue to say that each Island of Hawaii offers equal viewing opportunities on Helicopter tours. The fact is that the Islands are each different, and some lend themselves to viewing by Helicopter more than others. Its not that each Island does not have its own beauty either, but sometimes the real beauty works better when you can see it up close. Having said that, the reality is that many of us don't have a whole lifetime to hike and tour the Hawaiian Islands, and a helicopter is the best way to see the most possible variety of land and beachscapes.
Big Island of Hawaii Helicopter Tour OptionsThe geographic scope of the Big Island of Hawaii is enormous by Hawaiian standards. Even by Helicopter, it can take upwards of an hour to get to what you may want to see, depending on where you start your tour. Tours are available form the Kailua Kona Airport, Kohala, and Hilo. The most common touring locations on the Bis Island of Hawaii are: the Hamakua Coastline with it's rugged jagged coastlines plus verdant valleys and waterfalls, and secondly and popularly the volcanic region of Puna and Ka'u.
Private helicopter tours and transport are also available on the Big Island of Hawaii, and this can be a great way to get from one side of the Island to the other.
Island of Maui, Hawaii Helicopter Tour OptionsMaui is a great hub for helicopters tours and helicopter transport. It also serves as an easy access point for tours to Lana'i and Moloka'i. With all the talk about progress out on Kaho,olawe Island, a lot of buzz is afoot about tours there today, but we haven't seen any listed yet. Maui also holds some wonderful natural treasures of it's own too, and although Maui is smaller than the Bug Island of Hawaii, it can still be a considerable drive to get from Kaanapali to Hana. Why not go by helicopter? And there is no better way to see the waterfalls anywhere than in a Hawaiian Helicopter.
The most popular tours on Maui are the Around the whole Island" tour which can take as long as 80 minutes, and the Hana and Haleakala Volcano tours which run quicker at just a bit over an hour.
Oahu, Hawaii Helicopter Tour OptionsGiven the tourist popularity of Oahu, you would think that this would be the most popular Island for a helicopter tour. Not so much! There are several fine Helicpter tour companies here, and the rates are very competitive. The problem for the helicopter competition is that the roads on Oahu are really great, and take you mostly where you want to go.... unfortunately (or fortunately for you), without a helicopter!
Helicopters can still be really great though for getting a whole tour of the entire Island if you missed it flying in. You can also get a great first hand look at the famous Northshore (Beaches) of Oahu, from a really unique perspective (from the water). Those 65 foot winter surf waves don't look so high from 500 feet above them. Go figure. THa's close enough for me!
The most popular helicopter tour spots on Oahu by helicopter include Peral Harbor, the Honolulu skyline, Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, and the fabulous reefs on the Eastern shore of Oahu. Our personal favorite helicopter tour though is the Waianae Forest reserve area, and the often unseen northwestern shores of Oahu. Magnifique!
Island of Kaua'i Helicopter Tour OptionsKaua'i is built for helicopter tours. Plain and simple. If you come to Kaua'i, and you don't take a helicopter tour, you are going to miss a good portion of the show this Island has to offer. The reason: Logistics and infrastructure. Kaua'i has great roads, but they do not come close to covering the whole Island. Arguably, the most stunning aspect of the Island of Kaua'i is the Napali Coastline, on the Northwestern shore of the Island.You either come by boat or helicopter, or you will have to settle for a post card - or someone else's snap.