A Helicopter Tour of Kauai – Bucket List Item Number 1
You have not been to Kauai, and you haven’t taken a helicopter tour? What in blue blazes are you watching for? This needs to be on the top of each person’s bucket list. No fooling, you clearly need to get out to the island, e-book your excursion, and take a helicopter trip around the most beautiful, enchanting, awe-inspiring location in the world. Stop studying this and speak to your travel agent, now!
Okay, I’m a chunk biased; I, in reality, flew Kauai tours for numerous years, and within the hobby of full disclosure, I flew for a corporation called Air Kauai. So of the path, I have a one-of-a-kind angle on helicopters and flying around islands in them. I’m going to try to share with you, expensive reader, why it’s far that you simply should drop whatever different holiday plans you could have, get a price tag to Lihue, and hop aboard a tour helicopter. You can visit Orlando, or Branson, or the Catskills subsequent yr.
Here’s why you need to try this, what helicopter organization you need to don’t forget, how a whole lot it may cost a little, what to take alongside, and what time of 12 months and time of day to head. Plus a few extras: what to expect at the helicopter excursion, what you may see, a safety assessment, and other odds and ends to make your life-altering experience even extra satisfying. Let’s begin with getting to Kauai, and a bit of the island’s mystique, beginning, as they say, in the beginning, the starting place of Kauai.
Kauai, or the Garden Island, is the furthest (uncovered) northwest island inside the Hawaiian chain. I say uncovered due to the fact the Hawaiian Islands are slowly disappearing. No, this isn’t always a purpose to move your journey up a few weeks, relax. Here’s a bit of Hawaiian trivia that some of your tour buddies possibly might not recognize. There are in truth 127 islands within the Hawaiian chain, no longer simply the seven you spot on a map these days–Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. The Hawaiian chain stretches throughout the Pacific for 1, two hundred miles, ending in a little coral atoll referred to as Kure, that is, in truth, the very first Hawaiian Island, courting back nearly 100 million years. As a reference, one of the Hawaiian Islands is a touch area called Midway which is positioned, well, mid manner across the chain, about 600 miles Northwest of Oahu.
All the islands are volcanic in origin. Their supply is a volcanic rift inside the ocean floor called the Hawaiian Emperor vent, which lies deep below water seventy miles south and east of Hawaii, the so-referred to as ‘Big Island’. Over the remaining one hundred million years this volcanic vent has created all 127 islands*. The islands smash the floor, develop into a land mass, cool sufficiently to assist lifestyles forms and then, because of wind, water, and herbal corrosive factors, they slowly erode away, sinking again below the waves. The islands are also positioned directly on a tectonic plate with a northwesterly drift, which takes them off toward Japan and Asia over their lifetimes. Each Hawaiian island sincerely moves Northwest about half of an inch in line with the year. Geologists claim that Kure, for instance, will, in a few dozen million years come to be parked close to the Kamchatka peninsula.
Kauai itself is ready 7 million years vintage. Its precise foundation, the volcano that created the land mass known as Kauai, is these days called Mount Waialeale (Why-Olly-Olly). Waialeale sits within the middle of the island. Go to Google Earth and kind that in, and see where it takes you. More about this mountain later, at some point of your tour.
Speaking of the excursion, allow’s get on with it. Book your flight into Lihue, the principal metropolis on Kauai. There are direct flights from the west coast. Most of the helicopter tour operators fly from Lihue airport. Here’s a listing of those corporations, and a top-level view of each:
Blue Hawaiian: Good agency, true safety file, now not the cheapest, however possibly the fine, and this is no time to scrimp. ‘Blue’ flies from Lihue year round, offering a complete, informed tour of about an hour. Not nearly sufficient time to peer it all, however sufficient to drop your jaw to the ground. Contact Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Safari: Good employer with a long history of Kauai. Good safety file, and pretty informed pilots. Safari gives a few perks other tour companies do now not which includes a video of your experience, available for a nominal price. Safari Helicopters Inc.
Jack Harter Helicopters: Jack Harter himself become the original helicopter excursion man on Kauai. Jack is the vintage man of helicoptering on the island, having once flown Frank Sinatra and different Hollywood types around various film locations when ‘old blue eyes turned into filming on Kauai many moons ago. Jack Harter Helicopters is the original. That said, the organization is good, not fantastic, rather knowledgeable, secure, with competitive expenses and an amazing excursion. Harter gives different aircraft relying on your interest–the AStar for a fashionable, secure, tour, and a touch fowl flown without doors for those who tote high-priced cameras and are, via God, going to apply them. Jack Harter Helicopters Inc.
When you arrive for your tour you’ll be given a protection briefing according to FAA policies, similar to on the airplane. You’ll study the usage of diverse protection gadgets, and receive a brief evaluate of your tour. Then you’ll have to step on a scale. Sorry, parents, the airways are allowed to apply popular weights, helicopter operators have to use real. And yes, some companies do fee greater above a sure weight. It’s for plane running parameters, as a result on your safety and others’. You’ll must pay of path, and the charge shape is depending on so many variables I might not get into information. Suffice to say that a tour will price anywhere from $a hundred seventy five.00 apiece up to $three hundred,00, as I say, relying on booking arrangements, organisation, reductions etc. Pay it, you will by no means remorse it. After the workplace go to you’ll be taken to the helicopter in which you will meet your pilot and ground crew.
Leaving Lihue, you’ll visit the various spots that make the excursion what it’s far–one of the most captivating, lovely, awe-inspiring reports of your life. You’ll see waterfalls, rainbows, canyons carved from herbal erosive forces, pristine seashores inaccessible besides via air. You’ll go to Mauna Wai Puna, so-known as Jurassic Falls, Waimea Canyon, the misnamed Grand Canyon of the Pacific. I say misnamed due to the fact, despite what you can pay attention, Mark Twain in no way called it that. You’ll fly alongside the face of the outstanding NaPali coast. NaPali method the cliffs. This razor-sharp ridgeline on Kauai’s northwest coast is quite likely the maximum beautiful region in the world. Once you have seen NaPali you may understand why the street around Kauai would not join. On the north shore, you may see Haena where the various very rich stay, Hanalei (bay shaped like a lei), mount Namolokama with the best waterfall in Hawaii and sooner or later mount Waialeale.
Here’s the aspect about WaiAleAe. It’s the volcano that created Kauai, and you may fly around interior it. (!) That’s proper. Three million years in the past the flying god expected helicopter tours, and She made provisions for them, bless her coronary heart. In a massive, literally, earth-shaking explosion, the entire east face of Waialeale blew open, exposing the interior of the volcano, and essentially placing its hearth out. Geologists have located shards of the volcanic count from Waialeale 5 miles out inside the ocean. Now the volcano, not simply dormant however long useless, has a gaping hollow into which helicopters can fly in, make a pleasant turn, and fly lower back out.
And you may do this, climate allowing. Your pilot will input the volcano from the east, sluggish the plane, and slip within the cavernous interior of the seven million yr antique father of Kauai. Inside the volcano, you may witness one of the most impressive sights of your existence. Because of its vicinity, and the general weather trend on the island, the top crest of Waialeale receives a median of 500 inches of rainfall every year. That’s 5 ft of rain! All that water has to move somewhere, and guess where it is going? That’s right, it gushes in sheets and rivers down the sides of the indoors of the volcano, like lava in the opposite, a cascading, tumbling mass of waterfalls draping the lush, green facets of the scarred volcanic rock. If that vision would not give you complete body goosebumps you need to test your pulse. That sight by myself is well worth the fee of admission.