Geologically speaking, Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands. It’s a pretty island too, which is why it is known locally as the Garden Island. With both the flora and the geological acumen, there is so much on which to visually feast during a trip here. Naturally it’s impossible to see everything, right? Well perhaps that’s not true if experienced from the air.
With its volcanic origins and tropical climate, it’s no surprise that many of the locations chosen when filming Jurassic Park were somewhere on Kauai. This is the stuff of prehistoric legend and you can experience it all from the air. Although this list professes to be purely helicopter tours, we’ve thrown in a couple of playful alternatives to keep things interesting.
FROM: $245/per person
This approximately 50-minute helicopter adventure flight sets off from Lihue, with transfers to the airfield included. After lift-off expect to get magnificent views of some of Kauai’s visual gems, including Manawaiopuna Falls (aka Jurassic Park Falls), Bali Hai and the Waimae Canyon, which is also regarded as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The precise route is dependent on the weather and it is worth bearing in mind that Kauai is home to one of the wettest places on the planet. There are various departure times available.
From $269/ per person
Exploring and comprehending the magnificent natural beauty of Kauai is the main aim of this airborne eco tour. From rainy Mt. Waialeale to Waiapuna Waterfalls you can experience the island from a unique perspective from the comfort of a business class seat. Watch the Na Pali Coast unfurl below you and, weather permitting, head into the crater of Mt. Waialeale to experience the 3000-foot waterfalls like no other tour can allow.
From $686/ per person
This longer tour option gives you the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the island from two perspectives. The helicopter part is similar to other tours on this list in terms of length and itinerary, taking in jungle, waterfalls and sites that were used for various film sets. The land sector includes beaches and viewpoints, with lunch in Tahiti Nui restaurant, which was used in the film The Descendants. One thing to note is that this tour starts and finishes in Waikiki. Flights and transfers from Oahu are included in the price.
From $145/ per person
Okay, so perhaps this one is cheating a little, but if helicopters are not your thing, but being airborne is, then this hour-long scenic flight tour by light plane is an equally effective way to see Kauai. Soar over the Na Pali coastline and witness parts of the island that are completely inaccessible by land transport. As with all the tours on this list, free shuttle transfers for cruise ship passengers are provided as a part of the fee.
From $263/ per person
If a normal light aircraft just doesn’t quite hit that high note, then how about hopping into a vintage biplane? Naturally space is limited to one person here, but for 70 minutes you’ll be living out North by Northwest fantasies from the back cockpit of this unique mode of transport. What’s more, the pilot provides narration as you sail above the natural wonders of the island, adding context to the visual splendor. Flights leave from Lihue Airport.