Neither my seven year old nor I have been in a helicopter before our trip to Kauai. I don’t typically get too nervous about flying anymore in an airplane though I was slightly anxious about our adventure with Island Helicopters, but also looked forward to it the most on our trip.
Once signed in, we shuttle from the office in the Lihue airport to the landing strip. Here we get booties on to protect the grounds once we land at the falls. We meet our pilot, get settled into our seats, adjust our headsets and prepare for takeoff. There are floor to ceiling doors and windows which make the trip that much more safe and comfortable. Along the way the pilot narrates and plays music, any questions are welcomed through the two-way communication microphones.
It was the last full day of adventure on our press trip, so we were going out with the biggest thrill in my book. My father in law who doesn’t get motion sick mentioned I may want to take Dramamine since he got terribly ill on his first helicopter ride. I envisioned herky-jerky movements and the stomach-in-your-throat feeling so I dosed both my daughter and myself up prior to our flight. From takeoff, I was so pleasantly surprised how smooth the movements were! My jitters lessened and we were able to take in the spectacular views of the island from above. The colors were amazing, you could spot waterfalls for days. We soared high above the island and then came down into the Hanapepe Valley as we approached our landing spot.Island Helicopters is the only company on the island that can offer this elite and once in a lifetime experience at the famous Manawaiopuna Falls or Jurassic Falls. The falls were made famous in the original Jurassic Falls movie and this location is unavailable to the public outside of this tour.Landing at the base of the 400ft waterfalls, the reason for the booties on our feet is to not take any organism from our shoes to this delicate area. The walk to the falls is short and the view is breathtaking!You feel the mist from the powerful falls and I could have sat there all day to take in the beauty. If this was all we did on this tour, I’d do it again and again, but there was so much more.
In addition to this treat, we continue with the Grand Circle Tour that takes across Olokele Canyon and through Waimea Canyon, dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.I’m pretty overwhelmed at the beauty and ask my daughter how she’s doing and she’s nearly asleep from the Dramamine. I try to keep her awake to enjoy the beauty but realize, at least neither of us is sick.
Next we enjoy the Na Palai Coast’s 22 miles of cliffs, crevices, waterfalls, lush valleys, and secluded beaches. Just the day before, we cruised the Na Pali coast by boat, today we were going to fly over it and see the contours of the island in such an awe-inspiring manner.It is so hard to put into words the magnitude of this island’s natural beauty. I welled up with tears on a few occasions during this 85 minute experience, it’s that powerful emotionally!Above you see Hanalei Bay where we learned to surf earlier in the week!As we make our way back, one last thrill.
One of our final views that ties into to television history is Wailua Falls below. Made famous in the opening sequence from the hit show Fantasy Island!Phenomenal. It’s the word that sums up this amazing excursion. I would do it again visiting the island, it’s powerful, majestic, awesome, beautiful, and the memories will stay with me forever. You can’t get the views and perspective anywhere on the island but high above with Island Helicopters, not to mention the exclusive landing at Jurassic Falls!
The flight was so smooth with our preventative motion medication, it was lulling my youngest to sleep. I would take the medicine again just so my trip isn’t ruined by feeling ill, but for little ones, maybe half a dose would suffice to prevent sleepiness!
Island Helicopters is online at www.islandhelicopters.com and let it be the first adventure you take when visiting Kauai!
Our excursion was part of our press trip, all opinions are 100% our own.