Hawaii Like You've Never Seen: The Best Helicopter Tours

2.03min read

Published 19 September 2018


Taking off from the tarmac, a spiral of dust cloud disperses in the air. Flying a thousand feet above sea level, the twisting valleys of Maui seem like wrinkles on the forest floor. High above the tree line, the hidden waterfalls of Kauai sprout from the sides of dense jungles, as if straight out of a movie screen.

With some of Hawaii’s top natural landmarks impossible to reach from the ground, helicopter tours offer panoramic views of these spectacular sites from the air.

Oahu Helicopter Tours

Get a sweeping view of Honolulu and Waikiki’s glittering skyline with a sunrise or sunset tour. The round-trip zooms by Honolulu's southern coast to take in the city lights and the turquoise waters of Waikiki Bay. The full length of the trip covers major landmarks like Diamond Head Monument, Pearl Harbor, and Ala Moana Center. An alternative tour lets you fly by the weekly fireworks on Waikiki Beach.

Longer tours such as the circle Island flights wrap around the southern Oahu coast to the North Shore. The journey covers attractions on both leeward and windward sides of the island, including Ka’a’awa Valley and Waimea Bay. Natural sites like Ko’olau Mountains and Hanauma Bay’s raw beauty can only be fully seen from the air.

Popular tours:

  • 60-minute Royal Crown of Oahu
  • 20-minute Waikiki Sunset/Fireworks Tour
  • Oahu Spectacular
  • City-by-the-Sea
  • 45-minute Isle Sights Unseen


Big Island Helicopter Tours

An island in a constant tug of war between fire and water. Helicopter tours on the Big Island cover a diverse range of terrain, from lava waterfalls and smouldering craters to plunging waterfalls and jagged coastlines. Fly from either Hilo (east) or Kona (west) and survey the dramatic, rippling terrain of Hawaii National Volcano Park. See molten lava spill into the ocean from the side of Mount Kilauea with the Circle Fire and Waterfalls tour. Get a panoramic view of the Kohala mountains and Hamakua Coast’s rolling green pastures from above with a complete, circle-island flight.

Popular tours:

  • Big Island Grand Circle Island Tour
  • Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Tour/Volcano Deluxe
  • Volcanoes and waterfall extreme/Open-door Volcanoes Tour
  • Kohala and Hamakua Coast Tour  


Maui Helicopter Tours

Explore the majestic mountain ridges of West Maui and Molokai in one swoop. Soar past the Pailolo Channel and into the heart of Iao Valley in a doors-off helicopter flight.

Visit the undulating volcanic landscape and cinder cones in Haleakala National Park. Fly low and catch a glimpse of secluded waterfalls hidden amidst bamboo and banyan trees with a Hana-Haleakala tour.

Much of Maui’s mountainous terrain is inaccessible from the ground, making helicopter tours essential for getting the most complete travel experience, visiting its many remote locations.

Popular tours:

  • Maui complete Island Tour
  • Hana and Haleakala Tour
  • West Maui and Molokai Tour


Kauai Helicopter Tours

Raw, unspoiled and much of it untamed by roads and infrastructure, Hawaii’s Garden Isle is best seen by helicopter tours.

Climb high above Hanapepe Valley and Waimea Canyon State Park to spot the hidden waterfalls running down chiselled rock cliffs with a Discover Kauai tour. See the limpid waters and glistening shoreline of Na Pali Coast and Hanalei Bay. Venture into the heart of the island to see the “Wall of Tears” waterfalls high above the plunging slopes of Mount Waialeale.

Kauai has lent its wild, untouched jungle and overgrown tropical forests to movies sets of Hollywood blockbusters, like Jurassic Park. See the most memorable sites with the Eco Adventure tour, and fly doors-off by the iconic Jurassic Falls (Manawaiopuna Falls).

Popular tours:

  • Discover Kauai Tour
  • Kauai Eco Adventure/Deluxe Grand Tour
  • Epic Doors off Tour
Flight Centre

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