When we were planning our trip to Kauai I was trying to find things to fill our time and thought a helicopter tour would be a great way to see majority of the island and it was probably the best way to see Waimea Canyon and Nā Pali Coast.
There are a handful of companies to choose from but Safari Helicopters stood out the most to me. They have two different options; a 60 minute Deluxe Waterfall Safari that covers over 100 miles of Kauai scenery where a lot of Hollywood directors have made movie magic. This includes Nā Pali, Waimea Canyon and Waialeale. This tour will run you $239 per person unless you book online then it is only $199 per person. There is also the Refuge Eco-Tour which lets you land at a secluded botanical preserve! The flight portion is the same as the previous tour but you get an extra 40 minutes at the Wildlife Refuge overlooking Olokele Canyon. This tour runs $314 per person unless you book online then it’s $255 per person. We opted for the Deluxe waterfall tour and for us it was the perfect choice!
The main office for Safari is close to the airport but not on airport property like most of the others. It’s in a residential area but is easy to find. Once you arrive, you check in at the front desk and on the floor there is what looks like a small rug but it’s actually a scale and every member of your party will need to be weighed with everything you are bringing on the helicopter i.e. sunglasses, cameras, jackets etc. so they can get an accurate account of weight and who needs to sit where to evenly distribute the weight on the helicopter.
Then, the fun begins! The day of our tour Sherrill was our driver/tour director. He was a blast! Sherrill will explain all the safety features, he’ll explain what you can expect to see during the tour and gets to know each person while cracking jokes and putting nervous fliers (me) at ease. When its time to get going, we all got loaded into the van for a short drive over to the airport. Sherrill is with you the entire time, making you laugh while keeping you safe on an active heliport. Sherrill got us all safely on the helicopter and buckled in and we were off!
Julia was our pilot for this journey, unfortunately this was her last day here, but she did a great job explaining how things were going to work and narrating our journey so we knew what we were looking at.
We saw where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the lost Ark, Six days Seven nights, Hook and so many more! We saw a ton of waterfalls, flew over a good portion of Waimea Canyon and saw the breathtaking sea cliffs of Nā Pali Coast. We also got to fly over the wettest spot on the island which happens to be an inactive volcano crater!
Once you have clearance to land Sherrill is there once again to help you out of the helicopter, take any pictures you may want in front of the helicopter and drives you back to the office.
All and all this was a wonderful experience from start to finish and I would highly recommend using Safari whether you are on Kauai or the Big Island.
Have you done a helicopter tour on the islands? Where did your tour take you? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!
Address: 3225 Akahi St. Lihue, HI 96766
Price: Varies depending on tour, if you book online and number of people in your party