Hawai'i Trip - [Helicopter Tour]

Since the island was so big and drive times were long, we opted to take a helicopter tour of the island, which would give us some overhead views of the active volcano. Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was about hours drive one way from our resort, then a 7-8 mile hike (one way) to to see the active vent, so taking a helicopter was a quicker route.

We started from the Blue Hawaiian Heliport near the hotel, and flew southeast across the island between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa to get to the volcano Kilauea. After we visited the active vent area, we flew north to the city of Hilo and stopped for fuel.

After stretching our legs in Hilo, we traveled up the northeast coast to see the seven valleys that are lush and contain many waterfalls. Too bad there has not been that much rain, since a lot of the waterfalls were almost dry. One valley, Waipi'o, was one where the Hawaiian kings and chiefs met. Next, we flew over Kohala Mountain and the town of Waimea (Kamuela), then back to the Heliport.

The entire tour took over 2 hours, and we saw a majority of the island this way. We flew in a ECO Star helicopter instead of the A Star we paid for. The ECO is quieter and more expensive, but somehow we were put onto one. Both styles of helicopter seat 6 people, plus the pilot. There are 5 cameras on board that record the entire adventure, and you can purchase a video of your trip for about $20.

Click on a picture to see it in a larger size. If you like a picture, feel free to save it, although the quality has been sacrificed for space. I can print you a picture from the original, in sizes up to 8x10 inches.

Here is a picture of the ECO Star helicopter we took our tour in. Here is a view looking from the rear seats toward to pilot area. Here we are looking at some cloud cover as we near Mauna Kea and the Saddle Road.
Here is a picture of the ECO Star helicopter we took our tour in. Here is a view looking from the rear seats toward to pilot area. Here we are looking at some cloud cover as we near Mauna Kea and the Saddle Road.
We approach the volcano Kilauea and the main area called Kilauea Caldera. A picture looking at the active vent Pu'u 'O'o, which is about 8 miles from Kilauea Caldera. Looking at a distant Mauna Kea that peeks out from the clouds.
We approach the volcano Kilauea and the main area called Kilauea Caldera. A picture looking at the active vent Pu'u 'O'o, which is about 8 miles from Kilauea Caldera. Looking at a distant Mauna Kea that peeks out from the clouds.
As we near the city of Hilo, we traveled over large farms of orchids and macadamia nuts. Here we are approaching our refueling stop at the Hilo International Airport. A picture of the helicopter after refueling.
As we near the city of Hilo, we traveled over large farms of orchids and macadamia nuts. Here we are approaching our refueling stop at the Hilo International Airport. A picture of the helicopter after refueling.
We are in the air again, and flying north over Hilo. Looking down on Akaka Falls near Honomu Town. A glimpse of one of the tall waterfalls in the sever valley coastal area.
We are in the air again, and flying north over Hilo. Looking down on Akaka Falls near Honomu Town. A glimpse of one of the tall waterfalls in the sever valley coastal area.
This area is located in an area valled the Waipi'o Valley, which is near the northern tip of the island. Legend has it that Waipi'o Valley was gouged out by a powerful warrior with his club to demonstrate his power. After visting the Hamakua Coast, we flew over the Kohala Mountain and the small, country town of Waimea, which is also knows as Kamuela.
This area is located in an area valled the Waipi'o Valley, which is near the northern tip of the island. Legend has it that Waipi'o Valley was gouged out by a powerful warrior with his club to demonstrate his power. After visting the Hamakua Coast, we flew over the Kohala Mountain and the small, country town of Waimea, which is also knows as Kamuela.
We approach the Blue Hawaiin Heliport for a landing.
We approach the Blue Hawaiin Heliport for a landing.