Thrilling Flights Over Remote Area Provide Exhilarating Experience
One of Hawaii’s most thrilling adventures is a helicopter tour of the island of Kauai. Flying in one of these birds offers spectacular views of pristine beaches, gorgeous waterfalls, the stunning Waimea Canyon, and the rugged and remote Na Pali Coast—and then to top it all off you can see the truly unforgettable, waterfall-lined summit crater of Mt. Waialeale (weather permitting).
Hidden valleys and mountain peaks within the interior of this island can only be seen by helicopter because Kauai only has roads around the perimeter of the island.
Most Kauai helicopter tours circle the island taking in the three main attractions listed above—the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Mt. Waialeale—while also viewing the north shore’s white-sand beaches, and Wailua Falls on the east side.
There are also some abbreviated helicopter tours that are less expensive. Some tours stop at remote mountain sites, and one helicopter tour even visit the island of Niihau.
Main Kauai helicopter companies
Safari Helicopters (recommended) leaves from the Lihue Airport heliport and flies 6-passenger jet turbine engine ASTAR 350 B2-7 helicopters that feature 180 degree panoramic views and also a skylight.
Safari helicopters also have Bose noise canceling stereo headphones that provide an intercom system between the pilot and fellow passengers, and the trip is recorded by a four-camera video system. Safari Helicopters has worked on various Hollywood movies including Mighty Joe Young, Flight of the Intruder, and 6 Days and 7 Nights.
The Deluxe Waterfall Safari tour offered by Safari Helicopters lasts about 55 minutes and tours Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, Mt. Waialeale and more. They also offer the 90-minute Kauai Wildlife Refuge Eco Tour that visits the same sites and also stops at a remote Wildlife Refuge site.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters leaves from Lihue Airport Heliport and flies American Eurocopter ECO-Star touring helicopters. They boast that their helicopters are state-of-the-art, featuring an enclosed Fenestron instead of a conventional tail rotor, and also dual hydraulic systems and two-way communication.
The 55-minute Eco-Star Tour circles the island including Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali, and Mt. Waialeale.
Inter-Island Helicopters flies Hughes 500 helicopters and uses a two-way communication system with the pilot. They fly out of Port Allen in southwest Kauai.
Inter-Islands’ Deluxe Island Tour lasts about 50 minutes and flies around the whole island including the crater of Mt. Waialeale. The Waterfall Adventure Tour lasts two hours and lands at a remote waterfall site where you can go swimming and enjoy a picnic.
Island Helicopters flies from the Lihue Airport Heliport, and the company has worked on many movie industry projects including Six Days/Seven Nights, King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark, North, and George of the Jungle.
Island Helicopters flies 6-passenger, air-conditioned American Eurocopter AStars with ceiling to floor glass doors, a BoseX CD stereo system and headsets, and two way communication between passengers and pilot including a live narration of historical/cultural information.
The Deluxe “Kauai Grand” Helicopter Tour lasts about 55 minutes and circles the island including Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, and Mt. Waialeale.
Jack Harter Helicopters leaves from Lihue Airport heliport and offers live narration about Hawaii’s history and native ecosystems. Owner Jack Harter was Hawaii’s first commercial helicopter pilot, starting his business in 1962.
Jack Harter Helicopters flies Eurocopter AStar helicopters that are air conditioned and hold six passengers, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. They also fly a Hughes 500 with the doors off for an exciting view.
Tours are either 60 or 90 minutes, and circle the island, visiting all of the major sites including the Na Pali Coast and Mt. Waialeale.
Niihau Helicopters flies an Agusta 109A, twin engine helicopter and offers aerial tours of the island of Niihau. The tour lands on a secluded beach where the customers are invited to go swimming.
Sunshine Helicopters () leaves from Princeville Airport on the north shore. Their Ultimate Kauai Experience tour visits Waimea Canyon, Mount Waialeale, Wailua Falls, the Na Pali Coast, Makana (Bali Hai), and more. They also offer flights from the Lihue Airport.
Most people who take a Kauai helicopter flight say it was the highlight of their vacation, and the memories of seeing these remote and stunningly beautiful areas stays with them for a lifetime.