Honolulu - Day 2 - Helicopter Tour

Honolulu Travel Blog

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Hovering at about 5' for the taxi out.

Ok, so I LOVE airplanes and just about everything aviation.  I am NOT, however, very fond of helicopters - or boats for that matter.  But I figured, what the hell, it's about the only way I'm going to get to take a peak of everything the island of Oahu has to offer all at once.  And I really did want a bird's eye view of everything.

Since the dates didn't continue into the next day because the girls had to work, my friend Zeb and I rented a chopper out of HNL from a company called Makani Kai Helicopters at the airport in HonoluluWe had a BLAST!  This company treated us like royalty and really showed us a great time.

Waikiki Beach
  We were given a short safety briefing before boarding and then we were off and on our way.  The trip just didn't last long enough even though we were up for longer than our allotted time (by only 10 minutes).  The views were unparalleled by what you get on the ground and offer a unique perspective on the things Ohau has to offer.

We took the Ali'i Sacred Falls Tour ($225 per person) and it lasted just over an hour.  The tour begins by flying over Waikiki where you'll get really great views of all of the beachfront hotels and resorts .  It's amazing how shallow the water looks from that high up and being able to see how the reefs twist and turn just off shore.  From Waikiki you then head toward Diamond Head crater and up around the windward side of the island north toward the North Shore.

View of the mountains from 'their' perspective!
  You'll get to see China Man's Hat, Kaneohe Bay and the Marine Corps Air Station, the USAF satellite tracking station for the South Pacific region, as well as shrimp and tilapia farms. 

Once you approach the mountains, you'll see magnificent waterfalls that flow from the steep hills; fed by the constant humid conditions and tropical rains on this side of the island.  It's then on toward the North Shore where you'll have a bird's eye view of the surf conditions.  There were high surf warnings during our stay thanks to a storm off the coast of Japan but we got to see some great wave action from the land and the air.

After leaving the North Shore, it's a quick hop over the expansive pineapple plantations and Schofield Barracks until the absolute best view of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor appears through the front window.

PERFECT VIEW of Pearl Harbor - and what the Japanese fighter aircraft would have seen on their approach on Dec 7.
  From this vantage point, you really do get a great view of what the Japanese zero pilots must have been able to see on their final bombing run into Pearl Harbor.  From a military strategy point of view, it probably couldn't have been more perfect.  The view of the harbor and the ships lined up were an easy target.  This vantage point also allows you to see the huge oil sheen on the water's surface created by the fuel oil that's still seeping from the USS Arizona.

If you decide to take this aerial tour, you truly won't regret it.  Yea, it's kind of pricey but it was worth every penny spent.  I guarantee you'll have a great time!  The pilots are all very friendly, full of information and want to share the island of Oahu with you.  You'll also have the opportunity to purchase a videotape or DVD of your actual helicopter tour.  Headsets are provided to everyone on board - no noise and easy to hear.  You'll receive instructions on how to key the mic (microphone) so you can ask questions of the pilot while you're on the tour.

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Hovering at about 5 for the taxi …
Hovering at about 5' for the taxi…
Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach
View of the mountains from their…
View of the mountains from 'their…
PERFECT VIEW of Pearl Harbor - and…
PERFECT VIEW of Pearl Harbor - an…
Lifting off over the waters surrou…
Lifting off over the waters surro…
Kaneohe Bay - with the airstrip at…
Kaneohe Bay - with the airstrip a…
Our ride for the next hour.
Our ride for the next hour.
Looking over toward Ala Moana Mall.
Looking over toward Ala Moana Mall.
The Port of Honolulu.
The Port of Honolulu.
Approaching Waikiki Beach - Hilton…
Approaching Waikiki Beach - Hilto…
Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach
Moving on toward Diamond Head crat…
Moving on toward Diamond Head cra…
Diamond Head
Diamond Head
Just offshore from Diamond Head - …
Just offshore from Diamond Head -…
First look at Hanauma Bay from the…
First look at Hanauma Bay from th…
Hanauma Bay from the air.
Hanauma Bay from the air.
Hanauma Bay from the air.
Hanauma Bay from the air.
Lighthouse at China Mans Hat.
Lighthouse at China Man's Hat.
Chinamans Hat
Chinaman's Hat
Approaching Kaneohe Bay
Approaching Kaneohe Bay
The airstrip at Bellows Air Force …
The airstrip at Bellows Air Force…
One of the many small islands that…
One of the many small islands tha…
Over Waimea.
Over Waimea.
The beaches on the upper east side…
The beaches on the upper east sid…
Check out the wave action - nearin…
Check out the wave action - neari…
North Shore waves - made larger du…
North Shore waves - made larger d…
Beach created by a land slide some…
Beach created by a land slide som…
Arial view of Pearl Harbor with th…
Arial view of Pearl Harbor with t…
Honolulu
photo by: crystalware