You MUST see Kauai from the sky
One of Kauai’s most popular activities is the “Sightseeing Flight Tour”, where you can take a helicopter or Cessna plane to see the scenery from the sky.
I’m sure most of the people who come to this article are “thinking about it”, but the bottom line is that if you go to Kauai, I recommend flying over Kauai.
The reason is that Kauai has a lot of untouched nature, and the most attractive thing is its landscape, but most of the places do not have roads, and 80% of the island’s land is driven by car.
However, if you don’t see that “80%”, you won’t know how wonderful the nature of Kauai is. So it is recommended to go around from the sky.
I also took part in a Cessna tour on Kauai for the first time, and I’m really glad I did. I will post pictures in this article as well, but I could see really beautiful scenery one after another.
Wings over Kauai Cessna Tour
I wrote this experience report along with the photos I took during the Wings over Kauai Cessna Tour.
A one-hour tour of various scenic points on Kauai, starting and ending at Lihue Airport.
First, we’ll go around the southern coastline, visit the Hanapepe Valley and see the waterfalls in the Jurassic Park movie.
Raise the altitude from there and admire the vast Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific Ocean, along with the coastline of the Na Pali Coast.
Continue flying along the coastline and fly from Hanalei Beach to the mountains. Fly over the vast forest and return to Lihue Airport.
- Check-in & Boarding
- Lihue Airport-Poipu Beach
- Waialeale Mountain (South) ~ Waimea Canyon
- Na Pali Coast ~ Tunnels Beach
- Waialeale Mountain (North) ~ Lihue Koloa Forest Reserve
- Wailua Falls-Lihue Airport
Check-in & boarding
Check in at the counter attached to Lihue Airport.
Be careful because it is a different building from the one when the plane from Oahu landed.
There is a counter in a small building about 10 minutes walk from the main terminal.
Here you will receive an explanation of the tour contents for about 15 minutes.
When the explanation is over, we will finally go out to the runway and board the stopped Cessna plane.
Such a stud
Then the plane takes off. The sound of the plane is so loud that I talk through the microphone on my headset.
The pilot explained various things about the scenery that can be seen during the flight.
Lihue Airport-Poipu Beach
Immediately after takeoff, you will see the course of the Hokuala Golf Club.
This is over Nawailiwili Bay, and Huleia Stream in the back.
Huleia Stream was used as a filming location for the movie “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
First, we fly along the coastline on the south side of the island.
This photo is a very beautiful beach named “Kipu Kai Beach” in an area called Moloehu.
When you take a look at this beach on the map, there is no road at all.
It’s a shame that people can’t come even though it’s such a beautiful beach, but I guess that’s what makes Kauai, Kauai.
The beach was used in the iconic first scene of the movie “Lost World: Jurassic Park” where the little girl encounters a flock of small dinosaurs called Compsognathus.
This one above is one of my favorite photos. We are approaching the Poipu Beach.
In the middle of the picture above is on the Poipu Beach.
The water on Poipu Beach is very clear and is highly recommended for snorkeling. You can see many fish even in shallow water.
You can learn more about snorkeling at Poipu Beach in this article.
Suddenly a vast field spreads out below you. In fact, all of this area is a Kauai coffee field, which is the largest coffee farm in the United States.
After flying along the coastline for a while, we head towards the inland of the island. It feels like the civilization disappears at once and you jump into nature.
Waialeale Mountain (South) ~ Waimea Canyon
Manawaiopuna Falls, which you can see in the mountains, is a waterfall that appears in the movie of Jurassic Park.
The scenes shot here include the early part of the series, where the protagonists landed on the island by helicopter, and after escaping from Tyrannosaurus and Raptor late in the movie.
In the center of the island is Waialeale, the highest mountain on Kauai (1,544 m). There are only few days when it doesn’t rain in a year, and this is the wettest place on earth.
You can see the rain falling in the clouds as waterfalls. This special environment creates the unique shape of this mountain.
And finally to Waimea Canyon.
Waimea Canyon, known as Hawaii’s Grand Canyon, is one of the most famous spots on Kauai.
The pattern of the stratum is amazing. The rain on Waialeale has been eroding for four million years, reaching a depth of more than a kilometer.
The shape of the deep valley is a gift of a long history. This is the scenery unique to Kauai, the oldest island in the Hawaiian Islands.
As you pass through the thick mountains to the west of the island, you will see the blue sky and the sea again in front of you.
Next, we’ll head alongside Waimea Canyon to the Na Pali Coast, one of the two most spectacular views of Kauai.
Na Pali Coast ~ Tunnels Beach
First view you see is of Honopu Beach.
Although it looks like there are two beaches separated by the the rock in the middle, it is connected under the arching rock.
This beach is sacred and it is not allowed to directly land a boat or kayak. You have to either swim from the nearby Kalalau Beach or a boat off-shore.
This Honopu Beach was in the movie Lost World: Jurassic Park in the scene where the crew approaches Isla Nublar, the island on which Jurassic Park was built.
Now, this is the famous Na Pali Coast.
It is a coastline that can be said to be synonymous with Kauai, where cliff-like mountains enter the sea directly.
When asked about the scenery of Kauai, many people may think of it here. This is also appearing in the Jurassic series.
The contrast between the green of the forest, the blue of the sea, and the white of the sandy beach is extremely beautiful.
There are no man-made objects, and it seems that you are looking at an uninhabited island somewhere.
Another beautiful beach. This is Haena Beach Park.
It’s just a picturesque landscape.
Tunnels Beach is right next door.
As you can see from the photo above, the beach is rich in coral and is popular for snorkeling and diving. Next time I come to Kauai, I would like to snorkel here.
We go around to the north side of the island, overlooking the coastline, and then into the mountains again.
This is Hanalei Valley. The fields that are divided like patchwork are all farms for Taro potato.
Over 70% of Taro potatoes consumed in the state of Hawaii is produced in Kauai, and most of it comes from this Hanalei Valley area.
Waialeale Mountain (North) ~ Lihue Koloa Forest Reserve
The wall-like mountains that descend from the clouds and the waterfalls that flow there are truly divine.
You can see that the flow of the waterfall takes a long time to go through the mountains to the back.
The islands born from submarine volcanoes are eroded in this way and eventually disappear into the Pacific Ocean over a long period of time.
With that in mind, I feel more special to be able to witness this beautiful landscape.
And this time, we will escape from the mountainous area toward the east side of the island.
A forest that spreads all over as far as the eye can see.
It is called the Lihue Koloa Forest Reserve.
The forest where various greens are mixed is like the world of Ghibli movies.
Kauai is also known as “Garden Island” because of its abundance of greenery. Certainly this is convincing.
Wailua Falls-Lihue Airport
After a series of magnificent natural scenery, I suddenly discovered a lovely waterfall.
Actually, this waterfall is called Wailua Falls, which is also a popular tourist spot.
Seen from above, it looks like a miniature, but the actual waterfall head is about 25 meters.
Before we realized we were over the city of Lihue.
That is the end of the air travel, which was a series of superb views.
It was a very satisfying experience.
The scenery continued to be wonderful throughout the flight.
The vivid contrast between the green of the land and the blue of the sea, the godliness of the Waimea Canyon and the waterfalls extending from the clouds, and the modeling of the island with a long history.
Kauai is the oldest island in the Hawaiian Islands. The landscape formed by the rain and wind over the years since it was born over 5 million years ago was completely different from Oahu.
It’s also nice to be able to take this tour as soon as you arrive on Kauai.
Please be careful as it will be reflected on the window if you are wearing bright clothes.
I wore black this time, so I was able to take beautiful pictures.