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Seeing the Big Island by Air with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Anyone old enough to have watched Magnum P.I. has to have dreamed of flying around Hawaii in a helicopter.  Making this dream a reality, plus the advantage of seeing the volcano from the air and hopefully catching a glimpse of flowing lava pushed us over the edge to splurge on a helicopter tour.  After all, it was a special occasion trip (my 40th / our 10th). Blue Hawaiian Helicopters reviews seemed positive and they had a location not far from our hotel  offering a combination “Big Island Spectacular” tour, which covered both the volcano and the amazing waterfalls in the Kohala mountains.

Once checking in and getting weighed (yikes!) because they distribute the weight throughout the helicopter, you were ready to climb on board.  I was nervous at first because I’m not a fan of amusement park rides and was seated right up front.  Plus my daughter wasn’t next to me so I was worried that she would be okay (she was fine of course, this is where her adventurous spirit really kicked in.)

Taking off turned my stomach but we were quickly moving horizontally instead of vertically and I was able to enjoy the landscape below.  It took a while to traverse the volcanic fields and pass through Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa to get to the active volcano site.

Crater from the helicopter | Blue Hawaiian Helicopters reviews from We3Travel.com

Crater from the helicopter

They can’t guarantee you will see lava (you are dealing with Mother Nature after all), but you will most certainly see the smoke from the crater.  The question is how close can you get? We got lucky and we were able to see lava flowing along.  Keep in mind, you aren’t seeing eruptions or lava spurting from the ground.  Rather, you are looking at molten lava flowing slowly along the ground, making its way toward the sea.

Lava flow | Blue Hawaiian Helicopters reviews via We3Travel.com

Lava flow from the helicopter

It was amazing to see how the green landscape turned into lava destroyed barren wasteland.  From the air we could see one house left standing, which is apparently now operating as a guest house for those adventurous souls that want to tempt fate by staying within reach of an active volcano.

Last house standing | Blue Hawaiian Helicopters reviews from We3Travel.com

Last house standing

After a pitstop to refuel and take a bathroom and snack break, we were back in the area.  This time heading north to the Kohala Cliff and exploring the Waipio Valleys and waterfalls.

Kohala Cliffs | Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Tours via We3travel.com

Kohala Cliffs

Kohala Cliffs from Blue Hawaiian Helicopter via We3Travel.com

Looking down at the Kohala Cliffs

After swooping in and out of valleys to get up close to the waterfalls, I was starting to feel a bit of motion sickness so I was fine with heading back to solid ground.

Waipio Valley | Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours | We3Travel

Waterfalls in Waipio Valley

Waterfalls | Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour of the Big Island via We3travel

Waterfalls from helicopter

Not sure if you want to splurge on a helicopter tour in Hawaii.  Head over to the Blue Hawaiian website and watch the video, then tell me you aren’t convinced (and, no, this is not a sponsored post.) Just a word of advice, don’t bother buying the video of your tour.  The images are choppy, it is long and frankly, you’ll never watch it.

Taking a helicopter ride is just one of the amazing things you can do on the Big Island of Hawaii, but you also should visit Volcanoes National Park and drive up to Akaka Falls!


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2 Comments on “Seeing the Big Island by Air with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

  1. […] the volcano you came to see is probably worth it.  We took the Volcanoes and Waterfalls tour with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. I did get a bit of vertigo, especially sitting up front (they distribute you according to weight), […]

    I live in Fern Acres Subdivision, which these tour heli’s fly over every day, sometimes less than 5 mins apart. They don’t follow the flying ceiling over our properties, and sometimes right over the tree tops. We bought our properties out here near the state forest for peace and quiet, for the most part, and ALL tour heli;s don’t have any consideration for our privacy and peace. They constantly fly over and could fly the state land boundaries, but NEVER do. their profit is more important than being considerate of the people who live out in the forest for peace and quiet. how would you tourists like a helicopter flying over your home everyday, all day long??? and you owners and pilots like the same treatment??? 1000 feet is the regulation, so at least follow that!!!

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