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Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

OTTAWA
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Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

Hi

We will be touring the Islands in April and was looking for some feed back on Helicopter tours. Have read a few posts about Kauai tour being the highlight of many trips. I'm trying to decide between Kauai and the Big Island, for our helicopter tour. We can do the land tour to Volcano National Park. The best rate is to book on line in advance but I am hesitant with the Big Island tour over the Volcano because of the weather. If it is cloudy or overcast we may only see steam. I have recently read about Vog in the alir also, which could affect this tour. Can anyone reccommend a carrier or shine some light on this subject. Don't do heights very good so chances are I will do one tour only!!Thanks.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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1. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

Vog levels depend on what the vent is doing at the time and which way the winds are blowing. There's no predicting either until a day or so before.

I'm biased, but I think Kaua`i is the place to do a helicopter tour. Since you have difficulty with heights you might want to check out Wings Over Kaua`i, who fly a fixed-wing aircraft. Not as much swooping around.

Michigan
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for Alaska
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2. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

We chose Kauai for our helicopter tour and went with Blue Hawaian. It was the highlight of everyone's trip. (There were four of us, ages 67-22) I am not fond of small aircraft, but the helicopter was really smooth and not once did I become fearful.

After our trip was over, I had wished I had splurged and done the helicopter over both Kauai and the Big Island . We fell in love with Volcanoes National Park and I think if it was a clear day and the Volcano was flowing, it could be quite a site. Since we will likely not go back, I do regret that I did not splurge and go for both.

washington
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for Maui
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3. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

To me this is really an "apples and oranges" comparison...both Hawaiian Islands but so vastly different from one another! Kauai gets the nod from many people simply because a lot of it's beauty simply isn't accessable by car. It is lush and green and very, very tropical. The Big Island is really a stark contrast, we saw gorgeous waterfalls, but the real drama was the volcano/lava from the air and those miles and miles of raw lava rock. Amazing! We loved our Blue Hawaiian flight on the Big Island and are debating them or the fixed wing when we hit Kauai again next month. Your choice lies more in your interests.

Santa Rosa...
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4. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

This is a tough one. There is so much more to the Big Island than most people end up seeing because of the distances. Yes, parts of the island are stark and dry but the N/NE side of the island is very lush , beautiful and green with beautiful valleys. The geography sloping up Mauna Kea is also stunning. I enjoy the stark contrasts right there on the Big Island itself. That said, I'm not familiar with the helicopter tours there and how much of the island you can see in a standard tour. I'd imagine to see the highlights and contrasts you'd need more than the typical hour you get on Kauai.

I don't know if you want to wait until you get there but it might be worth waiting to see what the weather and vog conditions are at that time. Maybe you'd hit it lucky and be able to see some volcano action. That would seal the deal for me.

Edited: 23 February 2011, 20:12
washington
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5. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

Napaguy, we did the Big Island Spectacular (hey it was our 25th anniversary present to each other!) and we got to see it ALL...it was over 2 hours.

Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

Mamma, that's about exactly what I was thinking it would be. Well worth it, I'm sure. After all, with the island so big why pay to go up and see just a part of it. Might as well pay to see the contrasts on the island.

washington
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for Maui
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7. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

That was our thought as well! We had been "on island" several times before, and have been since. But that trip has really stayed with us!

La Mirada...
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for Kauai
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8. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

There is nothing like flying over the Big Island. As others have said, the contrast of areas and then the volcano - it's unbelievable. We went up with Tropical Helicopters out of Hilo, did the doors off "Feel the Heat" tour. I would do this again in a heartbeat!

I have flown over Kauai too, but with Wings Over Kauai, in a small Cessna. Kauai is beautiful from the air, but nothing compares to the volcano, IMHO.

On Kauai the highlight for us was a boat tour of the Napali Coast. That's something the BI doesn't have!

Weather can be a factor you can't control, just be sure to book your tours in the beginning of your trip, so if it needs to be rescheduled, you're still on island.

3Chihuahuas

Hamilton, Canada
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9. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

Can't comment on the Big Island tours, but I did the Jack Harter "doors-off" tour last week on Kauai and it was fantastic. Got lucky because the weather wasn't all that great last week. But the views are fabulous and the narration was superb. The ride was very smooth. It was the highlight of my trip.

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10. Re: Helicopter tours Kauai vs Big Island

I can tell you that we did the Wings over Kauai flight and it was amazing. The Pilot is very knowledgeable and very much in love with the Island. One of our guests hates small planes, but she enjoyed this immensely, as the pilot was very affirming. The views are amazing -- the waterfalls, the mini grand canyon, the Napali Coast - it was awesome. We stayed at Point on Poipu, and flew over that also. He has the noise cancelling headsets, so you can talk to each other and are not bothered by the engine noise. When it is done, he gives you a DVD of a similar flight with your own picture on it by the plane. Well worth the money, as I know it was less than $140 per person for the longer flight of about 75 minutes.

I haven't flown on a helicopter, but this plane will only take 3 passengers. My husband and I went alone and it was a great experience.