Taking Our Hawaii Experience to the Next Level

Paradise Helicopters, The Big Island

We flew into Hawaii in the dark. The view from the airplane window was black; I couldn’t even tell when we were about to touch down. We drove to our resort in the dark, again with zero visibility of The Big Island. I couldn’t tell if we were surrounded by a luscious tropical forest or an endless mound of dirt. So when we sat in the helicopter for our Paradise Helicopters tour it was like we had been blindfolded for the unbelievable unveiling making our experience that much more drastic. We were about to embark on the Volcano and Valley Landing tour and experience The Big Island from the next level. Five major volcanos, breathtaking mountain ranges, stunning white and black sand beaches, lush waterfalls, 2,000′ valley walls, dramatic coastlines, 11 different climate zones, and a touch down lunch—this is Hawaii Paradise Helicopters style!

Paradise Helicopters

The unique scenery we encountered during our air adventure is attributed to the fact that The Big Island is the largest and youngest island in the Hawaiian islands chain. It’s larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, and it’s impossible to view all of it from the ground.

We started with an exploration of the activity at Kilauea crater, which was Darren’s favorite part of the adventure. Searching for volcanic action, we weaved over hot spots and turned left and right for the best views. There is something about the massive destruction and chaos of volcanos that draws men. The four men in the helicopter outnumbered the three women and they each yelled with excitement every time we saw red “skylights”. The scorched, black land was a drastic contract to the lush rainforest of East Hawaii that we saw next.

Paradise Helicopters

Paradise Helicopters, Hawaii

Paradise Helicopters

From East Hawaii to the Kohala valleys and waterfalls, my mouth was agape nonstop. This was the Hawaii I had envisioned and the endless beauty I had hoped to witness firsthand. Hundreds of waterfalls and rivers make this landscape lush and green. Beautiful coastal communities and mountain roads give this area a warm and inviting feel. It was in this beauty that our group landed at an exclusive location atop a mountain accessible only with Paradise Helicopters. We took the opportunity to get out of the helicopter and experience the amazing wonder first hand. It was a full senses experience. I breathed in the fresh scents, listened to the birds and the leaves rustling in the air, stepped onto the fresh mountain grass, looked out over the valley, and shared a delicious lunch with Darren. We were on top of the world.

Paradise Helicopters, Hawaii

Paradise Helicopters

As a grand finale, we flew over the white sand beach resorts of Waikoloa and we were able to see our resort, Hilton Waikoloa Village, from above. The Kohala and North Kona resort area is home to many of the islands most exclusive hotels and resorts. Flying along the coast, we saw some of the most amazing beaches and bays the island has to offer. Crystal clear blue and emerald waters, coral reef, and white sand beaches were a normal view on this coast of The Big Island.

Paradise Helicopters, HawaiiI had no idea that The Big Island was a land of such stark contrasts. The helicopter flight opened our eyes to the possibilities on Hawaii. As first time visitors to Hawaii, there was no better way to explore the entire island than from a bird’s eye view. Paradise Helicopters unveiled the world.


37 thoughts on “Taking Our Hawaii Experience to the Next Level

  1. Absolutely nothing like a bird’s eye view. Kauai is another great place for a heli-tour. The dry Waimea Canyon, the lush Napili coast, and tall waterfall rainforest that gets 400″ of rain a year.


  2. That volcano looks incredible! And what a stark contrast to the lush green forests surrounding it. If I ever visit Hawaii I will be sure to take a helicopter ride now, the landscape looks amazing. Great shots too, I imagine it’s not that easy out of a helicopter!


  3. One of the many great things about Hawaii is that – away from the highly populated and touristy areas – you can actually experience darkness. It’s amazing to look at the stars from that island location.


  4. Gorgeous, Lesley. Barry and I went here on our honeymoon (Hawai’i and Kauai), 26 years ago and took the same helicopter tour. We both got sick! But, loved the view from above… Our highlight was a tour of Waipi’o Valley (3rd from last picture) on horseback. I’m a very good rider and had a spanish pony, and one of the few residents of the valley took us around… including his paradise home: a small place, with taro and fruit, his kids playing in the falls. At the time, they bathed in the waterfalls! We became pen pals for a while, and I sent his kids books for a few years… in 1992 Hurricane Iniki came and wiped out the valley, and much of Kauai as well. We go often to Hawaii and NEVER get tired of it. It is such a unique part of the US… the most foreign state, I think. So special, culturally, geographically and in so many other ways! Glad you’re enjoying it.


  5. Hey, thanks for posting these photos of your heli-trip! I am spending a couple months on the big Island this coming winter and you’ve just given me a sneak preview! Thanks so much! Enjoy your trip!


  6. I did helicopter tours 2x (once departing off of Maui and the other on the Big Island). I was terrified, and I’ve told me husband that since I survived twice, I will not do it a 3rd time. Not a betting person! haha I loved it though, too. Amazing!!! I have family that lives on the Big Island and they brought us to a section that is closed off to people because of active lava flows, except for the people who live in that area. We were able to walk on the lava! It was crazy!!!! What an amazing place! Thanks for sharing your photos!!!


  7. Lesley, your blog and pictures are amazing! Thank you for sharing! Hawaii is a second home for my family and I, as we used to live there in the 80’s (Navy brat) and we try and visit every other year or so. On September 21, I surprised my Mom for her birthday and we took the Magnum PI themed helicopter tour above the Northshore and waterfalls on Oahu. She was thrilled! This was our third trip with Paradise Helicopter and certainly not the last. We are hoping to take their tours in Hawaii and Maui someday. Thanks again for the great pictures – just makes us want to get back even sooner.


  8. My son just finished his four-year term in the Marines. He was stationed in Hawaii and is now attending Helicopter pilot school in Prescott Arizona. Your pictures are outstanding, and as I have really been missing him they have certainly grabbed my heart. Thank you for sharing!


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