Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 5 Aerial tour of the Island of Kauai

These are a couple of pictures of the family in the plane as we were taking our aerial tour around Kauai, HI.

The Island of Kauai was so pretty, but sadly there are lots of areas that are inaccessible by car.  So, that leaves hiking or viewing it by air.  I will give you one guess which way I chose to see the beautiful remote areas of the island.  Yep, you guessed it; by air it is!  There are many aerial tour services on the island, most are helicopter tours.  We chose to go by fixed wing, given my affinity for fixed wing aircraft.  Plus, my wife said she could not find a helicopter tour that would fit 5 people.

There was a company on the island called Air Ventures Kauai that offered pretty reasonable rates on airplane tours.  My wife, Yami, also wanted to go to an authentic Luau being that this was our first trip to Hawaii.  Fortunately, this tour company had worked out a combo deal with the most authentic Luau on Kauai, The Smith Family Garden Luau.  So we booked the combo deal and went to the Lihue Airport for our tour.  The airplane was a Australian made airplane Called a GA-8 Airvan.  The plane sits a total of 7 people including the pilot.  Oddly enough this plane has the exact same engine as 24MT.  The following is a video of the plane (N721AV) as it started and took another tour group up just before we were scheduled for our tour on the same plane:

We finally got to go on our aerial tour and the views were breathtaking.  The following are some photos of the tour.

Here we are on Crosswind shortly after takeoff.

 I had no idea how many movies had been filmed here on this island.  The Tour pilot showed us many sites where movies were shot and pointed out the specific scenes of those movies or shows.  Below are some of those sites.

This is the beach where Harrison Ford Crash landed his Dehavilland Beaver in the movie Six Days Seven Nights.  You can see the beach in the movie trailer, click the link.
This is the Waterfall that the Helicopter passed in the arrival scene in Jurassic Park.  You can see this waterfall in the link to the movie trailer when the founder of the Park arrives at the Jurassic Park.  Click the link and you will see
On this next pic, I am really dating myself here.  These are the water falls that were shown in the open credits of Fantasy Island the TV Show.  Remember, Tattoo yelling: "Boss, the plane, the plane!!"

Click the trailer link for Fantasy Island here.

The Napali Coast was also seen on Jurassic Park.  This part of the Island is completely inaccessible by Car.  You have to hike there or get dropped off by Helo.

You can also see this coast on the opening credits to Fantasy Island.

The Pilot then took us to what he referred to as the Hollywood of the Hawaiian Islands.  This town was called Princeville.  He pointed out Pierce Brosnan's House.  It was pretty nice.  The house is demonstrated below.  It is the one with the tennis court and the orange/red roof.

Pierce Brosnan's House
The beach below is one of the best on the island.  The problem is that this time of year the north and west shores of the island have rough and dangerous surf conditions.  We actually drove to this side of the island the day before to go to this beach, only to find a bunch of signs saying no swimming. We looked like the typical idiot tourist that didn't know that you couldn't swim there that time year.  I was able to save face and playing it off like like I know this, "yeah, I knew that, who is that fool over there driving in with his family with swim trunks!"

As you can see the surf is pretty rough

This was 'Buddy" (seriously this is what he said his name was).  Hmmm, maybe he was in the Witness Protection Program, ooooppps.  Buddy set us straight on the swimming situation.  He is a "retired" Boston Transplant that has been living in Kauai for six years.
  Anyways, the aerial tour continued.  The following are couple of  valley and canyon pictures:

Waimea Canyon is Called the "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific"

Well, the tour soon came to an end and I was happier than a Pig in poop.  That was the best way to see the island short of becoming a Survivor contestant.  Yami really enjoyed the tour, but my kids quickly got bored.  Talk about spoiled kids who are so used to flying that it is no big deal for them.  Well, my daughter Angella seemed to stay pretty alert.

More pictures.

Happier than a pig in poop mode.

Oh yeah, little David can't seem to contain his enthusiasm here.

Hmmmm, money well spent on this tour ticket?!

This is the Kauai Grand Hyatt Resort which was built by a friend of mine back in Thief River who used to live here and was the foreman in charge of the construction project that built this fabulous resort.  Nice Job Randy!  I also attended a conference here at this Resort during this trip.

This is part of the Koloa Landing Wyndham Grand Resort where we stayed during our trip.  We were in the building in the right lower portion of the photo.
This time of year in Hawaii is whale season.  The humpback whales that are usually around Alaska come down to this neck of the woods during the winter.  I guess you could say that they swim south for the winter.
Beautiful Humpback whales

Well all good thinks must come to an end and soon enough we were on final approach into 
Lihue Airport (PHLI)

Well that was our Aerial tour around Kauai.  Hope you liked it.  Feel free to comment.


  1. What amazing pics from the air! It shows so much more than what you would have taken from the ground.

    1. Thanks, More to come on this trip. My next post will be a Powered hand gliding lesson I took on the Island.

  2. That was awesome!! I am jealous..I LOVE the pics! Thank you so much for sharing. I shared this with Randolph Charles Joseph Carter too:)

    Thank you

    1. Thanks Rhonda, More to come on this trip. My next post will be a Powered hand gliding lesson I took on the Island. I hope Randy liked the pic of the Grand Hyatt!

  3. After seeing your pictures I just remember my last trip to Lihu, It was one of the best tour in my entire life. I want to go their once more.

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