See 2 other galleries of this helicopter flight - Oct 2012Gallery 1
- Mauna Loa Helicopter FlightGallery 2
- Waimanu Honokane'Nui Valleys Helicopter Flight
We chose Paradise Helicopters out of Kailua Kona to take a 3 hour helicopter site seeing journey over the massive Mauna Loa Volcano. Our pilot then headed across to the North East Coast to Hilo, passing to the south of Mauna Kea. From Hilo we flew along the coast, past the entrance to the lush Waipo Valley before turning briefly inland into the Waimanu Valley. We hovered here below the top of the spectacular Waihilau Falls before flying over Honokane'iki Valley and into Honokane'nui Valley. We flew up the steep walled valley to the historic but isolated Honokane'nui Cabins where we landed.
After about 45 mins relaxing around the historic 1905 cabins we again took to the skys, heading inland further up the high walled Honokane'nui valley before lifting up over the top and over the rugged Kohala Forest Reserve. We continued on passing over green ranch lands before crossing over to the dry Kohala west side and hitting the coast just above the small settlement of Hale Ho'onanea, (just above Kawaihae Harbour).
Turning south the pilot headed down the west coast passing over small towns and villages, dry desolate lava flow landscapes and over a number of large, lavish golf resorts with manufactured green fairways.
We landed at Kailua Kona airport and took a taxi the 26 miles to The Sheraton Kona Resort and spa at Keauhou Bay where we enjoyed a few not so relaxing days. Seeing the giant Manta Rays swimming with snorkelers in the evenings was a highlight as was the informative full circle island tour we did with Roberts Big island Tours the day after the helicopter flight.