Must Do in Kauai: Doors Off Helicopter Ride

Must Do in Kauai: Doors Off Helicopter Ride

One of the most popular things to do in Hawaii is to take a helicopter ride. We had both been in a helicopter before but since we would have our wedding anniversary on Kauai, we decided to splurge on another ride. Because most of Kauai’s north side is unaccessible by car, a helicopter ride is a great way to see the whole island.

Photo before the ride!

Photo before the ride!

After days of research into which company to use (there are a few) we decided on Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa has a great safety record, some great reviews and they run private tours for the same price as other companies charge for shared rides.

Ready for the ride!

Ready for the ride!

Mauna Loa offers a doors-off option. As soon as I read about this, I knew we had to do it. Thankfully Simon was pretty keen on it too; I didn’t even have to give him the hard sell! Riding without doors sounds a little scary but we do love a bit of adventure!

Wailua river soon after take off

Wailua river soon after take off

So on the morning of our ride we turned up at their office, which happened to be inside a bus. After finalising payment, weighing in and watching a safety video, we were driven to the airport and introduced to our pilot.

Beautiful green hills

Beautiful green hills

Shadow of the helicopter in the crater

Shadow of the helicopter in the Waialeale Crater

Our pilot was great. He had forty years of experience, which made us feel very safe. After he went through another very detailed safety briefing, we boarded the helicopter and it was time for take off. I am so glad we chose Kauai for this ride as it was truly an amazing experience.

Jurassic Falls

The Jurassic Falls

Waimea Canyon

The impressive Waimea Canyon from the air

Waimea Canyon waterfall

Waterfalls in Waimea Canyon

Our ride took us on a circuit around the island. The views were so diverse, from the beautiful Wailua river, many spectacular waterfalls (including the Jurassic falls), gorgeous green hills, the colourful gorges of Waimea canyon, the breathtaking Napali coast, the wild beaches of the North Shore, the stunning Hanalei Bay, and the impressive Waialeale Crater. It was incredible. The whole hour seemed to go by so fast. We were in awe of the scenery in front of us.

Napali Coast

View from the stunning Napali Coast

Napali coast

Another great view over the Napali coast

The cathedrals of the Napali Coast

The Cathedrals of the Napali Coast

The best thing about the doors off option, (other than the fact that it’s fun!) is that it’s much easier to take photographs. Without the reflections from the windows you get much better shots. I don’t remember how many pictures I took during the hour but I don’t think ten seconds passed without me clicking.

The splendid North Shore

The splendid North Shore

The impressive Waialeale Crater

The impressive Waialeale Crater

As we landed back at the airport to end our tour, we would have happily gone back for another ride. I highly recommend taking this helicopter ride to anyone going to Kauai. It is worth every dollar and is an experience that you will never forget. We are looking forward to heading to Kauai again and going back for another ride!

Hanalei Bay

View over Hanalei Bay

Many waterfalls

Many waterfalls

View from inside the helicopter

View from inside the helicopter

Read more:

Hawaiian Islands Hopping: Kauai the Garden Isle 

Three Ways to Experience the Na Pali Coast 
Must do in Kauai - A Doors-off Helicopter Ride

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