Today I woke up at my house in Lihue eager to get down to the airport to go on a flight I had scheduled a few days prior. My girlfriend is not so keen on flying; the huge passenger plane going to California and back makes her uneasy already. Ive been trying to convince her to go on a helicopter ride for a long time but she is adamantly against the whole idea. However, I was able to convince her to fly in a small plane to see some waterfalls.
We got to the airport and met our pilot, Captain Bruce. Bruce is the owner of Wings Over Kauai and also does most of the flying. We began by going over the map of the island and he showed us the flight path that he normally does. After he was done showing us, he asked the group:
I am willing to take you anywhere you want to go as long as it fits into our 70 minute flight plan, is there any special requests?
The group agreed that the normal flight plan would probably be the best because we would get to see the Kipu Kai coastline, the Waimea Canyon, the Napali coastline as well as the Hanalei River Valley. It turned out to be a great call because as soon as we took off we got more then we bargained for.
Right after we took off from the Lihue Airport we were greeted by a pod of Humpback Whales that were playing in the waters off of Kipu Kai. We made a few circles over the whales (in opposite directions so passengers on both sides could see). Captain Bruce then eased the course of the plane towards the Waimea Canyon.
The Waimea Canyon was amazing. From an aerial perspective we were able to see all kinds of places that are hidden from view from anywhere on the ground. We saw some waterfalls (or to be more accurate, many series of waterfalls) that were absolutely gorgeous. After making a few passes on some of the highlights of the Waimea Canyon we moved on towards the Napali Coast.
The Napali Coastline is the fastest eroding coastline in the world, Also the most popular attraction on trip website. The cliffs resemble a drip castle that children make at the beach, but on a massive scale. These cliffs are well over 3000 feet tall and it is almost impossible to really even get a perspective on their actual size in any photograph, because they’re SO ENORMOUS.
After viewing the cliffs of Napali we moved on past the Hanalei Bay and up into the Hanalei River Valley. Here we saw a completely different kind of terrain, that was covered with one of the most lush forests that youll be able to find anywhere in the world.
After we finished our tiqets tour and landed I had a new found respect for airplane tours. We saw pretty much everything that I saw on the last helicopter flight that I took around Kauai, and the ride was amazingly smooth. I think what impressed me the most about the entire trip, more then the big windows, or the amazing scenery, was the fact that Captain Bruce asked us where we wanted to go. If I said, I want to fly over my house (which we did, but it was on the normal flight path), or I want to fly over my favorite surf break, or just circle around one waterfall for 45 minutes. Whatever I requested, Captain Bruce was ready and willing to make it happen.