Travel Blog #82 – Airventures, Aerial Whale Watch

Apr 3, 2022 | Activity Information

Today we had something happen that was slightly out of the ordinary. We were on an air tour around Kauai with Airventures Air Tours, when out of the depths of the ocean underneath us appeared a pod of massive Humpback Whales. The pilot saw them and made a massive figure eight around them so people on both sides of the plane could see them.

Not that long before our whale encounter we checked in at the Airventures hanger in the Lihue commuter terminal. Upon arrival we were greeted by their receptionist and then taken out onto the runway and seated in the aircraft. The plane was very comfortable with 3 rows of 2 seats next to each other and one seat in the back. I was lucky enough to get the copilot seat so in addition to having my own side window like everyone else, I also had a good view out of the front windows.

As soon as we lifted off from the tarmac in Lihue I began to snap away shots out the window with my camera. The first place we passed was the “private” coastline of Kipu Kai. After we passed here we moved on to the coastline of Poipu before we veered inland to get a better look of the Waimea Canyon.

The Waimea Canyon was absolutely amazing. While you’re on Kauai you definitely need to schedule some sort of outing to see the Waimea Canyon. I’ve hiked all over Waimea and done my best to see all I can from the ground and I have yet to find a vantage point from anywhere on the ground that rivals what you can see from the air. There is one place where we saw an entire sequence of waterfalls making their way down the cliff. Another where we could see the canyon split and a side canyon go off into the distance with waterfalls cascading down the side of the valley. The Waimea Canyon was a great place to warm us up for the sight we were about to see, the Napali Coastline.

After passing by the large golf ball shaped radar domes on the edge of the military base the bottom dropped out and we found ourselves suspended off of the edge of a 3000+ft cliff. As I turned and looked north I was greeted with the classic aerial perspective of the Napali Coast. We circled and banked our way through the major valleys in the coastline as we worked our way north towards the picturesque Hanalei Bay. Once we got to Hanalei we made one final circle over the ocean before we turned inland up the Hanalei Valley.

Once we got into the Hanalei Valley we admired all the waterfalls and cliffs untill we eventually got the the Puhi area where we made a turn towards Kapaa. We flew over Kapaa and the Wailua Falls to the Lihue Airport. In just over an hour we basically circled the entire island and saw virtually everything that there is on Kauai from the amazing perspective of a plane. For a seasoned repeat visitor to the Garden Island, or a first time visitor to Kauai a flight on a plane is something you might want to consider doing to acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with the island.