beauty that unfolds before you on a helicopter tour over Kauai is
breathtaking and awe-inspiring. 90% of Kauai's amazing waterfalls cannot be seen any other way ... don't spend thousands on a Hawaiian vacation and miss the best part! Book a helicopter tour today!
This page contains information about the best Kauai helicopter tours available. All helicopters featured on this page have been equipped with pilot seats that are found on the left side of the aircraft. This helps maximize guest viewing opportunities ... helicopters on Kauai generally proceed in a clockwise direction around the island. The overall best views are found toward the right side of the aircraft. By placing the pilot on the left side this puts more passengers on the right side of the aircraft where they get the best view!
As you read through the information on this page, you will be faced with a decision. All these helicopter tours will deliver an outstanding viewing experience. The question is whether your preference is for a luxurious, comfortable experience or a thrilling wind-blown adventure. Reading this page will help you narrow down your options; when you have made your decision you can order the best helicopter tour for you using the form on the right.
Jack Harter Helicopters
The most respected name in helicopter tourism over the years, Jack Harter is the founder of the helicopter tourism industry on Kauai back in 1962. Jack invites you to escape the ordinary; to leave the byways of man and immerse yourself in the wilderness grandeur of the Garden Isle. In its present form his company offers tours in two different models of aircraft. Both feature two-way communication with the pilot.
Cruise ship dock pick-up is available at no charge (see our notes to cruise ship passengers below).
The luxurious six passenger A-star is a "flying theater" with skylights and huge floor to ceiling Plexiglas windows for superior visibility. Climate control, Bose noise canceling headsets, quality narration by the pilot, and in-flight music make this the Cadillac of the air tourism industry.
- 60 Minute A-star Tour - A circle island tour featuring Jurassic Falls, Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, Hanalei Valley, Waialeale Crater, and Wailua Falls. Base rate $224 per person plus fuel surcharge. NOTE: The A-STAR HELICOPTER will be undergoing FAA required maintenance and unavailable for tours from 4/1/2013 to 5/31/2013.
The four passenger Hughes 500 is flown with the doors off for an exhilarating air tourism experience. Imagine yourself zooming along the spires of the Na Pali Coast with the wind blowing in your hair and looking straight down to the ocean below! This doors off helicopter is not for everyone, but if you are adventurous or are a photographer concerned about the window causing reflections in your photos, this might be the best tour for you. Long pants and jackets are recommended since this helicopter is not climate controlled.
- 60 Minute Doors Off Tour - A circle island tour featuring Jurassic Falls, Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, Hanalei Valley, Waialeale Crater, and Wailua Falls. Base rate $239 per person plus fuel surcharge
Exact tour routes and sites seen on each tour can vary based upon weather conditions. If the pilot feels that a quality tour cannot be conducted the tour will be canceled and you wil be rescheduled for another day or receive a refund. Base rates quoted do not include fuel surcharges which are currently $30 per person for a 60 minute tour. Passengers weighing over 250 pounds or couples whose combined weight exceeds 400 pounds must purchase an extra seat. A credit card is required to confirm all reservations but the tour is paid at the time of checkin; nothing is charged in advance.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Jack Harter only flies with a completely full helicopter. If they do not sell all the seats on your tour, they will move you to a different flight time. If you decide to fly with Jack Harter we suggest that you reserve the tour for the first full day in Kauai ... if your flight time or date needs to be changed you'll have time to reschedule it for later in your vacation.
JHH / R
Jack Harter Helicopters is available for cruise ship passengers and will even pick you up at the harbor!
We recommend doing
your helicopter tour on the morning of your second day in port if
you are on an NCL ship, but it can be booked for either day 1 or day
These helicopter tours are a MUCH BETTER DEAL than the ones
arranged by the cruise lines. They list their helicopter tours as a
"three hour event" but that includes the transportation to
and from the helicopter company and time spend waiting for other
people to do their tour. The actual flight time you get for the same
amount of money is only 40 minutes or so, compared to a one hour
tour with Jack Harter. PLUS we only offer helicopters that offer superior visibility.
Longer flights and you'll see better ... book your helicopter tour
It never ceases to
amaze me that people spend thousands of dollars to come to Hawaii,
but think it is too expensive to spend another $200 to REALLY see
the islands from a helicopter. There is so much beauty that you
cannot see any other way. Do yourself a favor and SPLURGE! You will
thank me. I have flown with
many helicopter companies and done flights over all the islands of
Hawaii (except Niihau and Oahu). I don't think anyone who works in this industry would question the fact that Kauai is the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands to fly over ... and is probably the most beautiful island in the world.
With Jack Harter's A-star tour you get polished narration, climate control, and an on-board sound
system that sets the mood for your tour. The doors off tours with Jack Harter are a
wind-blown experience, and the temperature varies throughout the
tour depending on your current altitude. No mood music on doors off tours ... you do wear headphones to listen to the pilot's narration
and there is an intercom system so you can ask the pilot questions.
This intercom doesn't work well in the back seat though ... it is
windier back there.
with the doors off is certainly thrilling ... but it isn't for
everyone. Jack Harter is unique in that they offer the opportunity to fly a luxurious air tour in their A-star helicopter or an adreneline rush in their "no doors" Hughes 500 helicopter tour. What kind of an experience are you after?
Best time of day to
fly? I think mid-morning provides the best lighting and least cloud
cover. Kauai gets LOTS of rain ... the summit of Mt. Waiale'ale is
the WETTEST place on the face of the earth. That's why this island
is so beautifully carved and has so many waterfalls. Days that there
are NO clouds are very rare. Typically the helicopters are able to
fly back into the valleys while remaining safely below the cloud
Wear dark shirts when
you fly in a helicopter. It cuts down on glare on the windows and
improves the quality of pictures that you might take. GET YOURSELF A
POLARIZING FILTER ... it will help remove those little ghostly
glares on the windows so your camera can focus on the waterfall. One
of these filters will also improve pictures that you take of the
ocean and sky. You'll see a lot more blue.
A word about body
weights ... almost all helicopter companies in Hawaii have a 250
pound weight limit per seat. For larger passengers who exceed the
weight limit it is necessary for the helicopter companies to leave a
seat vacant so that there is adequate room for the larger passenger
(and adjacent passengers). Some companies charge 50% extra for this
"comfort seat" and others charge a full rate for the extra
seat (which doubles the cost of the fare for a passenger over 250
pounds). Jack Harter charges 100% of the normal rate for this extra seat.
They also charge extra in cases where the combined weight of 2
passengers exceeds 400 pounds.
What about kids? The cost of a seat is the same whether the passenger is an adult or a child. "Doors off" tours have a minimum age of 10 with Jack Harter.
Which tour is best for you? If you have trouble deciding which tour is the best for you after reading through this page, give our office a call and one of our friendly and helpful staff will be happy to talk you through your options!