The air tour that I did today with Iolani Air was for lack of a better word......perfect. I will try to contain me excitement as I go over the reasons of why I so thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Basically I can break down why I enjoyed the trip so much into three reasons: the weather, the pilot, and the amazing capabilities of the aircraft to cover the ENTIRE Big Island without having to refuel.
When I woke up and looked out the window I had a feeling that I was going to have excellent weather for my airplane flight around the island. There was not a breath of wind, or a cloud in the sky. I knew that there was a chance that the weather on the other side of the island might be completely different, but as it turned out....... It was beautiful weather on all sides of the island.
I am a firm believer that people can either make, or break an experience. Our pilot today made our experience absolutely phenomenal. One of the best parts of this tour is that it takes such small groups. Including the pilot, there were only four people on the plane. In addition to having such a small group, the pilot allotted extra time into his route to be able to circle back over points of interest. I thought this was really, really cool. Being that I love to take pictures this meant that I was able to pick and choose various points, and be able to direct him to fly by it again in a way that I could get the angle that I wanted to get the shot....... This is the sort of service that that will entice people to gladly pay $1000+/hour to have a helicopter do for them, but it was included in the price of a regular ticket.
The other two passengers on the plane besides myself were staying in one of the resorts in Waikoloa, as we passed over their hotel they asked if we could circle back for a few more pictures. With a smile our pilot pressed on his controls and eased the plane into a large gentle circle while the man who was sitting behind me snapped pictures of the resort. During our flight I asked our pilot to do that on a few occasions, once over the volcano and a few other times over some waterfalls and beaches.
The thing that really made all of this possible was the plane we were flying in. What many people do not understand is how large the Big Island really is. The Big Island of Hawaii is so large that if you could take all of the other major islands as well as the small atolls that make up the rest of the Hawaiian Island Chain and place them on top of the Big Island, you could (with room to spare). This sheer size of the island makes a non stop flight around the perimeter of the entire island on a conventional sightseeing helicopter an impossible feat. However, the small plane we were in had enough range to complete a whole lap around the perimeter of the island with fuel to spare. This made it possible for us to be able to see and photograph the "Green Sand Beach" as well as the Southern tip of the Big Island (which is the Southernmost point in the United States) from the air. It was an absolutely incredible flight that I highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in really seeing what the Big Island has to offer.
You are likely aware that Tom Barefoot's Tours carries hundreds of activity companies on all the Hawaiian Islands consisting of thousands of individual tour choices.
Today we checked in at Maalaea just before 7:00AM for our trip aboard the "Maui Magic". Our days plan began with a boat ride all the way around the southern tip of Maui to an area known as the Kanaio Coast.
We offer many different snorkeling trips throughout the state of Hawaii. Each one tries to differentiate itself from the others in the industry by catering to a specific niche group.
Of all the whale watching companies that we deal with on Maui, one of the ones that we get the most requests for is the Pacific Whale Foundation. The reason for this most likely stems from the fact that the Pacific Whale Foundation has really made an effort over the years to be a company that specializes in whale watches.
Today we thought it would be fun to go see the sunset from the top of Mauna Kea. Our rental car company did not want us to drive our little car up there so we decided that it would be a good idea to arrange to go with a guided tour.
When visiting Oahu sometimes it can be hard to remember that the island had much more the just the hustle and bustle of the downtown metropolis of Honolulu and Waikiki.
Speedboats are not for everyone, but if you're the type you're the type of person that enjoys them then......... Then everything else probably seems, slow.
Our trip to the Waipio Ridge Stables was nothing short of incredible. We decided to leave our place in Kona extra early so we would have plenty of time to take in all of the sights on the way there.
Are you a fiend for adrenaline? If so don't feel bad, I am too. In my younger years I used to compete in mountain biking and worked at a snowboard mountain during college, mainly shaping the terrain park so you could say that I know how it feels to want to do things a little more on the edge then the rest of the crowd.