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Travel Blog #156 - Volcano & Green Sand Beach With Iolani Air

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.

Iolani Air Sea Cliff Tour

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.

Iolani Lava Tour

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.

Iolani Air Green Sand Beach

Travel Blog - Articles #150 to #159

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.


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Related Information

Many of our clients are not even aware of the fact that we offer fixed wing aerial tours in addition to helicopter tours. These flights are normally a bit less expensive and many people have commented that they are a much smoother ride.


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.


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