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Travel Blog #82 - Airventures, Aerial Whale Watch

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.

aerial whale watching

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.

airventures air tours kauai

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.

airventure to kalalau 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.

hanalei bay kauai

Travel Blog - Articles #80 to #89

This morning I woke up to very wet and rainy weather at my house in Lihue. My girlfriend had to work and I really wanted to do something more exciting then messing around inside on my computer all day.


I remember the first time I stood up on a wave. It was a sunny day at a break near Oluwalu on Maui. It was in the middle of one of the summertime adventures with my uncle Dennis that were commonplace during my childhood.


I love the sunset sails on Kauai. I really appreciate that with these sails, there is an actual destination to the whole adventure. You get to sail all the way to the Napali coast while you watch the sun go down.


I remember passing by the sign for Kauai Photo Tours in Kapaa when I first came over to Kauai in January and thinking to myself how much I was looking forward to going on that trip.


I had an idea of what we were getting into when I showed up at the headquarters of the Wailua River Guides in Kapaa, but I had no idea how much I was going to really enjoy the kayak and the hike up the river that we did today with Wailua River Guides.


Today we went out with Aloha Kauai Tours on their Kauai Backroads 4x4 Tour. We met the group at the Kilohana Plantation where we parked my truck and jumped in their customized 4x4 van.


As we checked in at the Blue Dolphin store in the shopping village of Port Allen I looked up at the grey threatening looking sky and thought to myself:


We showed up at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu at just before 6AM to check in for their downhill bike trip. The ride goes down the road along the rim of the Waimea Canyon.


When I was a kid, my family lived in Kihei on the island of Maui. During the 1990s when I was growing up, Kihei was one of the fastest growing towns in the nation.


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.


Related Activites


Take an air tour over Kaua'i and experience Kipu Kai (Baby Na Pali), the Menehune Fishpond (where Raiders of the Lost Arc was filmed), the secluded Mahalepu Beach, The Eucalyptus Tunnel of Trees, Manawaiopuna Waterfall (also known as Jurassic Falls), Captain Cook's landing place in old Waimea town, the breathtaking Waimea Canyon (the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"), the beautiful Na Pali Coastline, Lumahai Beach (where South Pacific was filmed), Hanalei Bay and Hanalei Valley with multiple waterfalls, Kilauea Lighthouse, Wai'ale'ale Crater (the wettest spot on earth), Anahola Mountain Range (King Kong's profile), the eastern shoreline's white sandy beaches, Wailua Falls (where Fantasy Island was filmed), Opaeka'a Falls and back to the Lihue Airport.

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