Friday, June 21, 2019

Hawaii by helicopter: Blue Hawaiian adventure soars above the clouds for hidden treasures

Honolulu's distinctive skyline is even more impressive when viewed from a helicopter.

Dole Plantation's pineapple fields make striking patterns from the air.


SOARING HIGH above the Pacific, Keller leaned over to me in our ringside seats. "We're flying with the birds," he whispered.  It's true. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters delivers a thrilling experience, the closest we'll ever come to flying.  Because we're so much closer to the ground than in an airplane, we see the pineapple fields, the motion of the waves hitting the beach, the high-rise hotels -- including ours in gorgeous Hilton Hawaiian Village. The waterfalls sparkle in the sunlight, seeming almost touchable.
HAWAII is meant to be seen  from as many vantage points as possible.  The beach is an essential, and a mountain hike is a must.  Snorkeling or scuba, definitely. But flying with professionals
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters delivers fine views.

high above the land, gazing down to admire the jungles and waterfalls that make Hawaii famous, is a treat to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
As the 'copter blades rev up, "Keller and Cookie"
prepare to board Blue Hawaiian.
For decades, Hollywood studios have used Blue Hawaiian to make their films on the islands.  "Pirates of the Caribbean" is one of the most famous films shot on Oahu, followed by a trio of the "Jurassic Park" blockbusters,  several films about Pearl Harbor, "George of the Jungle" "Flight of the Intruder," "Crimson Tide" and many more.
So we boarded one of Blue Hawaiian's handsome T2Eco-Stars, with seven seats, including the pilot's.  The comfy, quiet ride offered an hour of blissful fascination as our expert pilot-guide pointed out movie locations, famous mountains and valleys, the stunning familiar curves of Diamond Head and the Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial, Honolulu's two most famous landmarks. He circled the beautifully designed and historic Hilton Hawaiian Village, where we were staying for a pampering week. 
WHAT FUN to admire our hotel from on high, to breathe in the beauty of the verdant rainforests below, imagining village life as the Polynesians swam in the rivers, harvested crops, relaxed in  
Beautiful Hilton properties inhabit a prime corner
of the beach with historic Hawaiian Village Resort.
"Pirates of the Caribbean" was shot in the lush forests of Oahu.
Diamond Head looms spectacularly from the helicopter. 
cascading waterfalls. We loved seeing the white-sand and black-sand beaches from the air, as we swept over the turquoise blue Pacific then up to the craters of Hawaii's volcanic badlands.
The helicopter is a great way to compare the differences of the islands.
OUR PILOT pointed out historic landings, explaining  that adventuresome Tahitians settled on Oahu in 500 AD. In 1795 Kamehameha I, king of the island of  Hawaii, conquered Oahu and united the Hawaiian Islands. In 1845 the capital was moved from Lahaina, on Maui, to Honolulu, on Oahu. Elvis Presley loved Hawaii, too, and stayed in Hilton's Hawaiian Village Ali'i Tower, during the filming of his hit movie, "Blue Hawaii."  Ali'i Tower remains a pampering, popular high-end get-away.

 WE ENJOYED a bird's eye view of Iolani Palace, the United State's only royal palace, with its revered history.  Across the street is Hawaii's judicial system, with a building made famous  in episodes of "Hawaii Five-O." (More on that soon.) 

It was fun to watch the pilot at his controls, as we lifted off and arose, soaring over one of the country's most beautiful states.

Fun watching the pilot at his command station. 
WITH SEVEN of us in the vehicle, he skillfully circled at important sightings, making sure everyone had an opportunity to see everything.
Our favorite sights were our Hilton property, the gorgeous pineapple fields, and the cone-shaped outcroppings of lava off Kualoa Point.  Ka'a'awa Valley was beautiful, too, where many fun movies have been shot, including "Pirates of the Caribbean." The North Shore with its famous surfing beaches delighted my surfer partner.
Having been to Pearl Harbor the day before, it was thrilling seeing the Arizona memorial. The showy orange and yellow "Magnum" helicopters caught our eye,  lifting off near us. That's for next time! This time, we opted for Blue Hawaiian, and were thrilled. Our ride was smooth, flawless, breathtaking.  Only one criticism:  it was too short. 
The beautiful and fast disappearing blooms of a poppy adorn 
the hillsides of High Chaparral, in south-central Montana.

UP NEXT: Flower power.  We're soaking up an inordinate amount of summer moisture, and with that come beautiful blooms, in fact, a real gardener's bonanza. We'll share some of the photos from the past two weeks of floral abundance, and a few favorite lines of poetry about gardening. Meanwhile,  remember to explore, learn and live, while you catch us each Friday for a novel look at the arts, travel, nature, family and much more, with always with wit, insight and humor.


  1. Exciting ride for you guys. Hope to make it ourselves when we visit next March. Will do one in Kauai also. Nice story and photos.

  2. Arizona AdventurersJune 22, 2019 at 6:39 AM

    Always a treat to see what you're up to! We love Hawaii, too.

  3. Delightful ride!

  4. Oregon Ocean LoversJune 23, 2019 at 9:33 AM

    We took the Blue Hawaiian Kauai flight and it, too, was magical.

  5. Portland AdmirersJune 26, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Fun to fly high with you two enthusiastic travelers.

  6. Rome is pretty and historically fascinating, but nothing compares to nature's amazements.