Big Island Helicopter Waterfalls

Windward Mauna Kea and Kohala Mountains, Hawaii, USA

About Big Island Helicopter Waterfalls

Hiking Distance: tour
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2008-02-22
Date last visited: 2008-02-22

Waterfall Latitude: 20.13091
Waterfall Longitude: -155.60464

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

While I’ve featured several Big Island Waterfalls on this website, there are still countless more.

The vast majority of these waterfalls are concentrated on the windward sides of both the Kohala Mountains as well as Mauna Kea.

Most of these are either inaccessible or private.

Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_046_jx_02222008 - A pair of Big Island Waterfalls spilling right into the ocean between Waipi'o Valley and Waimanu Valley
A pair of Big Island Waterfalls spilling right into the ocean between Waipi’o Valley and Waimanu Valley

Thus, I created this page to showcase the waterfalls seen on our lone successful helicopter tour.

On that tour, we managed to fly over the volcanoes towards the southeast part of the Big Island, then we swung northwards along the Hamakua Coast.

This exposed us to many waterfalls we were familiar with on our self-tours, but we also spotted many more waterfalls that we couldn’t have accessed.

We also flew by the mouth of the Waipi’o Valley and into the more remote Waimanu Valley, which were among the secluded valleys of the Kohala Mountains.

Kapoloa Falls

The original intent of doing this helicopter tour was to seek out the Kapoloa Falls.

This was the same waterfall that Samantha Brown featured on her show, which Julie and I chanced upon while channel surfing one day.

Unfortunately, the Kona Earthquake of October 2006 caused extensive damage to the Kohala Ditch Trail deep into Pololu Valley.

That essentially rendered this waterfall inaccessible to the general public.

Guided tours used to be the only way to properly visit the waterfall on foot since the trail passed through private land.

Unfortunately, on our particular 2008 chopper tour, we never got a chance to witness the Kapoloa Falls.

Even despite verbal agreement that the pilot would fly into the back of Pololu Valley to see this falls, he ended up forgetting about it and flew over some World War II wreckage instead.

Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_037_02222008 - A large volcanic crater.  Chopper tours on the Big Island mostly focus on the volcanoes or volcanic features like this, but apparently only specialized tours would feature waterfalls
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_114_02222008 - Hard to tell which waterfall is which from up here
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_118_02222008 - This looks like Wai'ale Falls
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_121_02222008 - A pair of obscure waterfalls somewhere upstream of Hilo
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_123_02222008 - This looks like Kulaniapia Falls
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_126_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_133_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_134_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_138_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_142_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_151_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_144_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_154_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_160_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_161_02222008 -
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_176_02222008 - An ocean-facing waterfall
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_186_02222008 - Another ocean-facing waterfall
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_192_02222008 - Looking back towards the Hamakua Coast
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_197_02222008 - Approaching a waterfall in Waimanu Valley
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_209_02222008 - A tall waterfall in Waimanu Valley
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_210_02222008 - Different angle of that tall waterfall in Waimanu Valley
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_214_02222008 - Another Waimanu Valley Waterfall
Big_Island_Heli_Paradise_217_02222008 - When we were done seeing waterfalls, we noticed this WWII wreckage

We’ve made numerous attempts at doing a chopper ride on the Big Island, but we were only successful once.

So we can appreciate how much weather really affects this kind of tour.

Helicopter tour companies are more spread out on the Big Island of Hawaii than on the other Hawaiian Islands.

We know that there are a couple near Waikoloa.

I recalled Blue Hawaiian had one helipad there while Tropical had one near a resort in Waikoloa.

Meanwhile, we also managed to do a Paradise Helicopter Tour, which took off from the Kona Airport.

There are more tour companies leaving from Hilo, which would be the preferred base since choppers wouldn’t have to fly as far to visit both the lava and the Kohala Mountains.

I know I’m being a bit vague here as the directions alone to each of the tour companies would be a huge undertaking.

So I’ll just punt you over to the chopper companies of your choice as they’ll provide you with directions when you book.

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Tagged with: windward, mauna kea, kohala, big island, hawaii, waterfalls, kapoloa falls, waimanu valley, waipio valley, helicopter

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.