About Other Kauai Helicopter Waterfalls
There are many other Kauai Helicopter waterfalls found on an aerial tour of the island.
In fact, since most waterfalls on the island are publicly inaccessible or awkward to view for some reason or another, waterfalls became one of the main motivators for us to shell out the money to go up on one of these tours.
When you couple these waterfalls with an aerial view of the ruggedly beautiful Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon, you’ll find it easier to justify the pain of shelling out hundreds of dollars per person for such a tour (much to the chagrin of locals who derisively call the helicopters the “Kaua’i Mosquitoes”).
I generally have mixed feelings about motorized tours such as this because of the noise and pollution they generate. However, there’s no denying the beauty of the island you can experience through this method that you can’t get any other way.
Besides the major waterfalls already highlighted in other pages on this website that you’re bound to see on a heli-tour such as the Jurassic Falls, Wai’alae Falls, and Waipo’o Falls, Hanakoa Falls, and Hanakapi’ai Falls, we’ll highlight the other waterfalls that we noticed in our experiences.
Among some of the named highlights found in this page are the Five Sisters Falls (or Kahili Falls) and Pu’u Ka Ele Falls. We also saw numerous unnamed waterfalls as we got into the heart of the island at the Wai’ale’ale Crater – the so-called wettest spot on earth.
The Five Sisters Falls (pictured at the top of this page) was a series of at least five waterfalls concentrated in one area seemingly further upstream from Manawaiopuna Falls. However, it seemed like only one of our Inter Island Helicopters tours spotted this place while the other ones we went on didn’t (I’d imagine it’s highly pilot-dependent as well as dependent on conditions).
As for Pu’u Ka Ele Falls, this one sat on a side valley in the Hanapepe River Valley. When we first booked with Inter Island Helicopters, this was the waterfall that they landed at. So we were allowed to swim here for a bit before the chopper tour resumed. I was later told by the folks at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) that this falls was on state land and they weren’t supposed to land here for private commercial use. Oops.
Regarding the Wai’ale’ale Crater, it was here that our tour flew into its caldera where we were surrounded by countless water grooves etched on the green and vertical 3000ft high walls. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as wet as we had hoped so we had to settle for grooves on the walls instead of waterfalls filling in those grooves. At the back of the crater, we were able to see some waterfalls on the so-called Weeping Wall which usually would’ve had more waterfalls on its bare section.
Another area that might yield numerous falls was the Hanalei River Valley. Again on our tour, there were just a few of them tumbling along the valley walls (just barely) because it was unusually dry when we were there in late 2006.
Likewise, there probably should’ve been countless waterfalls coming down the various wrinkles of the fluted cliffs of the Na Pali Coast as well as the dropoffs in Waimea Canyon.
There’s simply too many waterfalls here and I’m sure you’ll undoubtedly have varying experiences depending on the weather, tour, pilot, etc. So I’ll just post some of the chopper pics we took and let them do the rest of the talking…
I know there were several helicopter companies in Lihu’e (near the airport) as well as Inter-Island in Hanapepe.
Since we did Inter-Island, we can say we went about 17.5 miles west on Hwy 50 from Lihu’e past the Hanapepe River Bridge then turned left onto Route 543 towards the Port Allen Airport.
If you’re going with any of the other tour companies, I think the they will also assist you with driving directions to their respective helipads.
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