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“Excellent, got lucky, lava lava and more lava”

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters - Waikoloa
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Helicopter Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Waterfalls from Hilo
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Big Island Spectacular Helicopter Tour
Ranked #1 of 17 Tours in Waikoloa
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed December 28, 2011

Flew on Dec 28, 2011. Out of Kona.
Large lava flow moving fast past the subdivision, burning trees, windows into lava tubes, and ocean entry in multiple locations. One spot looked like a red waterfalls dumping into the ocean. Pilot gave everyone fantastic views. Spent lots of time there. Then off to the unbelievable water falls.
Will remember the views and trip till the day I die.
Pilot was very good and made sure all sides had excellent views with detail info.
Highly recommend this, but check the government web site first to see how active the flows are. If no lava, I would still recommend it for the waterfalls.
You can't see this from a boat or on foot.


1  Thank TerraformTheWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,143 - 1,147 of 1,245 reviews

Reviewed December 26, 2011

Went with my grandson, as a birthday present from my son. You will not forget this almost 2 hour trip. You see sights not possible any other way from the red-hot lava flowing into the sea in the south to the valleys in the northeast. We went after a week of heavy rain, so all the water falls were superb. Our pilot was Tosi, who was very friendly got everyone involved; also very experienced, who previously trained helicopter pilots in San Jose, CA.
It is not low cost, but you can save by booking the lower cost helicopter (A-star) which is more than a $100 cheaper than the ECO helicopter. It turns out that most of their helicopters are ECO, so we went anyway in an ECO (very comfortable with good views). Also you can save another $50 if you book on-line in advance.

2  Thank stangina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2011

In two hours you will see spectacular places on the Big Island that you can't see any other way - it's just not possible even if you're a serious hiker with several weeks to crawl through incredibly rugged terrain.

This is the trip that will blow away those with whom you travel. All the superlatives in the other reviews are correct, such as 'experience of a lifetime.'

We had Greg as our pilot and flew in an A-Star aircraft. Greg was an excellent pilot, a personable host making everyone feel part of the adventure, and the 'mature ladies' on our flight referred to him as sexy [what do I know?].

Here's a few recommendations:
- book online and get the online discount.
- if you have the extra money go with the Eco-Star; but, the A-Star gives you the same tour over the same sights - you won't miss anything.
- go for the two-hour Big Island Spectacular flight. Yes, it's the most expensive; but, are you going to come this far and go to all of this trouble and miss some of the amazing sights to save a few bucks? Come on, you'll only do this once.
- buy the $25 DVD after your flight; it's a relatively inexpensive souvenir you can use to bore your friends and family for years to come showing the scenes you saw and including the audio of you talking with the pilot about what you're seeing.
- schedule this flight early in your stay for two reasons: 1) weather can postpone flights for more than one day; and, 2) it helps put your time on Hawai'i in context - everything else you see and experience during your stay will be from the perspective of what you saw while flying.
- take your camera, even if you plan to buy the souvenir DVD. You'll get incredible shots to upload to Facebook [and, Tripadvisor], and you can pose for a picture before/after your flight with your group and pilot that otherwise wouldn't be on your DVD.

Finally, while I wouldn't force anyone to go who might have strong fears of such activities, I would suggest you strongly encourage those who are just tentative. My adult daughter was uncomfortable, if not nervous, both before and during the flight; but, felt afterwards that everything else we would do during our island visit would be anticlimactic - she really thought it was great.

Enjoy your stay on the Big Island.

5  Thank GWBrooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

Let me just start off by saying this: of ALL the things I did on this two week vacation this was certainly #1! Not surprisingly- it was the most expensive too!
There are a few different tours and two different types of helicopter you can b00k. I opted for the Big Island Spectacular on the Eco-Star helicopter.
I really feel this was the way for me to go, as it allowed me to take-in the whole island-
Seeing the volcanoes, flowing lava, waterfalls, and even a lone humpback whale!
The pilot was a former Coast guide helicopter pilot. He was very friendly and full of info about what we were seeing. He even encouraged us to talk and be an active part of the trip. very interactive.
As I said, I knew this would be expensive, and it was, but it was worth every penny. And doing it again would be a "no-brainer" for me!

3  Thank SoFlaTribefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2011

Friends cautioned us against touring the Big Island of Hawaii by helicopter because of the possibility of crashing, but we got so excited about the possibility of photographing this incredibly diverse island from the air that we "threw caution to the wind", literally. We were given the option of doing one of two 45 minute flights, or we could do a single hour and 45 minute flight encompassing the south eastern part of the island, the eastern coast and the northern tip. We decided this was a "once in a lifetime" event and went for the long flight .... and we're glad we did.

We signed up for the first flight of the day which would leave at 7:00 a.m. so we got to the heliport by 6:15 a.m., dressed in black, so no light clothing would reflect in the windows and ruin photographs. The morning was beautiful on the western Kohala coast of the island, the side that is made up of large a'a lava fields, dry ranch land and tropical shores with white sand beaches. The sun was shining brightly and the sky was clear blue, with not a cloud to be seen. As we flew south toward Mauna Loa, we could see a solid layer of clouds below us stretching to the east for as far as the eye could see. It hugged the eastern base of the mountain which is where we descended into and then below the clouds - entering an entirely different atmosphere. We were now flying over dark black and slate-gray lava fields and could see volcanic gases spewing from a sizeable fumarole - ominous and foreboding were words that came to mind. As we continued northeast, the darkness and gray gave way to light and green - lush farm land, macadamian nut farms and the island city of Hilo. North of there is some of the most beautiful and dramatic coast line with steep cliffs and deep valleys, hiding waterfalls amidst their forests. Beaches on this side of the island are rocky and black. Cresting the Kohala Mountains, you see the lush greeness of the northeast coast on one side of the mountain and the arid beigeness of miles and miles of ranch land on the other. The contrasts on this island are amazing and truly a "wonder to behold" especially from the air.

This excursion is not inexpensive, but we both feel it was worth every penny as well as the possible risks. Were we to do it all over again (given the recent crash on Molokai), we'd still make the decision to fly around the island with Blue Hawaiian.

Thank CDWBridgehampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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