Kauai, Hawaii: Good Things Come In Small Packages

29 March 2016
Read Time: 1.7 mins

Kauai seems like a world away from the flashy, frenetic world of Waikiki Beach where our Hawaiian journey began. Like the feeling you get after a great meal, we left the bustling tourist haven of Waikiki fully satisfied.

Having helped ourselves to all the island of Oahu had to offer, we were ready to embrace the peaceful ambiance of Kauai, a relatively small Hawaiian island known for its idyllic natural settings.

But with only three days to spare, some pretty quick footwork would be required to fit in all Kauai's beautiful sights.

Kauai Kauai is a rugged and untamed island (Image: Jason Dutton-Smith)

Roads are mostly limited to the coastal areas. As it turns out, over 80 percent of Kauai cannot be accessed by land. For this reason, to get a real taste of Kauai's lush garden centre, we began our journey in the sky with a helicopter ride.

Hearing that Jack Harter Helicopters was one of the best, we booked our reservation and made our way to their offices just a few minutes' drive from the airport.

After a quick and efficient check-in, Harter's friendly staff transported us to the airport where our Hughes 500 Helicopter was waiting.

But this was not just any sightseeing helicopter. The zippy-looking, five-passenger Hughes 500 was perfectly suited for photography enthusiasts for one simple reason: it had no doors!

Jack Harter Helicopters No doors means better photos, but also whiter knuckles! (Image: Jason Dutton-Smith)

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The pilot harnessed us into our seats and up, up and away we went. With the wind in our hair and headphones to listen to the pilot's fascinating sightseeing commentary, we were ready for an unforgettable rendezvous with Kauai's clifftops, volcanoes, waterfalls and canyons.

From our flying perch Kauai was laid out before us like some untouched Eden just waiting to be explored. The landscape had been torn apart by the earth's twisting and buckling, leaving behind spectacular clifftops, soaring mountains and stunning canyon fissures.

Nothing could quite prepare us for the exhilarating ride. Flying low along the coast line, reaching new heights over towering ridges that flanked the spectacular Weimea Canyon was just the beginning. Waterfalls, wildlife, whales breaching over the water and more incredible sights overwhelmed the senses.

Jurassic Falls Kauai The world-famous Jurassic Falls recognisable from the film Jurassic Park (Image: Jason Dutton-Smith)

One of the many highlights was hovering above the empty core of a volcano, slowly descending inside before hovering to witness a waterfall dropping hundreds of feet to the ground below.

While the main island of Oahu has countless attractions, the natural beauty of Kauai is hard to resist. And at just a short 40-minute flight from Oahu's Honolulu Airport, this natural island paradise is a must-add to any Hawaiian getaway.

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Hawaii.

Jason Dutton-Smith

I’m a passionate traveller and a first class nomad wannabe. I have a love for the written word and enjoy sharing stories that inspire travel. I like ordinary but love extraordinary. I’ll dance and sing karaoke to anything 80’s, will drink hot tea even if 40 degrees, love food and have a wicked sweet tooth. Architecture excites me, the window seat thrills me and anything aviation enamours me. I’m a perpetual dreamer who lives by Saint Augustine’s wise words – “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. My intention is to read War and Peace!