Hawaii part 2: Kauai, the Garden Isle

For the third time in as many days, we got up early to catch a plane, this time from Kahului on Maui to Honolulu on Oahu with continuing service to Lihue on Kauai where we arrived around 9:30 in the morning. Our first order of business was to pick up our rental car, a Jeep Wranger. I had wanted to drive one of those for a long time, and I finally got my chance. With our Wrangler, we drove to Harbor Mall where the offices of Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours are located. This is the second page documenting our Hawaiian vacation; from here, you can also access page 1.

The Helicopter Tour

As we were a bit early for our 11:30 a.m. appointment, we looked around the mall, spoke with a parrot, and had some ice cream at Skinny Mike's shop. Soon it was time for our security briefing, then we were driven to the airfield where Jose, our pilot, was preparing our helicopter for the doors-off tour. This flight was incredible! If you are considering a helicopter tour in Kauai, the Big Island, or Oahu, we highly recommend Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours. You can't go wrong with them—their service is amazing! I took a brief video of parts of our flight; you may view a small and highly compressed version (15 megabytes) here.

Click on any image to see a larger (2400 x 1600 pixel) version!


Jose, our pilot, is taking the doors off the R44 helicopter in preparation for our no-doors flight

Jose, our pilot, is taking the doors off the R44 helicopter in preparation for our no-doors flight


We're off! Following the coastline

We're off!

Following the coastline


Moving inland Rough terrain amid lush vegetation

Moving inland

Rough terrain amid lush vegetation


Volcanic ridges A first of many waterfalls

Volcanic ridges

A first of many waterfalls


There doesn't seem to be a way... ...to see these waterfalls... ...other than from the air.

There doesn't seem to be a way...

...to see these waterfalls...

...other than from the air.


Heading back to the shore Colorful landscape One of many Kauai beaches

Heading back to the shore

Colorful landscape

One of many Kauai beaches


A different look at he same beach Pebbly shoreline

A different look at he same beach

Pebbly shoreline


Hanalei bay on the north shore of Kauai The many colors of the Pacific Ocean

Hanalei bay on the north shore of Kauai

The many colors of the Pacific Ocean


Continuing to explore the north shore Moving back inland

Continuing to explore the north shore

Moving back inland


We are just below the clouds... ...that wrap around the mountain. One of many multi-tiered waterfalls

We are just below the clouds...

...that wrap around the mountain.

One of many multi-tiered waterfalls


There is a great deal of water on Kauai "Broccoli-trees" A different type of landscape

There is a great deal of water on Kauai

"Broccoli-trees"

A different type of landscape


Waimea Canyon Above Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon

Above Waimea Canyon State Park


Flying below the clouds Heading back to the ocean Following the shore

Flying below the clouds

Heading back to the ocean

Following the shore


Kapaia reservoir Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park

Kapaia reservoir

Ahukini Recreational Pier State Park


On the way back to Lihue Airport The happy passengers (photo by Jose)

On the way back to Lihue Airport

The happy passengers (photo by Jose)

Hanapēpē and Waimea Canyon State Park

On our way to Waimea Canyon, we stopped in Hanapēpē. We explored the little town (2,638 inhabitants in 2010), walked across its swinging bridge, saw a bookstore that sets a United States record, and had a surprisingly tasty lunch at the MCS Grill.


The Hanapēpē River

The Hanapēpē River


Another thing I always wanted to do: drive a Jeep Wrangler Downtown Hanapēpē

Another thing I always wanted to do: drive a Jeep Wrangler

Downtown Hanapēpē


Hanapēpē Hawaiian Congregation (Presbyterian church) Downtown Hanapēpē

Hanapēpē Hawaiian Congregation (Presbyterian church)

Downtown Hanapēpē


Downtown Hanapēpē Hanapēpē Town Park

Downtown Hanapēpē

Hanapēpē Town Park


Hanapēpē Swinging Bridge Eric on the swinging bridge These wild roosters are everywhere!

Hanapēpē Swinging Bridge

Eric on the swinging bridge

These wild roosters are everywhere!

We continued our journey to Kalalau Lookout in Kōke'e State Park, stopping at a scenic point along the way to admire Waimea Canyon. When we reached our destination, clouds and fog had rolled in, and while this undoubtedly interfered with the view, it lent the landscape a charm of its own. Finally, we drove back to the airport, returned our Wrangler, and had time for a drink before making our 8:20 p.m. flight to Honolulu where we arrived around 9 o'clock in the evening.


View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road

View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road


View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road

View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road

View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road


View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road

View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road

View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road


View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road By the Kalalau Lookout in Kōke'e State Park

View on Waimea Canyon State Park from a lookout off Kōke'e Road

By the Kalalau Lookout in Kōke'e State Park


It was foggy by the Kalalau lookout... ...but while we were there, the fog lifted in patches.

It was foggy by the Kalalau lookout...

...but while we were there, the fog lifted in patches.


View through patches of fog at Kalalau lookout in Kōke'e State Park

View through patches of fog at Kalalau lookout in Kōke'e State Park

What a great day this has been, and what a fabulous vacation this is turning out to be! So far, we've seen parts of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, and we've only been here two and a half days! The rest of our time in Hawaii will be spent on Oahu. This is the second page documenting our Hawaiian vacation; from here, you can also access page 1. Stay tuned for the continuation of our Hawaiian adventure!

The photos on this page were taken on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.




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