Spoiled From Above

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

Blue-Hawaiian-HelicopterLess than two hours after landing at the Maui airport, we took off again.

Could there be any more of a stunning introduction to a new destination than to survey it intimately from the air? We were set to fly to the interior and see the famed Haleakala crater, but weather closed in and left no visibility, so instead we were taken up to east coast and over to the nearby island of Molokai. We glided up the coast of Maui, crossed the Pailolo channel, skirted the highest sea cliffs in the world on the north side of Molokai, and swooped in for closer view of giant mantas in the longest coral reef in Hawaii.

<sarcasm> I suppose it would do. </sarcasm>

This excursion may have single-handedly ruined all other destinations for us (at least on the introduction to a place).

Our standards are now WAY high.

Maui Coastline
Molokai Ridges

Some of these places are entirely not accessible and only able to be seen by the air. I needed a reminder on where the show Lost was filmed (it was on nearby Kauia, not Maui or Molokai), because some sights were so reminiscent of that colossal wilderness.

Molokai Waterfall
Molokai Landscape
Molokai Pano
Molokai Coastline

<more sarcasm> Our future destinations thank you, Maui, for raising the standards so impossibly high. </more sarcasm>

How to do it

We were well taken care of by the friendly and accommodating staff of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, and were thrilled at the stellar alternative tour offered to the original one (which our pilot even admitted to being his favourite). They even cued up the song Blue Hawaii by Elvis as we took off. How perfect is that?

Where we stayed

From one spectacular introduction to the next, we headed off to the Grand Wailea for the first portion of our stay on Maui. Spoiled, again. It is Hawaii’s premiere resort, for a very good reason. For a review of our stay, please click here.

Many thanks to the Maui Visitors Bureau for having us. As always, all opinions are our own.

24 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • I don’t think everything else will be spoiled (although it is beautiful), lots of over places are lovely too. 🙂
    Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon recently posted..How to Break Down the Language Barrier while Travelling

    • June 20 2014

      But now we must demand a helicopter ride each time. 🙂

  • Angelica @BrooklynChickTravels
    June 19 2014

    Amazing pictures, Hawaii always looks so naturally beautiful. Glad you caught that waterfall – I look for them!

    • June 20 2014

      It really is one of the most visually spectacular places we’ve visited!

  • June 19 2014

    Such an amazing place.

  • A Montrealer Abroad (@marievallieres)
    June 19 2014

    Absolutely gorgeous photos!

  • June 19 2014

    Wow, talk about an introduction! You really can’t beat a helicopter tour, especially in a place like that!
    Amanda recently posted..Spoiling Myself in Paradise (or What I Did on Koh Lanta)

  • Helen
    June 19 2014

    Wow what an amazing place it does look like the setting of lost! I would love to visit here.

  • Lena
    June 19 2014

    My fiance and I went to Kauai in Jan to visit my sister and we felt exactly the same way. We took a helicopter ride (complete with musical soundtrack) several hours before we departed the island. We would both completely agree, how will anything else ever compare?? 🙂 The Hawaiian islands just have that THING. 😀

    • June 20 2014

      They really do. And via helicopter was such an amazing way to see the islands!

  • June 20 2014

    Wonderful shots! You were so lucky to have been hosted 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Siddhartha Joshi recently posted..Varanasi: bathing men on the ghats

    • June 20 2014

      Thanks Sid, but I like to think it has much less to do with luck then the fact that we’ve worked really hard to get to this point.

  • June 20 2014

    Um, this post is all kinds of heartbreaking for me since my heli ride was cancelled! But I guess I can stave off my tears with a reminder that I now have a great reason to go back 🙂
    Alex recently posted..Meet Me at Gate 32B: A Review of The Stopover App

  • Diana Edelman
    June 21 2014

    I have never been in a helicopter and have always thought it would scare the bejsus out of me. BUT if I had scenery like this and a tour like this, I think I could reconsider. How amazing!

    • June 23 2014

      I will admit there were moments that my heart was in my throat as we skirted some of the cliffs, but it was REALLY cool. I’m sure you’d love it!

  • Keliʻi Brown
    June 23 2014

    Lucky? Yes, lucky US here at the Maui Visitors Bureau. This is nothing short of AMAZING. Thank you both!!!

  • June 25 2014

    A very different perspective on Haleakala and Maui than that that I experienced.
    Emme recently posted..Dancing in the Rain at the 2014 CBC Music Festival in this Edition of Monday Moving & Grooving

  • June 25 2014

    Awesome!!! Also, your HTML sarcasm tags are wonderfully geeky. Ha! 🙂
    Mindy & Ligeia recently posted..A Buddhist Funeral for Mae Tee

  • I love flying over all those natural places: I did it twice in New Zealand (Rotorua and Queenstown), over Uluru and the 12 Apostles in Australia and over the Grand Canyon.
    It always blow my mind.
    Now looking forward to one day do it in Maui!
    Great photos
    Claire @ZigZag On Earth recently posted..Video: Wildlife and landscapes of Namibia

  • June 26 2014

    So a no-fly over Haleakala results in flying high over Molokai and beautiful pictures! We took a helicopter flight once over Kauai – and the “Jurassic Park” scenery there was stunning too…
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted..Easy beach days at Viceroy Zihuatanejo

  • It is understandable if that ruins your expectations for all other places because those views are incredible!! One of a kind experience for sure it looks like. Thanks for sharing!
    Vanessa @ Green Global Travel recently posted..MALAYSIA: Bornean Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre

  • July 6 2014

    These helicopter rides always allow for some spectacular pics. I only visited Oahu when in Hawaii, but I would love to go back and visit the other islands!

  • February 23 2015

    Great photos and what an amazing experience guys. My first thought when reading this and seeing the images was “Jurassic Park”, because I think that was filmed in Hawaii as well, and looks like you guys got some of the same views from the end of the film when they fly off in the helicopter.

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