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What to do on Vacation: Take a Sunshine Helicopter Tour of Hawaii's Big Island

By Edited Jun 18, 2016 4 4


Hamakua Coast

Get a Bird's Eye View of the Big Island

If you've been to Hawaii but have never taken a helicopter tour, you haven't seen the island! The beauty is vast and spread out; a view from above allows you to see parts of the Big Island not accessible by automobile or on foot. A tour of Hawaii from the air can be a new and exciting experience for the entire family, and Sunshine Helicopter Tours is one of The Big Island's premier helicopter touring companies.  

Choose the Location, the Helicopter and the Tour

Sunshine has two locations to choose from, begin your adventure from either the Hapuna Heliport or Hilo airport.

Next, decide which helicopter you would like, there are two to choose from:

The 'WhisperSTAR' is the ultimate in sightseeing helicopters. The usual three front seat configuration is replaced with two front seats. Passengers enjoy "First Class" seating next to the pilot, with extra arm and leg room. The open Seating allows for up to si

Sunshine Helicopter
x-passengers and seat assignments are determined by weight and balance. The WhisperSTAR also has additional plexiglass and elevated rear seats for greater visibility and comfort.

Next is the industry standard "Black Beauty," which was upgraded in 2008 to the all new FX. It has all forward facing customized bench style seats, providing excellent visibility. The FX carries more weight, flies faster, is quieter and more fuel efficient.

The final decision is which tour to take:

Kohala Coast
The Big Island Coast

The Volcano Deluxe Tour is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, and takes you above the Big Island's active volcano, Kilauea; through the hidden tropical valleys of the Kohala mountains, with dozens of roaring waterfalls; and above the beautiful rainforest of the Hamakua coast.

The Kohala/HamaKua Coast Tour is 30 to 40 minutes long and takes you through the Kohala BMountains with panoramic views of the South Kohala Resort coastline; past Waimea over the sweeping pasture lands of the Kahua and Ponoholo Ranches in route to the lush tropical rainforest of Hamakua; and the hidden valleys of Waimanu, Pololu and Waipio, with dozens of roaring waterfalls.

Bird's Eye View of the Ocean
Hawaii's Waterfalls

Sunshine also offers an 'Early Bird' Tour departing early in the morning, leaving you with enough time to enjoy the rest of your day on the island.

See The Big Island's Volcanoes like You've Never Seen Them Before

Big Island Volcano

The Island of Hawaii was born from five separate volcanoes, Kohala (extinct), Mauna Kea (dormant), Hualalai (dormant), Mauna Loa (active, last erupted in 1984), and Kilauea (active).

Sunshine Helicopters take you above the Big Island's active volcano, Kilauea, which means "spewing" or "much spreading." Kilauea is the youngest volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii and the most recent eruption has been continuous since January 3, 1983.

Sunshine Will Pick You Up

If you are a guest of the Hapuna Beach Prince or Mauna Kea Hotels, Sunshine will send a van to your hotel to pick you up and drop you off after your adventure.

Sunshine Helicopter Van

Purchase a DVD of Your Sky Adventure

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on The Big Island 10

Sunshine Helicopters offer an exclusive “Sky-Cam DVD system” which records a virtual 360° panorama view of your actual flight. You can relive all the exciting moments of your helicopter adventure anytime with a DVD video of your flight which includes narration by the pilot.



If you're wondering what to do on vacation: take a Sunshine Helicopter tour of Hawaii's Big Island!

For information on other topics see the following;


Lapakahi State Historical Park 6

The Big Island of Hawaii


Lapakahi State Historical Park 5

Lapakahi State Historical Park in Hawaii


The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on The Big Island 12

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii







Aug 29, 2011 6:24pm
One of my daughter-in-laws had a bucket list that included flying over a volcano in Hawaii. She did it last spring. Said it was the bomb...
Sep 20, 2011 4:39pm
Hawaii is definitely on my top 10 list of places to visit; hopefully I will go there next year and for sure will take a helicopter tour now. :)
Oct 10, 2011 4:47pm
We have cruised to Hawaii, and it was awesome. I want to return, and the Sunshine Helicopter Tour sounds like an exciting way to see what we couldn't see on our tours. My husband doesn't like to fly, so I know he won't go, but maybe I can go with others. Thanks for sharing the info and your lovely pictures.
Apr 8, 2012 9:38pm
Thanks everyone!
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