Steve's China Blog

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Air tour of Big Island

Early on our fourth day on Big Island we drove to the Kailua Kona airport for our air tour of the island. We looked at several air tours and decided to take one of the airplane tours. Originally we were thinking about a helicopter tour, but those were only 45 minutes long and only covered a specific part of the island, whereas the airplane tour was 2 hours and covered the entire island.

The airplane we flew in held 8 passengers and the pilot. Everyone on board had a window seat (which was not the case in some of the helicopters).

Jackie has her coffee, so we're ready

Our pilot was a Hawaiian and knew a lot about the island, its history, and also about the local legends.

Our pilot and tour guide

We got our safety briefing, boarded the aircraft, did our sound check so everyone could hear the pilot, and then took off.

Jackie checks her headsets

All buckled in and ready to fly

Here is just a few of the pictures we took while on the air tour...

Coastline off of Kailua Kona

Where lava met the sea a long time ago

Southwest part of the island

Recent lava flows to the sea

Cliff by the shore along the southern side of the island

Volcano in the distance

Lava travels through lava tubes underground to reach the sea

This use to be a residential neighborhood that was overrun by lava

Pele (goddess of fire and volcanoes) must be nearby

Harbor at Hilo on the east side of Big Island

Akaka Falls

A beautiful jungle valley

Jungle along the coast

Some of the huge coastal waterfalls

Another beautiful coastline on the northern part of the island

They film movies and TV shows (like Lost) in some of these valleys

Another view of this really large valley

A white sand beach along the northwest part of the island

Another white sand beach along the northwest part of the island

Altogether I think Jackie and I shot over 200 pictures on this air tour. I am kind of limited as to how many pictures I can publish in each post, so I could not put too many here. Other things we saw were macadamia nut orchids, coffee farms, cattle ranches, a fishing village, small towns, jungles, deserts, beaches... Big Island has a lot to see.


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