oahu helicopter tours

Best Oahu Helicopter Tours | 7 Things You Need To Know Before Flying

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Hawaii has some of the best helicopter tours in the entire world, and the Oahu helicopter tours are out of this world. If you're visiting the island of Oahu, consider booking a doors-off helicopter tour to see this beautiful, lush island from a birds eye point of view!

I've put together a guide for everything you need to know when booking a helicopter tour in Hawaii, what to expect, what my personal favorite tour is, and so much more that you'll want to remember!

Table Of Contents

oahu helicopter tours

Oahu Helicopter Tours

My top 3 favorite tours on Oahu!

Oahu Helicopter Tours | What will I get to see?

I did the doors-off helicopter ride with in-flight landing with Paradise Helicopters for 20 minutes around Oahu starting at the Turtle Bay Resort. These are a list of the things I saw on our 40-minute tour:

Dole Plantation

North Shore Surf

Pearl Harbor

Ko’olau mountain range

Stairway to Heaven

Kaneohe Bay

Kualoa Ranch

Chinaman’s Hat

Sacred Falls

You’ll see from all of the photos in this article that the views were insanely beautiful, and we are so glad that we did the doors-off helicopter!

oahu helicopter tours

How do I book a helicopter tour on Oahu?

How you can book a helicopter tour on Oahu is by booking online at the tour you’d like to take. If you check out this Paradise Helicopter Tour that I did, you’ll see the same views featured in this article!

oahu helicopter tours
oahu helicopter tours

7 Things you need to know before flying in a doors-off helicopter in Hawaii

1. Be sure to check the weather before your Hawaii helicopter tour. The pilots monitor the weather patterns, but here in Hawaii the weather is unpredictable. I’d recommend booking your helicopter tour early in your vacation if you’re visiting the islands.

2. If you’re prone to motion sickness, I’d recommend taking motion sickness medication (that you have taken before) before your flight. The rides are very smooth, however, especially in the doors-off helicopter be sure to look straight in front of you if you’re feeling sick, and don’t look through your camera lens or cell phone if you’re feeling sick.

3. If you have long hair, pull it back! I suggest pulling it back into a tight bun. If you’re doing the doors-off helicopter ride, your hair will be ALL over your face! Pull it back before the flight tight.

4. Wear warm clothing! I know it’s hot in Hawaii. Especially in the summer it can be so humid. Trust me, wearing jeans and a light jacket will help with the cool wind. When you’re high in the air for 40+ minutes it does get chilly!

5. If you’re bringing a camera, you have to have a strap for it, or they will not let you take it on the helicopter. I had two cameras with straps, along with an attachment for my iPhone that allows my phone to be secured on top of my camera. I highly recommend getting one! You can find those here.

6. The seating arrangement is VERY important on the flight. I’d suggest calling ahead of time to make sure you get a window seat. On the flight I was on, 3 out of the 4 seats had windows. I sat on the right side of the helicopter and honestly I think that was the best seat! I was beside the pilot in the front, on the right.

7. NO bags are allowed on the doors-off helicopter!

oahu helicopter tours
Oahu Helicopter Tours

Where to stay on Oahu? Here are my top 3 hotels!

  1. Royal Hawaiian (known as the pink hotel) Super cute hotel right on Waikiki strip!
  2. Four Seasons Ko’Olina (luxury and relaxing experience)
  3. Parkshore Waikiki hotel (budget friendly) with the best view of Diamond Head, it’s at the end of the Waikiki strip

Best time to book Oahu helicopter tours

The BEST time to book is in the morning to early afternoon. My flight time was at 1:00pm, and check-in was at 12:30pm. This was a really awesome time to book! I suggest the morning also for calmer winds and usually less clouds.

What to expect if you book the Paradise Helicopter ride from Turtle Bay Resort

We left from Turtle Bay Resort, and parking was very simple and easy. There’s free parking here directly by the check-in area. Just park in that little lot beside their office, and follow the signs. Easy!

You’ll check-in 30 minutes prior to your flight time. You’ll hang out in the waiting area, sign a waiver, and watch a safety video. Restrooms are there as well. I recommend highly that you use them before your flight!!

oahu helicopter tours

First, you’ll see the view of the Turtle Bay Resort and the North Shore! Then you’ll head over to the Dole Plantation.

dole plantation
Dole plantation

Then, you’ll head over the H3 highway to Pearl Harbor. You’ll see incredible aerial views starting with a taste of history over Pearl Harbor, the WWII Arizona Memorial, and Battleship Missouri.

After that, you’ll head over the H3 Highway, beside the famous Stairway to Heaven hike. I was able to capture beautiful photos of the stairway, and if you look closely you can see hikers!

The the pilot took us over the Ko’olau ridge, to the breathtaking views of the East side of the island – Kaneohe Bay. You can see in these photos below how the highway hugs the mountain, and it’s SO beautiful.

We flew over Kaneohe Bay in the ocean, which was absolutely insane views of the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar. Then we went past Chinaman’s Hat and over to Kualoa Ranch, where we landed for 20 minutes.

We landed in-flight on top of Kualoa Ranch overlooking the ranch and the ocean! The pilot was incredible this entire time, and made us all feel so safe and had the best time! There was even a surprise proposal on the flight, and this is the best place to have a surprise proposal in Hawaii!

Surprise Proposal Ideas on Oahu, Hawaii

Many of the Oahu helicopter tours offers so many options when booking! If you’re thinking about popping the question in a super fun, adventurous way, consider booking the in-flight helicopter tour so you can propose on the edge of Kualoa Ranch!

aloha dreams photography
Copyright to Aloha Dreams Photography

Aloha Dreams Photography captured these beautiful images of the surprise proposal! If you’re thinking about booking a surprise proposal with an Oahu helicopter tour, I recommend the in-flight landing at the top of Kualoa Ranch to do your surprise proposal! It will the the most epic proposal of all time!

After witnessing such a beautiful event, we loaded back into the helicopter and flew along the coastline to Sacred Falls.

sacred falls oahu hawaii
Sacred Falls Oahu Hawaii – Oahu helicopter tours

Final conclusions about Oahu helicopter tours:

If you’re planning on visiting Oahu, I HIGHLY recommend booking a doors-off helicopter ride! It will be one of your highlights of your entire trip. Trust me! It’s the best way to see the entire island.

If you’re visiting Oahu, consider reading my other Hawaii blog posts on amazing things to here!

My Photography Gear:

  1. Sony ZV-1F Vlog Camera for Content Creators and Vloggers White
  2. Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (base only)
  3. Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 for Sony Mirrorless Full Frame
  4. Camera Backpack 17.3 inch (with laptop flap)
  5. 128 GB memory card SanDisk
  6. 5 TB external hard drive
abby hawaii


We are Abby & Nash Hagen, a married couple who lives in Hawaii and loves to travel the world! Our goal is to help you with your travels, and inspire you to get outside to see God’s beautiful world! :)

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