Hawaii Aerial Shots: Haleakala sunrise

20 Hawaii Aerial Shots That Will Blow Your Mind


Millions of people flock to Hawaii every year to enjoy the turquoise waters, lush rainforests, and balmy breezes. Take a look at these jaw-dropping Hawaii aerial shots, and get ready to explore some of our islands’ most gorgeous spots from the air!   


#1:  La Perouse Bay, Maui

The Big Island isn’t the only one to have volcanic bragging rights. La Perouse Bay on Maui’s south shore is the site of Maui’s most recent volcanic activity, dating back to the 1700s.  

Hawaii aerial shots: La Perouse Bay on Maui



#2:  Hana, Maui

The eastern side of Maui is known for its breathtaking scenery. Most of Hana’s rugged cliffs and countless waterfalls can only be viewed by air


Hawaii aerial shots: Hana waterfalls from rugged cliffs



#3:  Makena Beach, Maui

Makena Beach (aka Big Beach) in South Maui is an absolute gem, and it’s just as spectacular from above. 

Hawaii aerial shots: Makena Beach on Maui



#4:  Kauai, Hawaii

Known as the Garden Island, Kauai’s lush landscape is brimming with waterfalls.  Many of the must-see waterfalls are extremely remote, which will require you to either be an advanced hiker or see them by air.  

Hawaii aerial shots: waterfall on Kauai



#5:  Haleakala, Maui

If you are ready to take your Hawaiian experience to the next level, Haleakala National Park is for you.  This volcanic crater is 10,023 feet above sea level, and watching the sun rise from up here will change your life!  

Hawaii aerial shots: Haleakala sunrise



#6:  Kaanapali, Maui

The west side of Maui is made up of some of Hawaii’s most luxurious resorts.  And for a good reason!  The beaches are some of the best in the world.  Here’s a bird’s eye view of Kaanapali Beach and Pu’u Keka’a (aka Black Rock).


Hawaii aerial shots: Kaanapali Beach
© Polinahe Photography


#7: Kamaole Beach, Maui

Kamaole Beach is a popular place to swim and sun. Located in the heart of Kihei, this 1.5-mile stretch of beach is the perfect spot to hang out all day and keep everyone in your group as happy as Hawaiian clams.  

Hawaii aerial shots: Kamaole Beach on Maui



#8:  Napali Coast, Kauai

One of the most famous sights on the North Shore of Kauai is the Napali Coast.  From the cascading waterfalls to the 17-mile stretch of emerald-green cliffs, there is nothing quite as breathtaking as this coastline.  While there is a trail that has partial access, it ranges from difficult to treacherous.  Many island visitors prefer to see the Napali Coast by boat or by air.

Hawaii aerial shots: Na Pali Coast, Kauai



#9:  Napali Coast, Kauai

This coastline is so stunning, we felt inspired to share one more mind-blowing picture.  Napali means “many cliffs” in Hawaiian, and some of these cliffs rise up as high as 4,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.      

Hawaii aerial shots: rugged cliffs on the Na Pali Coast, Kauai



#10:  Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Kauai’s Waimea Canyon is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”  There are plenty of trails for beginning and seasoned hikers alike, but this 14-mile long, 3,600-foot deep canyon may take you a while to traverse, so prepare accordingly.     

Hawaii aerial shots: Waimea Canyon, Kauai



#11:  Lanai, Hawaii

Maui’s “sister island,” Lanai, has an easygoing, small-town character and offers a great place for a day excursion. There is a ferry operating between Maui (Lahaina) and Lanai — the only interisland ferry service in the state.


Hawaii aerial shots: the island of Lanai from the air



#12:  Haleakala, Maui

Flying over Haleakala provides a stunning “moonscape” view. Out of this world!


Hawaii aerial shots: view of Haleakala from the air



#13:  Lahaina Harbor, Maui

From whale watching to sport fishing, this little town has a lot to offer!  While there is plenty to do in Lahaina, almost everyone stops in their tracks when the sunset starts to paint the sky in a vibrant rainbow of tropical colors. Grab a seat at one of the ocean front restaurants and enjoy the show!  

Hawaii aerial shots: Lahaina harbor on Maui



#14:  Big Island, Hawaii

Eight of the world’s 13 climate zones exist on the Big Island (Hawaii Island), from snowcapped mountains to parched deserts. Plus this island has bragging rights to an active volcano and black, white and green sand beaches!  While it is possible to laze away your vacation days here, this island is really built for adventurers.  

Hawaii aerial shots: Big Island



#15:  Molokini, Hawaii

Molokini is a partially submerged volcanic crater located 3 miles off the southern coast of Maui. This area is a Marine Life Conservation District and a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving tours!

Hawaii aerial shots: the island of Molokini by air



#16:  Molokai, Hawaii

Molokai, Maui’s other “sister island” (in addition to the island of Lanai), is nothing short of magnificent.  Untouched by mass development and crowds of tourists, this pristine island is a step back in time.  The eastern cliffs are the tallest in the world, and the only way you can grasp their magnitude is from a bird’s eye view of Mother Nature’s masterpiece.  


Hawaii aerial shots: Molokai sea cliffs



#17:  Oahu, Hawaii  

The Diamond Head Lighthouse is an iconic sight when visiting the island of Oahu.  Sitting atop the extinct Diamond Head volcano, this antique lighthouse was built in 1899 and with the assistance of a concrete reinforcement, still stands today.  It is not open to the public, but you can see it from Diamond Head Road.      

Hawaii aerial shots: Diamond Head lighthouse in Honolulu, Hawaii



#18:  Honolulu, Oahu

If you’ve had your fair share of rainforests and waterfalls, the city side of Oahu is a breath of busy air for those needing a little night life.  It’s no wonder that Oahu has adopted the nickname “The Gathering Place.”  From good eats to great surf and Waikiki Beach, this island has a little bit of everything!    

Hawaii aerial shots: Waikiki



#19:  Road to Hana, Maui

The Road to Hana can be truly memorable if you know what to expect.  This winding road isn’t for those prone to car sickness or an aversion to narrow roads that barely fit two lanes of traffic.  But if you are up for a little adventure and lots of stunning scenery, this experience fits the bill.  The dense rainforest, the tropical fruit stands along the road, the thrill of discovering a hidden waterfall, the charming town of Hana…all well worth the drive! 

Hawaii aerial shots: Road to Hana, Maui



#20:  Upcountry, Maui

From tropical beaches to pine tree forests, Maui’s upcountry is a literal breath of fresh air.  The elevation offers one of the most spectacular views of Maui without battling the crowds to snag a picture.  There are plenty of unique activities up here depending on your interests.  Scout out the local Maui wine tasting or the farm-to-table dining up here!   

Hawaii aerial shots: view of the island from upcountry Maui 


Mahalo to Hawaii Web Group for their collaboration on this great article!

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