Nicole Wood talks ‘once in a lifetime’ Hawaiian helicopter tours

Nicole Wood is the owner of Maui Helicopter Tours which provides incredible, one-in-a-lifetime aerial tours of Hawaii’s breathtaking natural landscapes. Nicole helps people enjoy the experience of soaring down the valleys and around the mountain tops of the world-famous Hawaiian Islands, with plenty of opportunity to take amazing photographs that are cherished for decades to come.

Nicole is clearly passionate about her business and providing a highly memorable and enjoyable experience for her customers. Setting up a competitive aerial tour company in a hot tourist destination like Hawaii is not small task and Nicole has an impressive tale to tell about how she got to where she is today.

We asked Nicole some questions about her business.

What got you into tourism in Hawaii and providing helicopter tours in particular?

I have lived in Hawaii for 18 years. 13 years ago I decided I want to work in the visitor industry assisting guests plan their most memorable vacation. I love to travel myself and it is always helpful when you can talk to a local and find out what are the best things to do. Almost all of my guests I spoke with, were interested in booking a helicopter trip. One day the light bulb went on and I decided I wanted to help create a website where visitors can get all of the information they need to book their adventure.

What do you think makes the Hawaii archipelago so great for helicopter tours?

The Hawaiian Islands are the most remote islands in the world. They also boast some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. A Maui helicopter trip offers a chance to view the tallest sea cliffs in the world, lush rainforest and unbelievable waterfalls. You can also view Haleakala Crater, the world’s largest series of dormant volcanos. Most of Hawaii can only be seen by air so there is no better way to experience this beautiful island.

Did you encounter any challenges in establishing your business, and if so, how did you overcome them?

Our team has learned a lot along the way and thankfully have not come across too many challenges. People are drawn to our company because there is a real need for a website, where our customers can look at all of their options in one place. We know it can be challenging to decide which trip is best. For many, flying in a helicopter is a once in a lifetime experience. We treat our customers like family and believe that good customer service is the foundation of a successful business.

What are the differences between your helicopters and flight packages?

There are three flight patterns that we offer. The 45 minute Hana and Haleakala, 45 minute West Maui and Molokai and the 60 minute Complete Island. You can also add a private landing on to the Complete Island. We also offer Eco Star aircraft and A Star aircraft. They are both built with the guests viewing experience in mind, but the Eco Star takes it a step further offering 23 % more space inside, captain’s chairs and wrap around windows.

The complete island & private landing package sounds very tempting – can you tell us more about it?

The complete Island adventure covers all the highlights of Maui and is a great option for our guests who wants to see the island in 60 minutes. Highlights include the Pu’u Kukui watershed, where the beginning scene of Jurassic Park was filmed. Highlights also include the lush waterfalls of the Hana rainforest as well as world famous Haleakala Crater. The private landing adds another dimension to this breathtaking flight. Experience the added bonus of landing on the outside slopes of Haleakala where you take in the gorgeous views of upcountry.

Do you have any tips for people so that they can have the best possible experience during their Hawaii helicopter tour?

I always recommend to my guests to wear dark clothing without designs. They are always surprised by this, but light and bright clothes will show more of a reflection when taking pictures. I also recommend my guests to give themselves enough time to drive to the heliport. They need to check in 45 minutes early for the safety briefing. If my guests are tall, I recommend flying in an Eco Star aircraft for more leg room and comfort.

What’s next for the business? How would you like to expand your services into the future?

Many people prefer to shop online. We will continue to grow our business with that concept in mind.  We will be adding more employees to our team as our company grows. Offering great customer service will continue to be at the forefront of our business model. We are also planning to expand to other Hawaiian islands in the near future.

Thank you Nicole for sharing your thoughts!
You can follow up with Nicole Wood at

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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