Kualoa Ranch – Oahu, Hawaii

Kualoa Ranch is a 4000 acre working cattle ranch about a 45 minute drive from Waikiki.  The terrain of the Kualoa Ranch ranges from valley to rainforest to beach to cliff face.  In my opinion, it is some of the most beautiful terrain in Oahu.  When we were planning our itinerary, Kualoa Ranch kept popping up in our research but I was hesitant to book a tour.  Though my love for film locations made me want to visit, we were also trying to avoid tours and locking ourselves into a scheduled activity. 

We went to dinner with friends who have lived in Oahu for many years.  While we were out to dinner, Kualoa Ranch came up and she admitted that she took a tour of the ranch for the first time a few months before we were there.  She said that even though it is a hot tourist tour, it is well worth the time and money because a tour is also the only way to see this part of the island. 

We decided to take the Movie Sites and Ranch Tour because it is only an hour long and there were other things we wanted to do that day.  The one hour tour costs $23 per adult and $15 per child.  The Movie Sites and Ranch Tour takes you on an bus tour through the Ka’a’awa Valley with stops at different filming locations.  We saw sites of the Pearl Harbor film:


We saw where they hid from dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.  I tried to get Daddy J to pretend to hide, but he wasn’t interested!


We saw Hurley’s golf course.


As well as the submarine from Lost (Hello…do you see how tiny that is?!).


We saw Godzilla’s footprints!  That green vehicle was our ride for the tour.


The Oahu mom was right when she guessed Godzilla’s footprints but like she said, she kind of has an unfair advantage!


We saw what is left of the Windtalkers scene.


We saw some of the Mighty Joe Young film spot too…


We also saw some beautiful scenery.





Kualoa Ranch offers many different tours.  You can take one tour or you can take several tours and spend all day on the ranch.  There are horseback tours, ATV tours, boat tours and more.

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Tours begin early in the morning.  The early morning and evening tours are usually the least crowded according to the employee we spoke to.  The tours often fill up so you will want to buy your tickets in advance.  That being said, we showed up for the 9am tour and had no problem getting on to the tour.
  • There is a small cafeteria style restaurant that is open during different times of the day.  Depending on which tours you choose, lunch/dinner may be provided.
  • Because of traffic, it will take you about 45m to get to the Kuaoloa Ranch from Waikiki.
  • If you are only going to do one tour, plan it for the morning and take a ride up to the North Shore for lunch at one of the many Shrimp Trucks or Ted’s.

Stop by Trekaroo Spotlight Thursday to see many different travel posts!

Oahu Family Vacation on raveable


  1. 1

    Such a beautiful valley! Embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve only seen it from the air. Really need to get over there and take a ground tour too! Thanks for the link to my blog – appreciate it!

  2. 2

    I took the 1hr Jungle Expedition and 1hr ATV tours. Next time I’m signing up for the 2hr ATV and 1hr horseback ride. I have been to Hawaii more times than I can count (Thankfully). But I have never seen such beautiful and majestic sites as I saw that day on my ATV. There is a part of the ride where you ride down into the valley…..It was the most spectacular view I have ever seen. Truly heaven on earth, I had a tear strolling down my cheek as I took in my surroundings. I have recommended this tour to friends visiting the Island and they too have come away with the same feeling and like me will be a repeat visitor!!!! Mahalo…