Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000 acre private nature reserve as well as a working cattle ranch. The ranch is located approximately 24 miles outside of Waikiki on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
The terrain on the ranch varies from steep mountain cliffs to lush Hawaiian rainforests and wide open valleys. The ranch supports more than 600 head of cattle, 120 horses, 200 pigs and 100 sheep while its rich agricultural lands grow cacao, banana, papaya and breadfruit.
The ranch was established in 1850 with a mission to protect and enhance the natural beauty of the land while supporting recreational and agricultural activities that are compatible with the environment.
The two main activities for visitors are to enjoy the natural beauty of the ranch and to experience recreational outdoor activities in the unspoiled nature of Hawaii.
The Kualoa valley is a one of a kind natural formation. The vertically ridged cliffs covered with lush tropical vegetation on both sides of the grassy valley floor are like nothing else that I have ever seen.
The beauty of this valley is truly amazing! All of the photos in this post were taken from the valley floor looking up at this unique natural formation. It is a huge valley and it is literally impossible to show the full view without seeing it from an aerial view.
Being in surrounded by such a beautiful natural setting is hard to communicate through a few photos which all seem to be similar so the best I can do is to share my photos and hope that one day you can experience it for yourself.
Activities at Kualoa Ranch
There are several different activities that are available at Kualoa Ranch. Most of the activities are designed for exploring and adventure. Guided tours of the ranch include ATVs, ziplining, mountain biking, horseback riding, jeeps or just hiking through the reserve. Any of these activities are fun to do but when they are done in the setting of the Kualoa Ranch they are even more enjoyable.
Movies and TV shows filmed at Kualoa Ranch
While spending time at the ranch many places look familiar from various movies and TV shows. There have been countless movies and TV shows that have been filmed at the Kualoa Ranch and one of the activities available is to take a movie set tour.
The tour is given on an old school bus that travels on a dirt road through the ranch. Seeing sights where movies have been filmed is always fun because it gives us a connection to the movie or show but don’t expect to see any of the actual props used in the show because they have almost all been removed. There are signs at various place along the road to designate where the show was filmed but the site has been restored back to its natural condition which is part of the ranch’s mission to protect the natural beauty of the land.
Probably on two of the most famous movies that are associated with the Kualoa Ranch are Jurassic Park and Kong: Skull Island. There are still props remaining from these movies which will remind you of famous scenes of those movies.
The ranch is packed with movie sites and those sites are designated with signs from the movie. Other than the two movies previously mentioned, some of the more popular shows that used Kualoa Ranch as a backdrop are Jurassic World, Lost, Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., Fantasy Island, Jumanji and Journey 2.
There is a small museum at the ranch that has some show sets still remaining and props along with photos and poster of some of the movies that were filmed here. A few of these are shown in the photos below.
The Kualoa Ranch is one of the most beautiful places that I have seen. The natural formations of the cliffs that frame the Kualoa Valley are a defining feature that is instantly recognizable to this location.
It is easy to see why so many adventure movies are filmed here because the terrain has the feeling that it is from a land that was lost in time. Entering into the valley feels like stepping back into an era before modern day civilization.
Some of the scenery is so noticeably associated with certain movies that I could visualize dinosaurs running across the valley or Kong’s battle with the skull crawler.
One of my favorite parts of the movie set tour was riding on the old army green school bus which made me feel like I was on the medical bus from the TV series M*A*S*H (not filmed at the ranch).