Kualoa is known as one of the most beautiful and sacred historic sites on Oahu – Hawaii. Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000-acre private wildlife sanctuary and cattle ranch with more than 500 head of cattle. It is a popular Hawaiian attraction, with many attractions and things to do. The ranch is particularly well-known because it was used as a filming location for many well-known Hollywood films.
It has now been in the hands of the family for six generations, who have made it their mission to bring visitors closer to the country and tell its history.
In addition to protecting Hawaii’s natural beauty and culture, they seek to develop a recreational and farming operation that is compatible with the environment.
The ranch is located northeast of Oahu in the Hawaiian countryside, along the white sands of Kaneohe Bay. Only 24 miles from Honolulu.
According to act-test-centers, Kualoa Ranch consists of 3 valleys: Kaʻaʻawa Valley with most of the movie locations, Kualoa Valley and the Hakipu’u Valley with an old Hawaiian fish pond and the Secret Island Beach. The diverse landscapes here are impressive, ranging from dense rainforest to wide open valleys and from beautiful white sandy beaches to green cliffs.
Visitors can explore the reserve on horseback, 4×4, quad and hiking tours. The highlight here is the visit to the Jurassic Park scenery, which was filmed here. Many other Hollywood movies such as Jurassic World, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbour, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates were filmed here. But the Kualoa Ranch was also used as a backdrop in several popular TV series such as Hawaii Five-0, Magnum or Lost.
History of the Kualoa Ranch
From the 13th to the 18th centuries, the valley was sacred to the ancient Hawaiians when Chief La’a-mai-kahiki settled here before returning to Tahiti. It was the site of the sacred drums of Kapahu’ula and Ka’ahu’ulapunawai, as well as the sacred mound of Kauakahiakaho’owaha and the key to the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Oahu.
In 1850, an American physician, Dr. Gerrit P. Judd 622 hectares of ranch land from King Kamehameha III in Kualo. dr Judd was the first person to translate medical journals into the Hawaiian language for King Kamehameha. In 1860, Dr. Judd bought another 5,000 acres and in 1880 Dr. Judd’s son Charles another 1188 acres.
In 1863, Charles Judd and his brother-in-law, Samuel Garner Wilder, started a sugar cane plantation and built a sugar mill on the ranch. After several years of little production, sugar production came to an end and the mill was closed. The ruins of the old sugar mill can still be seen along the Kamehameha Highway.
In 1941, during World War II, the US military occupied the country and turned it into Kualoa Airfield. After the war the ranch was returned to the Morgan family, the owners and descendants of Dr. Judd.
In 1974 the ranch was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today Kualoa Ranch is open for tours. More than 50 movies and TV shows such as Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, 50 First Dates, You, Me and Dupree, Hawaii Five-0, Mighty Joe Young, Pearl Harbour, Windtalkers, Godzilla and Lost have been filmed here over the years years filmed.
Kualoa offers an incredibly rich Hawaiian cultural history. Numerous legends and history illustrate the importance and uniqueness of Kualoas land to the ancient Hawaiian people.
Activities at Kualoa Ranch
When visiting Ranch Kualoa, you can book 4×4, ATV, or just horseback tours and explore Oahu’s beautiful countryside. Several different tours are offered here or hike through the nature reserve and discover it on foot. Some hikers climb the Kualoa Ridge’s highest peak, Mount Kānehoalani at 1,900 feet. The Hollywood Movie Sites Tour or the Kaneohe Bay Catamaran Tour are particularly popular here. There is even a petting zoo for the children.
Tours at Kualoa Ranch
Tours for visitors take place on horseback by ATV or on foot. Some of the most beautiful and sacred places on O’ahu are featured. The guides provide guests with information about the natural history, geology, flora and fauna. Enjoy the beauty and culture of Hawai’i on a guided tour of Ranch Kualoa. We have put together some of the most beautiful tours for you here:
Movie Sites & Ranch Tours
On this tour, drive through the Ka’a’awa Valley and see locations where over 50 of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies and TV shows were filmed. You will be driven to the individual attractions in a vintage bus. Photograph the infamous Jurassic Park tree, Godzilla’s footprints, the Windtalkers battlefield and many more must-see locations. You will also be driven to the WWII Army Bunker where you can view movie posters, props and memorabilia from many films. The Movie Sites & Ranch Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Jungle Expedition Tours
An adventurous jungle tour takes you deep into Oahu’s beautiful Hakipu’u Valley. A jungle vehicle takes you through the Hawaiian rainforest, down jungle trails, through stream beds and up steep, bumpy hills. You will be driven to remote locations and see the 800 year old Hawaiian Fishpond. The Jungle Expedition Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond and Tropical Garden Tours
The Old Hawaiian Fishpond & Tropical Garden Tour takes you through the beautiful countryside of Oahu to the ancient Hawaiian fish pond. You will also visit the tropical fruit and flower gardens of Moli’i. The Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond and Tropical Garden Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Secret Island Beach
Take a glass-bottom boat to Secret Island Beaches where you can relax or try water sports. Bring sunscreen, a bathing suit, a towel, and a camera for a great day at the beach at Kualoa Ranch. There are showers and changing rooms at Secret Island. In total, the Secret Island Beach Tour is 2.5 hours long.
Catamaran Boat Tour
Enjoy a catamaran tour of the blue waters of Kaneohe Bay. Departure starts from Moli’i Port and heads to Secret Island where you board the catamaran for a tour of the bay. On this tour you will see the iconic Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hut) and Hokule’a Beach. If you are lucky you can feed turtles and watch whales. This tour offers spectacular views of Hakipu’u, Kualoa and the Ko’olau Mountains. The Catamaran Boat Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Zipline Oahu Hawaii
This tour begins at the top of the Ka’a’awa Valley, spanning 7 exhilarating tandem sections and 2 suspension bridges. On this tour, you’ll learn about Hawaiian traditions and experience the Ka’a’awa Valley by zip line. You’ll zoom over native flora and fauna and cross natural streams. Book a tour and experience the Ka’a’awa Valley where Jurassic World was filmed from above.
ATV Tours Hawaii
Experience Kualoa Ranch on a two-hour ATV tour through scenic valleys and remote areas.
Protection of the ranch Kualoa
Kualoa Ranch is dedicated to preserving and restoring many of the native ecosystems of the fishponds, forests and coastal areas. Other projects include the protection of rare and endangered plants, with many local volunteers helping out.
Weddings at Kualoa Ranch
The Kualoa Ranch is often used as a wedding location. White beaches, hidden valleys, majestic mountains, ancient Hawaiian cultural sites, historic ranch buildings and secluded gardens provide wonderful backdrops for wedding photos or wedding receptions.
Kualoa opening hours
Open every day except Christmas and New Year’s Eve, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Driving to Kualoa Ranch
It is located on the Windswept Coast of O’ahu in Hawai’i, about 24 miles from Honolulu and 32 miles from Haleiwa. It is easily accessible via Hawaii State Route 83, where it lies between Kaaawa and Waikane.
Address of Kualoa Ranch attraction
49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe