Just a city girl who dreams of dusty trails and endless oceans. www.twentysomething.com.au
Published August 23rd 2017
Adventure, history, famous landmarks, and much more
Kualoa Ranch is a real feather in the cap of an island with endless sightseeing opportunities. It really has got something for everybody, combining amazing scenery, a beautiful beach, WWII history, Hollywood movie scenes and amazing adventures. Top all this off with a dedication to environmentally friendly sustainability projects and you have an amazing day for the entire family.
With ten tour options to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice. We are movie fanatics on a budget, so we went for the Movie Sites Tour. This is a 90 minute tour taking place on an old vintage school bus, which begins with check in at the ranch. While we waited for the tour to begin we wandered over to the horse pen for a few pats. Before the tour begins, you get your photo taken, which you can then buy after the tour. Then you jump on the bus and away you go. I don't want to give too much away, but throughout the duration of the tour you will see the old pillboxes from WWII dotting the landscape, get the opportunity to get out and wander through an old bunker filled with movie paraphernalia, see the valley made famous by Jurassic Park and other popular movies, and have some great photo opportunities. We even saw some wild boar and a lightning fast mongoose as we were having our photo taken at a famous Jurassic Park location. The guide will also introduce you to the various sustainability projects the ranch runs as you roll past. A small note to movie lovers; remember a lot of movies have more computer-generated graphics than actual environment so don't expect everything to look exactly the same.
If you have a bigger budget and crave adventure, then you can take the VIP Movie Sites Tour, a single passenger ATV Tour or the multi-passenger Raptor Tour (a type of off-road buggy). If beaches are more your thing, then you can access the ranches own private beach by crossing their ancient fishpond in a catamaran. On the beach you can enjoy around two hours of kayaking, SUPing, beach volleyball and other beach activities. If you would rather be on the water then the Ocean Voyage Catamaran Tour is for you. There's more adventure to be found with the Jurassic Valley Zipline Tour and the open-aired Jurassic Jungle Expedition Tour. Last but not least, you can always choose to get back to nature with the Horseback Riding Tour or the Fishpond, Fruit and Flower Garden Tour (involving a wonderfully calm catamaran ride on their giant fishpond).
The beautiful mountain range made famous by Jurassic Park
With such amazing tours on offer, it would be easy to spend an entire day at Kualoa Ranch. There is a great café serving delicious, Hawaiian style homemade meals, including the staple Loco Moco (beef burger patty and a fried egg served with rice and gravy). The gift shop is superb, we managed to pick up some delicious Hawaiian hot sauce plus all the usual souvenir classics like hula girls and key rings. They even do weddings if you are looking for a unique location for a destination wedding. Tour bookings can be made online here, I recommend booking several days in advance to avoid missing out. Located on the west coast of the island, Kualoa is very accessible by car, bus or tour pickup options. To drive there, take the Kamehameha Highway, following the signs.