Jurassic Park Hawaii - A Guide to Visiting Kualoa Ranch
Ever wondered where was Jurassic Park filmed? Or where was Jurassic World filmed? Or where was Lost filmed?! The answer to all of the above is one of my favorite places: Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu. The real life Jurassic Park Hawaii!
Even if you haven’t heard the name Kualoa Ranch before, odds are you’ve seen it many times. Most movies filmed in Hawaii were filmed here: Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Jumanji, 50 First Dates, Lost, Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, Pearl Harbor, You, Me, and Dupree, Mighty Joe Young, and Along Came Polly to name a few!
If you have plans to visit Oahu, I highly recommend spending time at Kualoa Ranch. In case you’re new here: as the daughter of someone born and raised on Oahu, I am a self-proclaimed expert. I have personally been to Oahu dozens of times — more than I can even count — and done just about everything you can do there. Including Kualoa Ranch, of course!
I started visiting Kualoa Ranch fifteen years ago (wow, that makes me feel old) when I was in high school. My mom actually went to high school herself with John Morgan who owns Kualoa Ranch. Every five years when their high school reunion rolls around he graciously hosts us for a beach picnic day at Secret Island, a beach that is part of the ranch (more on that later).
In addition to those Secret Island visits, I’ve paid to go on the majority of the tours they offer. It is such a special place that keeps me coming back for more time and time again. There’s truly something for everyone at Kualoa Ranch Oahu, no matter the age!
So what do you actually do at Kualoa Ranch? All kinds of adventures! You can go on a movie tour to see Jurassic World filming locations (and many other movies filmed in Oahu), an ATV tour, zipline, e-bike (my new fav!), or simply spend the day at a beach filled with countless water activity options.
Jurassic Park Hawaii - A Guide to Visiting Kualoa Ranch
About Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve
Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000 acre private nature reserve and cattle ranch located on the windward coast (the eastern one) of Oahu. Ancient Hawaiians consider it to be one of the most sacred places on the island.
In 1850, King Kamehameha III sold a chunk of land at Kualoa to Dr. Gerritt P. Judd. Over time a few more purchases were made, increasing the acreage to 4,000 eventually, and today the ranch is owned by The Morgans, decedents of Dr. Judd.
The property is split into two parts: the northern half which includes the Kaʻaʻawa Valley, and the southern half which includes Moli’i, an 800-year old ancient Hawaiian fishpond. The majority of the tours take place in the northern part, nicknamed “Jurassic Valley” because it’s a real life Jurassic Park!
Seeing either area is possible only via guided tour. The farthest you can get without a tour is the visitor center and gift shop.
Getting to Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch is located at 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, 24 miles north of Honolulu. The easiest way to get there is by driving yourself. Just type “Kualoa Ranch” into your smart phone and it’ll get you there.
If you’re coming from Honolulu, the quickest way is via the Likelike Hwy. This route will take around 45 minutes. If you prefer to take the coastal route (arguably more scenic), that’s possible too. It will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. To do this add a stop at “Waimanalo Beach” (but don’t actually stop there, keep driving along the highway).
KUALOA RANCH ADDRESS: 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
If you haven’t rented a car, they also offer roundtrip transportation from Waikiki for an additional $15 per person. For a list of departure times and pickup locations, click here. You can also find city bus instructions there.
Kualoa Ranch Weather
Kualoa weather, like all Hawaii weather, can be a bit unpredictable! The terrain of Kualoa varies from dense Hawaiian rainforest to broad open valleys. While getting caught in some rain is certainly not unheard of, the majority of tours I have been on have been spent primarily under the strong sun. If you don’t do well in heat, I recommend booking an early morning tour if you will be doing something active.
And whatever you do, do not forget your sun protection! The sun in Hawaii is incredibly strong.
Kualoa Ranch Tours and Activities
Kualoa Ranch offers a handful of different tour and activity options, most of which I have personally done! As they note on their site, many tours sell out 2-3 weeks in advance, so book as early as you are able.
Note: when you book your Kualoa Ranch tour through a link on this post we are able to make a small commission at no additional cost to you! This helps us keep our site running. Thanks so much for the support!
Kualoa Ranch e-Mountain Bike Tour
One of their newer tours and my new favorite Kualoa Ranch tour, their e-mountain bike tour is the coolest way to see Jurassic Park Oahu! As with the majority of tours, you will ride through Jurassic Park filming locations (plus other TV shows and movies) on the northern half of the property.
Because it is an electric bike equipped with an engine, you can work as little or as much as you’d like! The engine, however, is silent, unlike the ATVs, Jeeps, buses, etc. Because of this it’s more tranquil. There’s also nothing blocking your view as you ride through the valley!
If you know how to ride a bike and are able to pedal, this is the Jurassic Park tour I recommend most. Go for the 2 hour one — 1 hour is not enough!
Kualoa Ranch ATV Tour
Another incredible and adventurous option is the Jurassic Park ATV tour, one of the coolest ATV tours Oahu has! This is yet another Jurassic Park tour, taking you to many different movie filming locations through the valley. And because ATVs can go places other transportation cannot, you’ll get to go off the beaten path a bit more in this tour.
Want to do more than just ATV? The ATV + Jungle Expedition + Ocean Voyage package is incredibly highly recommended! Click here to see the latest prices and availability for that.
Kualoa Ranch Zipline Tour
The Kualoa Ranch zipline tour is one I haven’t yet done, but I’m willing to bet it’s the best zipline Hawaii Oahu has! After all, there is nothing better than the Ka’a’awa Valley.
The tour includes 7 zipline sections, 2 suspension bridges, and 3 nature walks around five minutes in length. No experience required, but you must be between 70 and 280 pounds!
Kualoa Ranch Movie Tour
Looking for a LOST tour Hawaii? Or a Jurassic Park tour Hawaii? This Kualoa Ranch movie tour, specifically focused on movies Oahu has been home to, is for you!
In addition to LOST and Jurassic Park, you’ll see 50 First Dates filming locations like the penguin road, the house from Mighty Joe Young, and more. You’ll also visit a WWII army bunker full of Kualoa movie props and memorabilia.
This tour takes place via vintage school bus. I’ve done it and it’s very fun but because you’re in a bus there is generally a bigger group with you. If you are interested in something with a low guide-to-guest ratio you should book something else.
Interested in more than just the movie tour? The Kualoa Ranch Experience Package includes the Hollywood Movie Sites tour, Taste of Kualoa Farm Trolley tour, AND the Jungle Expedition tour. Click here to see the latest prices and availability.
Kualoa Ranch UTV Tour
Another new tour option, Kualoa Ranch’s UTV (ultra terrain vehicle) tour is my recommendation if you have a family of up to 6. The UTVs are basically an ATV but for 2-6 people together! This way you chat, take photos, etc. together in one vehicle.
I haven’t done the UTV tour yet but as soon as I saw the UTVs while checking in for my e-bike tour I added it to my list. The minimum age for this is 5, which is perfect for next trip because my youngest niece is 4 at current time.
Kualoa Ranch Horseback Riding Tour
The Kualoa Ranch horseback riding tour is the first tour I ever went on at Kualoa, back in 2004! Like all of their tours, it is great. I personally prefer something a little more fast paced so this is not my favorite option, but if you want to horseback ride, go for it!
Don’t want to just horseback ride? The horseback ride + movie sites & ranch tour + tropical garden tour page is very highly recommended! Click here to see the latest prices and availability.
Kualoa Ranch Jungle Expedition Tour
This jungle tour at Kualoa Ranch is yet another tour option! This time in a 16 passenger jungle Jeep. I’ve done this one at least twice and recommend it, especially if you are looking for a more affordable option.
One unique thing about this tour is that it ventures down to the southern part of the ranch. This is where the Moli’i Pond, an 800 year old ancient Hawaiian fishpond, is located. It’s even listed on the US National Register of Historic Places!
Kualoa Ranch Secret Island Oahu
As mentioned above, one of my favorite beaches on Oahu is Secret Island beach Kualoa Ranch! It’s the perfect place to spend a day away from the craziness of Waikiki or Lanikai. You can visit from 9am to 12pm, 11:30am to 2pm, or all day.
Why pay to go to a beach when you can go to others for free? First, it’s secluded. You can’t just show up here. You have to take a boat across the fishpond and to get to the boat you must have access to private property (i.e. be with Kualoa).
Second, it’s filled with any beach activity you could ever want! Kayaking, canoeing, SUP, beach volleyball, you name it. The hardest thing about visiting Secret Island is deciding whether to lay on the beach, on a lounge chair, or in a hammock.
It’s also great if you don’t want to be at the beach stressed constantly about your stuff getting stolen (a common issue in Hawaii). It is of course still possible here, but because you’re with a group of people on a tour and there’s no access to the general public the odds are much smaller.
And don’t forget your dinosaur bikini, of course!
More Helpful Oahu Information
If you will be visiting Oahu, we have everything you need to plan your trip!
FOR WHAT TO PACK… click here for our Hawaii packing list.
FOR WHERE TO EAT… click here for a local’s guide to the best places to eat.
FOR WHAT TO DO… click here for my top 10 recommendations. My number one recommendation is to swim with dolphins in the wild. Click here for a detailed post about how to do that!
FOR A GUIDE TO THE FAMOUS NORTH SHORE… click here.
FOR THE BEST PHOTO OPPS… click here!