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Travel Blog #115 - A Day At Kualoa Ranch

Travel Blog #115 - A Day At Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is one of the premiere attractions on the island of Oahu. It is a 4000 acre working cattle ranch that was established in 1850. Stretching from the mouth of Kaneohe Bay to the adjacent Kaaawa Valley, its’ beauty has not gone unnoticed. Hollywood has had a long relationship with Kualoa. Films such as Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Lost, 50 First Dates, Windtalkers, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and the new Magnum PI series have all been shot on Kualoa Ranch. Access to the ranch is not limited to high dollar Hollywood big shots; there are also day packages available to the public.

The day packages are set up kind of like a theme park. There is a variety of different activities that you can partake in, and you sign up for what you want to do at the beginning of the day. After looking at the options we decided to start out by taking a sail around Chainman’s Hat as well as a tour of the beach area. After the boat ride we walked over to the other side of the visitor center to where we checked in at the ATV Corral for our next activity, the ATV Ride.

Boat Ride at Kualoa Ranch

I wasn’t sure what kind of experience we were going to have on our ATV adventure. They had the tours divided up into English and Japanese speaking. I watched the group Japanese group that went before us start their ride before we checked in. The ride is open to first timers so I wasn’t sure what kind of pace we would be at. After the first couple of riders took off from the starting line at turtle speed the third rider took off from the line with her tires peeling out and went straight into the bushes. I prayed that our group would be able to manage themselves better then these people did and made my way to the check in.

At the check in station the directed me into a garage type room with helmets, ATV’s and a television that was playing a safety video. Our guide watched the video with us then went over the key points using the ATV that was parked in the garage as a model. As soon as the briefing was over we were issued helmets and ATV’s. The other riders in our group had mentioned that they had previous experience riding ATV’s so I had a good feeling that we were going to be staying out of the bushes.

The lunch at Kualoa Ranch was great!

We cranked on the motors and made our way around the “training course” that consisted of a series of uphill, downhill and left and right hand corners. All of the riders in our group seemed to make It through without any problems so our guide steered us off the training loop and out onto the ranch.

The trails though the ranch went through jungles and pastures, over streams and up hills where we could see beautiful views of the ocean and the green cliffs that formed the walls of the valley. We made our way past all kinds of movie sets and at times got to get the ATV’s going fast enough to really feel some wind on our cheeks. After our ATV tour circled back to the corral I took off my helmet just in time to hear the chow bell summoning everyone for lunch.

The lunch at Kualoa Ranch was one of my favorite parts of the day. It was a huge cowboy buffet with chili, rice, ribs, salads and more. After we piled our plates high we found seats on the picnic tables on the porch of the ranch house where we sat to eat our meal.

The afternoon after lunch consisted of two more tours. Both of them were land tours; the first one we did was called the jungle tour. It took us to a viewpoint at the top of the ranch in a six-wheeled Swiss military troop carrier called a Pinzgauer. After we completed this tour we took our last tour of the day, which was the “Movie Tour”. The “Movie Tour” was operated on a tour bus. Our guide took us around the ranch and showed us various places where different films were shot on the ranch. The movie tour was a perfect way to wind down our afternoons activities at Kualoa Ranch. We had a great time during our stay at the ranch and I would recommend this package to anyone who is a movie buff, or who simply wants to get out of town and into the country.

Make a reservation for Kualoa Ranch!

Read the previous article: Tom Barefoot's Travel Blog #114 - ATV Waipio Valley with Ride The Rim

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