49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744
Kualoa Ranch is the place to be if your family is looking for activities that showcase Hawaii’s natural beauty, while also learning about its rich cultural heritage. Colleen and her girls, Dunovan and Shea, were joined by Colleen’s sister Catie and her niece Keelin at the ranch. The group visited multiple Hollywood movie sites, walked through old army bunkers, and rode horses through the broad, open valleys of the mountains.
The ranch is located an hour north of Honolulu on the north side of Oahu. Driving to Kualoa Ranch was nothing short of breathtaking; with spanning mountains on one side and the sparkling blue ocean on the other, you won’t have any problems trying to find photo opps on your way there.
Kualoa, meaning “long back” in Hawaiian, is one of the most historically compelling destinations for visitors. Spanning across 4,000 acres that reach from the mountain cliffs to the ocean, the ranch’s mission is to preserve and strengthen Hawaii’s natural beauty, while also creating agricultural operations for the island of O’ahu.
Colleen and the girls started the day off with a horseback tour in the valley of the mountains, riding through scenery that put everyone at a loss for words. It was a perfect opportunity to take in and appreciate the landscape around them. Visitors can choose from one or two-hour tours that go across pastures and wooded trails, or through Ka’a’awa Valley where movies such as Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates have been filmed.
After that, everyone hopped on an open-air jungle bus for the jungle expedition tour. The driver took them through some of the most scenic spots on the ranch, such as the windward coastline, memorable shooting locations from Jurassic Park, and inside old World War 2 bunkers. The tour is a 90-minute ride that takes you through rainforest trails, across bumpy hills, and throughout multiple movie sets.
If your family is looking to learn about the natural beauty and culture of Oahu’s northeastern coast, Kualoa Ranch is a great destination for families to visit. They offer a variety of recreational activities such as ATV, horseback, Hollywood movie site and jungle vehicle tours, ziplining, and secret beach activities.
Some additional tips and fun facts:
- Kualoa was established in 1850 by King Kamehameha III, who sold approximately 622 acres to Dr. Gerrit P. Judd. The ranch later expanded to 4,000 acres.
- There are approximately 600 head of cattle and 120 horses on the ranch and 100% grass-fed beef is available for purchase online or in-person.
- Half and full-day packages are available for families, and include a minimum of two activities, buffet lunch, and round-trip transportation from Waikiki.