Kualoa Ranch: Jurassic Park of Hawaii Review (All You Need to Know)

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Kualoa Ranch, otherwise known as the Jurassic Park of Hawaii, is where some of the world’s most famous movies have been shot. 

Films from, you guessed it, Jurassic Park to Jumanji have been filmed here. 

The historic valley is home to dramatic mountains that rise from a lush valley floor, creating stunning views from all directions.

Currently, the Kualoa Ranch operates both agriculture and entertainment. 

Visiting Kualoa Ranch was one of the most enjoyable experiences we’ve had. 

Here is all you need to know about Kualoa Ranch, the Jurassic Park of Hawaii.



What is Kualoa Ranch? Why is it The Jurassic Park of Hawaii?

Kualoa ranch is a 4,000 acre private nature reserve located on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

kualoa ranch on oahu

Kualoa is owned and managed by eighth generation descendants of the sacred land, and it runs as both an active agricultural ranch and a popular tourist destination. The tourist attractions serve to bring in revenue for the ranch to sustain it’s agricultural and environmentally friendly history. 

With hundreds of cows, sheep, and horses, there is no shortage of wildlife. 

The bigger focus of Kualoa Ranch however are the attractions it provides for visitors. 

Kualoa Ranch is the filming location of over 70 movies produced out of Hollywood since 1950, but it’s most famously known for the Jurassic Park series, hence the nickname “Jurassic Park of Hawaii.”

Does this look familiar? 😉

jurassic park of hawaii

Among Jurassic Park, major blockbuster films such as the following have been filmed at Kualoa Ranch: 

  • Kong Skull Island

  • Godzilla, Tears of the Sun

  • 50 First Dates

  • Hawaii Five-O (TV Show)

  • LOST (TV Show)

  • Magnum P.I. (TV Show)

  • Windtalkers

The filming location of Kong Skull Island!

The filming location of Kong Skull Island!

Kualoa Ranch’s “Jurassic Valley” describes the northern half of the property, the Kaʻaʻawa Valley. 

Kualoa Ranch has been ranked as one of the biggest historic places on Oahu. As described by Kualoa Ranch themselves: 

Legends say Kualoa was once a pu’uhonua (place of refuge), where kanaka maoli (Hawaiian natives) could come to seek forgiveness. It was also used to host the Makahiki, an annual event where kanaka maoli came to train and participate in warrior games of skill.
— Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is now primarily a major tourist destination on the island of Oahu. But, what kind of tour options do they offer?

Here are all of the excursions you can do, and which ones we prefer! 

Tour Options at Kualoa Ranch: Which Tour is Best?

Kualoa Ranch features more than a dozen different tour options, from culinary focused to adventure kayaking to movie tours. 

Often selling out 2-3 weeks ahead, you will want to book your tours in advance. 

Here are all of the current tour options at Kualoa Ranch, their prices, activities, and amenities. 

Hollywood Movie Sites Tour 

Starting from $47.95 per adult, this tour takes you to top movie filming locations. 

jurassic park filming location kualoa ranch

The Hollywood Movie Sites tour takes you through the Ka’a’awa Valley section of the ranch, stopping at featured locations for movies like Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Windtalkers, 50 First Dates, LOST, and more. 

BUT, be aware: this tour does NOT take you to the famous Jurassic Park Gate, the Jurassic World fallen Kingdom bunker, or cages. This is only available in the premier tour.

In addition you stop at the historic WWII army bunker built into the side of the mountains in the valley. 

The tour is conducted on a large, vintage, open-air school bus: 

Cost of the tour: $47.95 per Adult /  $36.95 per Child (3-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 90 minutes

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

OUR PICK: The Premier Movie Site Tour - Our Favorite Tour at Kualoa Ranch

Starting at $134.95 per adult, this tour gives you a more complete filming location experience. 

premier movie tour adventureforless

The premier movie site tour at Kualoa Ranch was the tour we loved the most. 

It’s a big upgrade from the Hollywood tour in many ways. First off, it’s more than double the duration, meaning you get nearly 3 hours of tour time. 

On the premier tour, you visit the entire ranch, which is separated by three distinct valleys: Ka’a’awa, Hakipu’u and Kualoa. 

In addition to covering more ground, your transportation is much more personalized. With one tour guide and less than 10 other tour members, you get more hands-on attention.

Instead of an open-air bus, you are on a smaller luxury bus with air conditioning, TV monitors that showcase relevant tour information and movie clips, and provided snacks at no extra cost. 

The biggest factor that separates the Premier and the standard Hollywood tours is the sites you visit: 

On the Premier tour, you visit more than just the Jurassic Park fallen tree scene (the only Jurassic stop on the Hollywood tour).  

You also visit the infamous Indominus Rex dinosaur pen: 

indominous rex pen hawaii adventure for less

On top of that, you get to enter inside the control center of the pen, seeing the exact computer stands, posters, and memorabilia from the film: 

In addition to Jurassic Park attractions, you will also visit the Kong Skull Island boneyard, one of the coolest stops in all of Kualoa Ranch: 

kong skull island boneyard hawaii

Here you can walk around and interact with props from the movie, snapping some amazing pictures and creating great memories: 

adventure for less at kong skull island boneyard

You will also see Godzilla’s footprints, the bunkers from LOST, Hawaii Five-O sets, and walk around the Hukilau Cafe from 50 First Dates! 

This is our favorite tour at Kualoa, as the adventure lasts all day. 

Cost of the tour: $134.95 per Adult / $124.95 per Child (3-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via Kualoa, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Taste of Kualoa Trolley Tour

Starting at $47.95 per adult, this tour explores the farmland of Kualoa. 

The Taste of Kualoa tour is a food-based farm tour on the ranch that takes you to 1,000 year-old Hawaiian fishponds, tropical fruit groves, and flower gardens. 

If your interest lies more with the history of agriculture and life on the ranch, you can’t miss this tour. 

This tour does not go to any movie filming locations. 

Cost of the tour: $47.95 per Adult / $36.95 per Child (3-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 90 minutes

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Jurassic Valley Zipline Tour

Starting at $165.95, you get to explore the entire ranch via 7+ ziplines and 2 suspension bridges

If you love ziplines, you will love them at Kualoa Ranch. Ranging from 200 feet to a quarter mile in total length, you get a range of intensities that are sure to please any zipliner from first-time to seasoned veteran. 

In addition to ziplines, you cross two suspension bridges and enjoy three small hikes to natural streams. 

Cost of the tour: $165.95 per Adult, with height, age, and weight restrictions - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 3 hours

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Electric Mountain Bike Tour

Starting at $74.95, you get to explore the entire ranch on e-assisted mountain bikes.

Prefer a more active adventure than sitting on a tour bus through the ranch? The Electric Mountain Bike Tour is the perfect fit for you. 

With electric assist bikes, you won’t need to fully exert yourself on this tour, while still enjoying an adventure. 

Cost of the tour: $74.95 per Adult / $59.95 per Child (3-12) for 1 hour. $109.95 per Adult / $89.95 per Child (3-12) for 2 hours - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 1-hour or 2-hour tours are available

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Ocean Voyage Adventure Tour

Starting at $47.95, the ocean voyage tour is a catamaran tour on Oahu's windward side. 

The waters surrounding the windward side of Oahu are stunningly clear and turquoise, making them a prime spot for an ocean adventure. 

On the Voyage tour, you take a nice catamaran on Kaneohe Bay with 49 passengers total. 

On this tour you see famous landmarks like the Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat) and Hokule’a Beach. 

You are also very likely to see turtles and other marine wildlife on this tour. 

Cost of the tour: $47.95 per Adult / $36.95 per Child (3-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 90 minutes

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via Kualoa, as it is currently the only place to book this tour. 

Secret Island Beach Activities Tour

Starting at $47.95, you can experience a private beach island with dozens of included activities 

Secret Island Beach is owned by the ranch, and is one of the most stunning white sand beaches in the entire world. 

With views of the mountains, hammocks, and crystal-clear water, you can’t go wrong. 

Half-day trips are from either 9:00am to 12:00pm or 11:30am to 2:30pm. 

Full-day trips include lunch. 

On the island you can swim, kayak, canoe, paddle board, play beach games, or just relax under a palm tree!

If you want to escape the crowds of Waikiki beach for a day, this is the place to be. 

Cost of the tour: $47.95 Adult,  $36.95 Child (Half-Day) or $89.95 Adult, $69.95 Child (Full-Day w/ Lunch) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: Half-day or Full-day options available.

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via Kualoa, as it is currently the only way to book this tour.

Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour

Starting at $47.95, take a ride through Jurassic Valley’s rain forest.

The Jungle Jeep tour takes you on a 4x4 guided tour through Kualoa’s Jurassic Valley rain forest. 

With 16 total members per tour, you spend 90 minutes enjoying jungle trails, valley streams and rivers, hill climbs, and movie site locations from Jurassic Park!

In addition to Jurassic World stops, you also stop at the ancient fishpond, and other lookout points on the ranch.

Cost of the tour: $47.95 per Adult / $36.95 per Child (3-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 90 minutes

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

ATV Adventure Tour 

Starting at $87.95, take a solo ATV tour on the property.

The solo ATV Adventure is a tour on the ranch with your own personal ATV. 

Here you have a guide who leads the pack, taking you all around the island to enjoy an off-road adventure. 

If you get lucky with your tour guide, you can enjoy high speeds and large mud-holes. 

Cost of the tour: $87.95 per Adult (16+) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 1 hour

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Horseback Ride Adventure Tour

Starting at $87.95, you can ride horses through multiple valleys on the ranch. 

If you love horseback riding or want to experience it for the first time, look no further. 

With experienced professional guides and a stunning backdrop, your horseback riding tour is sure to be amazing. 

Kelly and I love horseback riding, and this adventure is one you can’t miss. 

Cost of the tour: Must be 10+ years old. 1-Hour Tour – $87.95, 2-Hour Tour – $134.95 - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 1-hour and 2-hour tours available.

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

UTV 4WD Tour

Starting at $87.95, you get to explore the ranch on family-friendly UTVs. 

UTV stands for ultra terrain vehicle. These 4WD vehicles are meant for families or groups of 2+ that want to ride in the same vehicle together.

During the trip, you can switch drivers so everyone gets a turn! These UTVs take you on scenic valley trails, through stream crossing, and into big hill climbs. 

On the tour you will see the infamous Jurassic Valley and more, depending on the length of tour you pick! 

Cost of the tour

1-Hour Tour – Adult $87.95 & Child (5-12) $49.95

2-Hour Tour – Adult $134.95 & Child (5-12) $69.95

2.5-Hour Exclusive UTV Tour with Lunch: Adult $169.95 & Child (5-12) $99.95

Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Kayak Adventure Tour

Starting at $109.95, kayak around Kaneohe Bay and see Mokoli’i Island.

The Kayak Adventure Tour at Kualoa provides some of the most picture-worthy moments you can have on a vacation in Hawaii. 

Because the tour goes downwind, you don’t need to be in pristine physical condition to do the tour. Guided by a professional, your tour will see the main sites to offer: 

  • Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat)

  • Secret Island

  • Mini-sand bar

Make sure to bring some good travel gear with you, like a good quality camera, a GoPro, and plenty of sunscreen.

Cost of the tour: $109.95 per Adult / $89.95 per Child (3-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 2 hours 

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via Kualoa, as it is the only method of booking this tour. 

Kualoa Culinary Experience Tour

Starting at $119.95 per adult, this tour explores the full farm to table experience at Kualoa.

The Taste of Kualoa Trolley tour is a smaller version of the Culinary Experience tour. 

On this tour, you will learn about the sheep, cattle, hogs, and fish being raised on the farm for production. You will also get to sample lunches and plates based on those animals raised. 

On this two-hour farm to table tour, you get a four course meal, tours of the fishpond, oyster farming, and the livestock. 

Cost of the tour: $119.95 per Adult / $79.95 per Child (7-12) - Optional round trip bus from Waikiki is $15 per person. 

Duration: 2 hours

Best way to book this tour? We recommend booking via TripAdvisor, as you can often get promotional discounts to save money or acquire more benefits. 

Food Options at Kualoa Ranch

When visiting Kualoa Ranch, should you pack a lunch, or are there food options you can pick from? 

Depending on what tour you choose to book, lunch might already be included. But, if it’s not, there are options at the ranch. 

At the ranch, there is an amazing dining option within their gift shop, called Aunty Pat’s Cafe. The cafe is run by the ranch and features home-style Hawaiian meals with ingredients sourced directly from the ranch just steps away!

Here is a look at their menu: 

In addition to ordering from the cafe, some tour options include a buffet lunch. We opted out of the buffet and instead ordered from the cafe. 

The pineapple mango teriyaki chicken plate lunch was stellar, and was enough to feed both of us for just $12. 

There are snacks and drinks available in the gift shop, but they are very expensive. 

If you prefer to bring your own lunch, you are allowed to do so! There are plenty of outside and indoor picnic tables to eat at and enjoy the views: 

Where is Kualoa Ranch and How to Get There

Kualoa Ranch is located on the Island of Oahu, on the eastern shores. The private nature reserve is just 24 miles from Waikiki, making it an amazing destination for tourists on Oahu: 

 

With steep mountain cliffs that rise just outside of Kaneohe Bay, you can see miles of untouched beaches and stunning cliff-sides. 

Kualoa Ranch address: 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744

Directions to Kualoa Ranch: click here. 

How far is Kualoa Ranch from Waikiki? 

Kualoa Ranch is only 24 miles from Waikiki on O’ahu. This equates to a 45 minute drive based on speed limits and normal traffic on the route. 

If you plan to drive on your own, leave earlier than you think to plan for traffic. Highways are smaller and can get crowded anytime of the day. 

How to get to Kualoa Ranch from Waikiki: 

From Waikiki, getting to Kualoa Ranch is relatively easy. 

You have two options:

  1. Drive yourself in a rental car

  2. Use the Kualoa Ranch transportation (which is either included or extra depending on which tour package you buy) 

If you are driving, click here for directions from your current location in Waikiki.

Kualoa Ranch Tours: Are They Worth It?

So, are the ranch and movie tours worth it at Kualoa? Is the Jurassic Valley of Hawaii all that it is cracked up to be?

Absolutely. The Kualoa Ranch visit was worth the money. It has countless tours, activities, and experiences, as well as stunning views of the valley floor, mountains, and ocean. 

Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, movie tours, or just an amazing spot to spend the day with your family, you can’t go wrong with Kualoa Ranch. 


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