The 4,000-acre private nature preserve of Kualoa Ranch, often referred to as Hawai’i’s Jurassic Valley, serves a triple treat made up of the Ka’a’awa Valley, Kualoa Valley and Hakipu’u Valley.
If you’re looking to land on Oahu and quickly immerse in the Pacific region’s verdant ridges, plunging valleys and coastal dreamscapes, this easy-to-access spot on the island’s windward coast comes with options galore.
A 40-minute drive north from Honolulu International Airport brings you to Kualoa Ranch, the famous site Hollywood found when it scouted for a Jurassic Park filming location and the most inspiring landscape where a T-Rex might roam. In fact, some 300 movies, TV shows and documentaries used the ranch as a filming location thanks to a backdrop of towering, dizzying ridges that plunge to a sprawling valley so emerald in hue the landscapes almost appear to be lit from within.
What better setting to embark on a slew of daytrip adventures that offer something for every type of traveler?
Kualoa Ranch’s two-hour ATV Raptor Tour, the most popular offering, delivers a serious rush of adrenalin, putting you behind the wheel for a rollicking ride through remote valleys and rushing streams.
Horseback riding trips and e-bike adventures go through the same sublime valleys but keep a slower pace to traverse the spectacular trails around the ranch. The more leisurely catamaran tours venture into the turquoise waters of Kaneohe Bay, where you might spot sea turtles as you navigate the shallows around the unique basalt island of Mokoli’i.
For a pterodactyl’s-eye view of the valley’s splendor, don’t miss the Jurassic Valley zipline tours that start at the top of the Ka’a’awa Valley and send you flying along seven tandem lines (so you can race a friend) — the perfect activity to tempt the more fearless in your entourage.
Film buffs rave about Kualoa’s Movie Tour — a great option for a multigenerational group since you travel aboard an old school bus (with the windows knocked out to maximize views) through “Hawaii’s Backlot.” Among other movie set relics, you’ll see the boneyard from Kong Skull Island and Godzilla’s footprints.
Then again, if lazing on a splendid slice of Oahu’s coastline aligns with your idea of a perfect Hawai’ian day, Kualoa Ranch has you covered, too, with its Secret Island Beach Adventures. Spend a few hours or a full day paddling a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, bathing in the warm ocean, playing beach volleyball on the sand or just swaying in a hammock under a rustling palm and basking in those awesome aloha vibes.
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