People seem surprised that we live on Oahu and when we have time off that what we choose to do are tourist activities. I guess it makes sense – with me making my move back into the tourism industry – it might be natural that people would expect I wanted to get away from tourism. The truth is though – I like tourists, I like tourism, and I like tourist activities. The reason people come on vacation and do this stuff is because it is fun.
Back in 2003, I worked briefly for Kauai Movie Tours as a guide. It was a fun job and I would have kept it except I moved back to Oahu. So, seeing that Kualoa Ranch now runs their own movie tour – I decided it would be a fun way to spend a Sunday. Boy was I right.
Kualoa Ranch is more than 4000 acres on the windward side of Oahu – it was gifted to a doctor by the King of Hawaii back during the Kingdom days. The ranch remains in the same family, still has about 500 head of cattle and engages in some agriculture – but mostly, it’s a super awesome theme park with ziplines, horseback riding, snorkel tours, and movie tours. We plan on doing everything there eventually but this time we did the movie tour with George aka @ZenTourGuide as our guide. He was great – you should take his tour. And hey…don’t forget to tip your guide. We watched the majority of people leave the tour bus without even giving him a dollar. Guides survive on tips and work hard to make sure you have a good time…appropriate tips for guides are 20% or more of total cost for an outstanding guide, 10-15% for an average to good guide, 5% if you have no complaints but can’t say anything really good either, and no tip if they aren’t at least trying to be friendly. Like a great guide, George thanked everyone with a sincere smile and a warm aloha whether they tipped or not – but come on folks….I know Hawaii vacations aren’t cheap but $5 isn’t going to break you.
Some of the movies and TV shows filmed on Kualoa Ranch include all of the Jurassic Park franchise, Lost, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 5-0, 50 First Dates, Kong Skull Island, Journey to the Mysterious Island, Godzilla, and the list goes on and on. It’s a great tour and we’ve been enjoying watching the movies since taking the tour. I won’t spoil George’s tour by telling you more – but I will share a few pictures below.
Address: 49–560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaaawa 96730, USA
Hours: Open daily, closed Christmas and New Year’s Day
Admission: From US$21