For our last day in Hawai’i, we booked a Hollywood movie and TV set tour with Kualoa Ranch. It was only an hour-long tour, but it took an hour and a half to get there by bus as it was on the other side of the island. Sarah, Glyn and Max had to walk down to our hotel as the bus stop was down our end. We didn’t tell them that once they reached us, they’d have to walk another 15 minutes to the bus stop. Need less to say Glyn wasn’t very happy and kept asking ‘are we nearly there yet?’ The journey was long, but we had Max to keep us going with his constant chatter!
When we arrived at the ranch, we collected our tickets and made our way to the bus. It was like an old school bus, but all the glass windows had been removed and were just open so you could stick your head or camera out. Our guide for the tour was called ‘cowboy’ and he’d lived on Hawai’i all his life. As he drove us round he told us all about the owners of the ranch and how the army had used it for lookouts during the war. There were still bunkers there, which had been left behind by them. One of them was used as part of the set for Pearl Harbour and Lost. We got to walk all through it and it was filled with info on all the films that had been shot on the ranch over the years. Even dating right back to an old Elvis Presley film. They also had lots of props from films in the bunker. Take a look at the pics and see if you recognise any of them!
As we drove through the ranch, we went into a valley and straight away we could tell what was filmed here – Jurassic Park; from the scene where the kids are being followed by a stampede of dinosaurs that are being chased by the big T-Rex. The log they hide behind was even still there, so naturally we all had to pose with it. Next up was a set from Lost. As sad as Barry is, he recognised it before we saw the sign or were told about it. It was Hurley’s Golf Course from the first season. I have no idea about it, but Barry was pretty excited.
As the tour went on we saw lots of other sets, including Godzilla’s footprints. They were originally dug 8 feet deep but once filming was finished they had to be filled in as cows kept falling into them. We also saw the street that Drew Barrymore knocks over a penguin on in 50 First Dates. This is one of Sarah’s favourite films so she was very excited to see this.
As we made our way back through the ranch, we got a great view of the ocean, including Chinaman’s Hat Island. So named, because it is the shape of a Chinaman’s Hat. And this one actually does look like its namesake.
With the tour over, it was time to get back on the bus and make our way back to our hotel. Along the journey it started to rain and it was heavy. It was still raining when we got off the bus and we still had to do the 15-minute walk to the hotel. Fortunately we got a bit lost when we got off and found ourselves walking round a big shopping centre. We couldn’t find our way out and by the time we did it had stopped raining. For once I was grateful to Barry for getting us lost!