20 December 2009

Kualoa Ranch: Paradise for Adventure

Each year during out Hawaii trip, we look for one new activity we have not ever done before.  Last year we chose Kualoa Ranch on the Northeastern coast of Oahu. An absolutely gorgeous setting across the Kamehameha Hwy from the ocean, Kualoa Ranch is a stop with activities for every age.  Kuloa Ranch has its own unique history. It is a family owned and operated ranch with a focus on good stewardship of the land, preserving cultural and historical value and creating recreational and agricultural opportunities sustainable with respect and care for the environment

The 4000-acre working cattle ranch, about 35 minutes drive from Honolulu, was established in 1850. The terrain spreads from the sea to towering mountain cliffs, open valleys and dense rainforests. On an island full of stunning views Kualoa Ranch is breathtakingly beautiful. Activities include horseback riding, ATV adventures, hiking, biking,  gun range,  jungle expedition, fishpond and garden tour, hula lessons and cultural events.  They also welcome weddings and other special events and large group activities. There is also a café and lovely store in the ranch headquarters. I was impressed with the store, having shopped for Hawaiian products, books and papers around the island they had one of the best collections of items in one place anywhere on Oahu.

Kualoa Ranch has been the filming location for many television shows and movies, including Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, 50 First Dates, Magnum P.I.  and Lost

Our group chose the ATV adventure and we loved it. The terrain made for fun ATV-ing and our tour guide gave us the scoop on the WWII bunker’s history, background on the ranch and took us to the sites of several film sets. The nature was amazing, the views delicious and the challenge of maneuvering the ATVs up and down steep dirt trails and across broad valley made it a great adventure for all the senses.

Not far from the entrance to Kualoa Ranch is a beach park that is a photographer’s paradise. There are so many fantastic looks in this one park you can practically turn a camera in any direction and get fantastic shots of jutting mountain cliffs, blue skies, small islands just off shore, ocean views and the road back to Kaneohe. I’m looking forward to my next drive up the Northeastern coast of Oahu and a visit to the Kualoa Ranch! 

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