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Oahu March 2013: Day 5 Part 1- Kualoa Ranch ATV Tour

Day 5 Part I: Playing Golf with Godzilla

We got up ready to drive up north to Kualoa Ranch, where we had a 9:30am reservation for the 2-hour ATV tour of movie and TV film sites. I was super excited about this because like many, I was a huge fan of the LOST TV series, and also Jurassic Park. Although I know a lot of Jurassic Park was filmed on Kauai, I was looking forward to it nonetheless. I had booked the tour online on the Kualoa website a month prior to our trip and managed to get a nice 15% discount for the both of us.

We grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks, including a locally made baked good that is only available in Hawaii, the Starbucks’ Oatcake. It’s a densely packed oatmeal-raisin-walnut scone and it literally fills you up for hours. Good for the long day we had ahead of us! It also packs a whopping 450 calories per piece, but I guess it’s made with nutritious ingredients so it ok, right?

only in Hawaii…the Starbucks oatcake

The drive up north was nice, we took the H-3, which is one of my favorite drives because it’s so green and scenic and it’s really nice to leave the city vibe of Honolulu behind. It really is such a different world when you head just a few miles outside of Honolulu – it becomes so rustic and peaceful.

driving outside Honolulu is completely different

Kualoa Ranch is located in Kaaawa, just north of Kaneohe and before Laie. It’s right off the Kamehameha Highway and it’s easy to find. There were quite a number of people there, especially tour groups but as it turns out, we were one of the few parties who had booked the 2 hour tour. The more popular 1 hour tour was fully booked. It was a total of 5 of us plus the guide on our excursion. We got fitted with helmets and watched the safety video, and pretty soon, we were on our way on our ATVs! I’ve never ridden an ATV before and neither has my husband. Let me tell you, it was pretty scary at first because they take you through a rough “intro” course and I thought I was going to get thrown off the ATV. I was holding on for dear life and trying to keep up with everyone else. But let’s say by the end of the tour, I was going at full speed and wanted to keep going.

all set for our next adventure

lots of stuff going on at Kualoa…horseback riding, ATV-ing, bus tours, just to name a few.

Note: There are some picture-heavy SPOILERS for the tour in the rest of the post. If you want to be surprised by the tour don’t read anymore!

The tour first took us up a scenic hill with amazing views of the ocean. We stopped by what seemed like an old WWII bunker, and we disembarked and went inside to see a few items propecia 5mg from movie/TV sets, as well as a ton of movie posters. I was quite surprised at all the movies filmed her, there were some I had not heard of either.

ready to ride

the WWII bunker on the side of the mountain

the view from the bunker…not bad

entering the buncker

the submarine prop from LOST!

We got back on our ATVs and went on a set of stops all over the mountain and valley. We rode through small streams, past cattle, and through a ton of horse poop. We stopped and saw Godzilla’s giant footprint, Hurley’s golf course (complete with a golf club you can pose with), a set from Journey to the Mysterious Island, a scene from Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates, and lots more. Here are the pictures from the rest of our journey:

can it be…yes it is…Jurassic Park

 

Hurley’s golf course

standing in Godzilla’s footprint

beautiful scenery everywhere

we’re having a ball!

this was from a National Geographic documentary

another one from LOST – this was the tower holding the bomb.

I can’t remember where this was from…Journey 2 Mysterious Island? I never saw that movie…

need a hand, Steve?

I especially like this picture because I got all our ATVs in a row with the majestic mountains in the background.

Everyone at the ranch was super friendly and really open to taking pictures for you at all the stops and answering all our questions. At the end of the tour, we went back through the intro course and of course I thought it wasn’t scary at all!

The 2-hour ATV tour is 99 USD a person, but if you book early they often give discounts so we ended up paying about 86 USD per person. We thought it was really worth it and I recommend the 2 hour tour because it only cost a bit more than the 1 hour tour, so to me it’s economies of scale. It was loads of fun and packs a huge adrenaline punch. I even saw some folks who were my parents age riding the ATV…makes me want to think about bringing my parents back for this. 🙂

At the end everyone is covered with a layer of dirt…seeing a mirror for the first time right after…I had to do a double take. We all had a good laugh though and there are restrooms where you can get cleaned up after.

kualoa

Items for sale and display at the gift store

What a great time we had on our ATV adventure! After Kualoa ranch we headed back to Waikiki because I had booked us some much-needed spa appointments…but of course we had to have lunch first! Stay tuned for Day 5 Part 2

 



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