Located near Kaaawa on Oahu’s windward coast, Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000 acre, family-owned outdoor adventure arena. From the earliest days, Kualoa Valley was considered sacred to natives of Oahu and is even today shrouded in legend. According to one tale, the Moili fishpond located at the ranch was built overnight by the Menehune, the legendary “little people” of Hawaiian folklore.
The area also served as a residence and place of schooling for Hawaiian royalty, who used the location to undertake studies in history and the art of war. The stunning mountains that rise from the base of Kualoa add to the sacred ambiance of the area. The highest point on the Kualoa Ridge is the 1900 foot-high mountain peak called Kanehoalani, which means “Kane’s heavenly companion.”
In 1850, a missionary doctor named Dr. Gerrit P. Judd purchased 600 acres of land from King Kamehameha III, (to whom he served as personal advisor) and established a private estate. Over the next few decades, Dr. Judd added a few thousand more acres to his property and in 1927 christened his estate Kualoa Ranch. The ranch served as a U.S. airstrip during World War II and perhaps more recognizably as a filming location for popular Hollywood hits such as Jurassic Park, Godzilla and 50 First Dates.
Today, the ranch is fastidiously and lovingly maintained by descendants of Dr. Judd who strive to ward of developers and preserve the land’s natural beauty. There are guided Private tours in Hawaii that can take you there. While it is true that Kualoa Valley features some of the most stunning scenery on Oahu, guests at the Kualoa Ranch need not rely solely on looks for their entertainment. The ranch offers an enormous range of activities for everyone from adventure-seekers to families with children.
Guests can explore the terrain on horseback, partake in an organized Jungle Expedition, go snorkeling in Kaneohe Bay, or take one of the ATV (all-terrain-vehicle) tours that are offered regularly on site. The less outdoorsy types can take hula lessons, go on a garden tour or visit the Hawaiian fishpond. Kualoa Ranch also has a petting zoo and excellent educational programs for kids. The ranch is fully equipped with a gift shop and a visitors center, where guests can purchase half- or full-day tour packages.