The Hawaiian island of Oahu is only about 600 square miles (1600 sq km) but contains several different ecosystems. One of the most amazing tropical landscapes is along the windward side of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. The Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour is a great way to experience the beautiful scenery and some movie filming magic, too.
Kualoa Ranch Location
Kualoa Ranch is a famous movie and TV filming location on the east coast of Oahu. It takes about an hour to drive to Kualoa Ranch from either Disney’s Aulani Resort or the Waikiki area of Honolulu.
Kualoa Ranch Overview
The ranch offers tons of tour options like dedicated movie location tours, UTV, ATV, e-bike, kayak, Jungle Jeep tours, and several more tour types. I was tempted to book the Hollywood Movie Sites Tour, but ultimately decided on the Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour.
I chose the jungle jeep tour because I wanted to see some movie filming areas, but my main focus was seeing the beautiful tropical rainforest-like ecosystem at Kualoa Ranch. The Kualoa jeep tour did a great job of mixing these two experiences into a 90-minute tour.
Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour Experience
The jeep tour loading area is in a marked building just past the museum and main shop at the ranch. Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled tour time. A few minutes prior to boarding the jeeps, staff will welcome your group and go over important information.
The staff warned everyone that the Kualoa Ranch jungle jeep tour is extremely bumpy and not recommended for pregnant women or those with neck or back issues. If you have a minor history of back or neck problems and sign a waiver, they will seat you toward the front of the jeep where the bumps are less extreme.
The open air jeep vehicles hold 16 people each. There can be multiple jeeps at a scheduled tour time, but each jeep is driven by its own tour guide. The guide narrates the entire tour over a speaker and points out scenic spots along the drive.
The Kualoa Ranch jeep tour takes you up several hundred feet to a stunning lookout point. Along the way you have incredible views of Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’l) island, lush tropical forests, and a couple of movie filming sites.
There are a couple of stops on the tour where everyone exits the jeep. These stops are a great opportunity to take photos of the incredible views from the mountain. Our tour had three jeeps, and all three tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Any of the guides were happy to take pictures of groups on the tour.
Looking back through the pictures from our Kualoa Ranch jeep tour I cannot believe the natural beauty. The pictures need no filter or editing, because the views are just that stunning in real life and in pictures.
Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour Movie Sites
There are three movie sites on the Kualoa Ranch jungle jeep tour. The first is a village scene from Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. At the JumanjiI site you can get out of the jeep and look more closely at the set.
Another movie site is a crashed helicopter from Kong: Skull Island. The jeep drives past the wreckage, and the best views of the helicopter are from the windows on the left side of the jeep.
We thought the most impressive movie site on the Kualoa Ranch jeep tour was the Indominus Rex pen from Jurassic World. You come around a corner and the pen looms in the distance just like it looks in the movie. Then we drove through the gates into the pen where you could see the scratches made by Indominus Rex.
Things To Know Before Your Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour
Kualoa Ranch is a popular tourist destination, and many tours sell out in advance. The ranch recommends booking your preferred tour two to three weeks ahead of your scheduled visit. I found this to be accurate as I kept checking availability in the weeks before our trip. By three weeks before our trip preferred tour times were showing limited availability.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Kualoa recommends arriving an hour before your scheduled jeep tour time. This gives you plenty of time to pick up your pre-purchased tickets, use the restroom, and explore the small Kualoa Ranch museum.
Just outside the museum are two large walls full of pictures of movies, TV, and music videos that have been filmed at Kualoa Ranch. It was interesting to see these as well as photos of actors who have filmed on location at the ranch.
Take Valuables With You
There is a large parking lot at Kualoa Ranch, and finding a spot was relatively easy. However, there are signs around the parking lot that advise not leaving valuables cars. Several tourist sites on Oahu had similar signs, so we were already in the habit of traveling light and keeping important items with us at all times.
Final Thoughts On Our Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Expedition Tour Experience
Our Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep tour was one of the best values on our trip to Oahu. Traveling up the bumpy roads and crossing shallow streams in the jeep plus cool movie sites and incredible views made the Kualoa Ranch Jungle Jeep Tour a favorite memory of our trip. I highly recommend you make the trek to the “Jurassic Valley” for your own jeep tour when visiting Oahu, Hawaii.
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