People seem surprised that when we have time off, we choose to do tourist activities in Hawaii. People expect I want to get away from tourism but the truth is – I generally like tourists, I like tourism, and I like tourist activities. The reason people come on vacation and do this stuff is because it is fun.
Back in 2003, I worked as a guide for Kauai Movie Tours. It was a fun job. I knew that taking a movie tour on Oahu would be fun too.
Kualoa Ranch is 4000+ acres on the windward side of Oahu – it was gifted to Doctor Garret P Judd by King Kamehameha V during the Kingdom of Hawaii period. The ranch remains in the same family, still has about 500 head of cattle and engages in some agriculture – but mostly, it’s a super awesome theme park with ziplines, horseback riding, snorkel tours, and movie tours. We plan on doing everything there eventually but this time we did the movie tour with George ( @ZenTourGuide ) as our guide. He was great – you should take his tour.
And hey…don’t forget to tip your guide. We watched the majority of people leave the tour bus without giving him a dollar. Guides survive on tips and work hard to make sure you have a good time…appropriate tips for guides are 20% or more of total cost for an outstanding guide, 10-15% for an average to good guide, 5% if you have no complaints but can’t say anything really good, and no tip if they aren’t at least trying to be friendly. Like a great guide, George thanked everyone with a sincere smile and warm aloha whether they tipped or not – but come on folks….I know Hawaii vacations aren’t cheap but $20 isn’t going to break you.
Some of the movies and TV shows filmed on Kualoa Ranch include the Jurassic Park franchise, Lost, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 5-0, 50 First Dates, Kong Skull Island, Journey to the Mysterious Island, Godzilla, and much more. It’s a great tour and we’ve been enjoying watching the movies since taking the tour. I won’t spoil the tour by telling you more – you should check it out.
Address: 49–560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaaawa 96730, USA
Hours: Open daily, closed Christmas and New Year’s Day
Admission: From US$21