Day 7 – Kualoa Ranch Raptor Tour and Ziplining, Chasing Big Waves and Watching the Sunset at North Shore!
Have you seen any of the following movies?
– The Karate Kid II (1986)
– Jurassic Park (1993)
– Mighty Joe Young (1998)
– Fifty First Dates (2004)
– Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle (2018)
We got to see film locations for all these movies plus about two dozen more! Kualoa Ranch is a nature preserve with more than 4,000 acres of lush greenery and mountains that look like the ridged back of a sleeping dragon. They ranch is home to many cows (their burgers are amazing, in unrelated news). And the views are absolutely breath-taking, Hollywood has brought their stars to this side of Oahu to film many, many movies and TV shows. Some of the movie sets, include one from Jurassic World, were left at the ranch so crazy people like us could pose with the dinosaurs! And sit in the truck where Chris Pratt sat.
Utility Terrain Vehicle Raptor Tour at Kualoa Ranch
Our first adventure of the morning had us jumping into utility terrain vehicles and zooming down the trail behind our hilarious guide. We caught glimpses of signs all over the ranch, showing where different movies were filmed. While Fast and Furious wasn’t filmed here, we sure were driving like it!
Movie Sets a Kualoa Ranch
Move over, Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, a new star is coming on the scene!
Touring the Lush Valleys and the Jagged Mountains
Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch
After getting muddy and dusty and having a mountain-size amount of fun, we were ready for the next adventure! Who doesn’t want to soar through the island air, suspended hundreds of feet above a lush valley, swinging in between the incredible mountain ranges?!? I felt like Tarzan and George of the Jungle and an airborne version of the Karate Kid all at once! Hiiiyaaa!
There were seven ziplines, and my partner and I got to race each other side-by-side! And for some reason, he was way more scared of the suspension bridges (even though we were still clipped in, so if we fell, we’d fall like 5 inches)!
Chasing some Big Waves on North Shore
Lāʻie Point State Wayside
On the news, my parents heard that there were 40-foot waves approaching North Shore! So what does that mean for my adventure-seeking family? Let’s go chase them!
First stop was the panoramic Lāʻie Point State Wayside! (Don’t ask me how to pronounce that, I know I’ll butcher it on accident.) We took lots of photos and videos as the waves crashed up and over this cool tunnel/holey rock out in the ocean. Another family (probably tourists, pshh) stood a little too close to the edge and they got hammered with a sneaker wave! A salty shower left them walking away soaking wet and laughing their heads off.
To continue our chase of the massive waves, we drove to Sunset Beach on North Shore. Apparently there’s this famous tree that started growing half it’s trunk parallel to the ground, then was like naaah boiii and then started growing straight up like a normal tree. I thought it was cute that they put several signs on the tree, telling people not to climb on it, since it was over 100 years old and it needed to be shown some respect. What people will do for the gram, am I right?
Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park
Did you ever go through a phase of wanting to be a super cool surfer after watching the movie Blue Crush? Or maybe even Lilo and Stitch? Well, I definitely did. I wanted to ride the waves and do all the gnarly things that I don’t know what they’re called, but look super cool. I never attained that dream, primarily due to a fear of being eaten alive by a shark or a group of hungry fish.
But if you ever want to watch daredevil surfers tempt the incredibly strong ocean waves with their tiny boards, head to Ehukai Beach Park to watch these athletes take on the Banzai Pipeline. We sat on the sand, completely transfixed by the beauty of the sunset, the ferocity of the waves crashing relentlessly, and the surfers, chasing the ride of their life. This was the first time I had ever seen a wave curl over so you could see through it like a tunnel, which is were the best surfers would ride through and pop out the other side.
This was a long day, and by the end, we were HUNGRY! So we stopped at a place at North Shore called Killer Tacos, and man oh man, they were killer!! I got a fish taco and a shredded chicken taco. But I felt a little guilty about the chicken taco while a random wild chicken was pecking around our feet while we ate outside!
Thanks for reading!!!
Check out Part 1 of our trip, when we landed in Oahu and watched the sunset at Sand Island on Day 1. Then on Day 2, hiked to the Lanikai Pillboxes and went on an epic beach tour, ending at Waikiki Beach for a swim in the ocean and sunset with pineapple dole whip.
Check out Part 2 of our trip, when we went snorkeling at Shark’s Cove, devoured shave ice, toured a few more beaches and watched the sunset at Barber’s Point, all on Day 3.
Check out Part 3 of our trip, when we hiked the Pink Pillbox trail, snorkeled with turtles and watched the sunset at Secret Beach, and ate katsu chicken ramen. Then spent the following day touring the magical Aulani Disney Resort, ate all the goodies from Liliha Bakery, and watched the sunset at Ala Moana.
Check out Part 4 of our trip, when we walked out to Ka’ena Point and saw all kinds of wildlife, then paid our respects at the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Utah Memorial and learned a great deal at the Pearl Harbor Museum.
Stay tuned for Part 6, the final days of our dream-come-true adventure!