Holiday in Hawaii – December 2020 – Part 5

Day 7 – Kualoa Ranch Raptor Tour and Ziplining, Chasing Big Waves and Watching the Sunset at North Shore!

Kualoa Ranch

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. 😜

Entering Kualoa Ranch, one of our favorite adventures during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
Entering Kualoa Ranch!
horses lined up in a corral at Kualoa Ranch
The ranch is home to beautiful horses that you can take out for guided rides!

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!

UTV's lined up, where we drove them during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
These are the utility terrain vehicles we drove, with the mountains in the background!
Lush greenery of a valley and mountain at Kualoa Ranch, where we spent half a day during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
Look. At. That. Lusciousness.
A view of the ocean with a palm tree in the foreground
Most of the ride was within the trees and valleys, but we got a couple views of the ocean too!
An old World War II bunker we saw on the UTV ride
An old World War II bunker!
Lush greenery of a valley and mountain at Kualoa Ranch, where we spent half a day during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
I’m glad the ranch is a nature preserve, so this beauty cannot be destroyed.

Movie Sets a Kualoa Ranch

Move over, Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, a new star is coming on the scene! 💁‍♀️⭐

two people posing in front of a dinosaur breaking out of a cage
AHHH! HELPPP! The dinosaurs have escaped!
set from Jurassic World at Kualoa Ranch - one of the highlights of our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
A movie set from Jurassic World (2015)!
girl sitting in the same truck that was used in the movie, Jurassic World
The exact same truck from Jurassic World (2015). Let’s take it for a spin!
Two ATV's launching off a hill. We saw many movie sets at Kualoa Ranch during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
This is where they filmed the ATV scene in Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)!
The penguin from the movie 50 first dates - we visited many movie sites at Kualoa Ranch during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
A film location (AND THE PENGUIN) from Fifty First Dates (2004)!
An area of the valley at Kualoa Ranch where they filmed Jumanji
Welcome to… Jumanji!!!
An old shack from the show Magnum P.I. - we saw many movie sets at Kualoa Ranch during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
We used to LOVE watching Magnum P.I. (1980-1988), and this is from one of the episodes!
one of the statues that National Geographic used when they filmed "Walking with Giants"
This is one of the statues that National Geographic used when they filmed “Walking with Giants”
A WWII bunker that was used as a DHARMA station from the show LOST (2004-2010)
This was a real WWII bunker. Look familiar? Maybe you recognize it as a DHARMA station from the show LOST (2004-2010)!
bones of a dinosaur and King Kong from the movie Kong: Skull Island - we toured many movie sets during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
We came across the bones of a dinosaur and King Kong! 🐱‍🐉
Giant footprints in the earth, from the movie Kong: Skull Island
Giant foot prints! Dun Dun Dunnn (I think these are Kong: Skull Island (2017) 🙉
A giant gorilla replica sitting under a tree, based on the movie Mighty Joe Young
A replica from Mighty Joe Young (1998) – my little sister’s FAVORITE movie!

Touring the Lush Valleys and the Jagged Mountains

A view of the UTV's we drove at Kualoa Ranch during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
We started our tour early in the morning, so this is a shot of the sun rising over the mountains.
A picturesque view of the mountain, the valley and the ocean - one of our favorite spots during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
Along the trail, we stopped at this picturesque view of the mountain, the valley and the ocean!
A picturesque view of the mountain, the valley and the ocean - one of our favorite spots during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
There is a story that this mountain was once a live dragon/lizard and it got its head cut off, which fell into the ocean below!
The jagged mountain range really does look like the back of an ancient sleeping dragon. 🐲
A view of Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat) and two man-made pools of water that house fish for the luaus
The island to the far left is called Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat). The two man-made pools of water on the right house fish for the luaus!
A closer view of the mountains at Kualoa Ranch
A closer view of the mountains at Kualoa Ranch – it’s so majestic I could cry.
A view of the green grassy valley at Kualoa Ranch
Wild piggies also run around in thise valleys, but we didn’t get to see one
Cows roaming and grazing at Kualoa Ranch.
They ranch is home to many cows (their burgers are amazing, in unrelated news).

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)!

A loose dinosaur greeting us at the beginning of our zipline adventure! Ziplining was one of the most epic adventures during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
A loose dinosaur greeting us at the beginning of our zipline adventure!
two people ziplining over a treetop canopy at Kualoa Ranch
yeeeeeeee haaaawwww!
A view from the ziplining trail of the valley and the ocean.
Not only was this adventure a blast, but the views were better than I could have dreamed!
A view from the ziplining trail of the valley and the ocean.
To the right of the ocean, there sits on of the zipline platforms we got launched (pushed?) off!

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. 🌊

Lāʻie Point State Wayside at North Shore
Lāʻie Point State Wayside at North Shore

Sunset Beach

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?

Super old tree at Sunset Beach
Super old (like, over a century old) tree at Sunset Beach
"do not climb" signs posted on an old palm tree
Multiple signs posted on this poor old tree, making sure hooligans don’t climb on it and disturb its peace.
The pathway to get to the beach leads you through a tunnel through shrubs.
This was the path through a tunnel of greenery to get to the beach – how magical is that?!

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.

Surfer looking out at the ocean waves at sunset.
Surfer looking out at the ocean waves at sunset.
Surfer looking out at the ocean waves at sunset.
This guy was super good – I think he was using a bodyboard instead of a surfboard.
Ehukai Beach Park as the sun sets. This was by far where we saw the biggest waves during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
Ehukai Beach Park as the sunset casts its final array of colors in the sky.

Killer Tacos

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! 😭

One chicken and one fish taco from Killer Tacos - the best ever tacos during our Holiday in Hawaii - December 2020 - Part 5
Tacos from Killer Tacos at North Shore!

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! 💖

23 Replies to “Holiday in Hawaii – December 2020 – Part 5”

  1. Hilary Tan

    Hawaii is on my bucket list of places to visit. Your pictures look lovely! ❤ Hopefully once the pandemic is over, we will be able to travel again. I haven’t once stepped foot on a plane since the pandemic started.

    • strawberryandcream

      I do hope you get to go soon!! Which island(s) do you plan to visit? 🌴
      It was a little scary going to the airport on on planes during this time, but we were pleasantly surprised at the level of sanitizing as well as the lower traffic of people in the airport ✈️

  2. Silk Cords

    The Ranch was one of the few things we didn’t get to do on Oahu in 2019. Beautiful scenery for sure.

    BTW, you also have a strange idea of “cheap vacations” too, LOL. The honeymoon cost as much as the wedding. O_O

what do you think? :)

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