Kauai’s movie-making adventures

On location in Hawaii


It’s one thing to admire Kauai’s tropical landscapes on the big screen; it’s quite another to visit those landscapes yourself. If you want to explore the striking Kauaian scenery immortalized in some of cinema’s biggest blockbusters, head to Kipu Ranch on the southeast tip of the island.

With its gorgeous stretches of unspoiled wilderness, this private, 3,000-acre property has hosted countless film crews over the years. Take Kipu’s Ranch & Mountain Tour and you’ll see firsthand just what attracts moviemakers to the area. During the three-hour eco-adventure, you’ll 4×4 into the rugged interior of the island while learning about Kauai’s unique plant and animal life. It’s a proper education, but one that’s a hoot, as you rip along mud flats and snake through hidden valleys thick with vegetation.

You’ll ride to places you’ve most likely seen before—on the big screen. This is where Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Outbreak and Tropic Thunder were filmed, after all. Adrenaline junkies can even recreate their favourite movie moments, like swinging off a vine à la Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (also filmed on the ranch).

Climbing more than 800 feet in elevation, the tour reaches its climax on a verdant mountain overlooking the creamy waves of Kipu Kai Beach, the immaculate beach immortalized in The Descendants. Forget HD, the picture is a million times clearer in person. Pass the popcorn.


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