Perhaps the world’s most famous log is located in Kualoa Ranch on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii, because this log is where the cast of Jurassic Park hid during a Gallimimus chase.
The private working nature reserve is known as Jurassic Valley and has been the set for not just the infamous movie franchise that is Jurassic Park but also box office movies such as Pearl Harbor, Jumanji, Kong Skull Island, Godzilla, 50 First Dates and Mighty Joe Young.
It has also been used as Hurley’s golf course in Lost, in Magnum PI and featured in a vast number of Hawaii Five – O episodes.
While the ranch doubles up as a movie set, its owners, eighth generation descendants of Dr Gerritt P. Judd, an advisor and cabinet minister to King Kamehameha III from whom he purchased the land, also run a successful working ranch that provides tours of their vast 4,000 acre property.
“Our goal is to protect and enhance the natural beauty of these lands while developing sustainable recreational, agricultural and aquacultural enterprises that are compatible with the environment,” is the company motto.
The ranch can be explored by a variety of different tours, such as an e-mountain bike tour, guided horseback walking tour, via ATV, the Jurassic Valley zipline tour, Hollywood movie sites tour, jungle jeep expedition tour, secret island beach activities and the taste of Kualoa Farm tour.
My husband Paul and I decided to do both the movie tour and the jungle jeep expedition.
Taking part in the jungle jeep tour first, we entered the rainforest known as Hakipu`u where our tour guide drove us through rivers, up the sides of steep hills and along uneven trails.
Stopping at various locations we got to see the sets of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including the entrance into Jurassic World – which still bare the marks of the T-Rex claws in its walls. However, this tour is more about the beauty of the ranch’s acreage than movie sets.
At one point in the tour, we disembarked the truck and walked up a steep hillway to a secluded spot. Here we witnessed one of the most breath-taking scenes the ranch and the island has to offer. A scene that included Moli’i Pond, an ancient Hawaiian fishpond that forms part of the ranch which is over 800 years old.
On the tour we were held up for a few moments for the free roaming cattle who were wandering along the “road” to move out of the way. No horns are beeped, everything in its own time is the Hawaiian way of life.
The family try and keep the ranch as close to nature as possible and in times when there are too many animals, such as the wild boar, the staff are given rifles and the freedom to capture and kill their dinner. We did not see any hunting during our tour.
Once the 90-minute tour was completed we purchased a scrumptious wrap from the onsite restaurant and devoured it while looking at the epic scenery, possibly the best picnic location in the world.
Next, we embarked on the Hollywood movie sites tour.
Within Kualoa Ranch is the Ka’a’awa Valley, known as Hollywood’s “Hawaii Backlot,” here over 50 Hollywood blockbuster movies and TV shows were shot, some dating back to the 1960’s staring Elvis Presley.
On this tour we were taken around various movie sets, some that are iconic such as Godzilla’s footprints, others that take some imagination to visualise.
However, perhaps the most iconic and famous of them all is the location of the scene from Jurassic Park where the two children and Sam Neill hide behind a log from the galloping Gallimimus coming towards them.
While some features are added post production the set is instantly recognisable.
Here we took the opportunity to have our photo taken with the log as most people do.
The ranch was used during World War II and a variety of military structures still stand including a bunker that hosts various movie memorabilia.
The whole ranch is stunning, the scenes are breath taking, the nature intriguing. The whole experience of the ranch, regardless of what tour you do, is more than worth it.
Pics by Eyleen Gomez