The Aloha State is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. So it’s no surprise that Hollywood has used many Hawaii film locations in numerous films and TV shows. Visiting filming locations on some of the islands can be among the most interesting ways to explore Hawaii. Some of these places can only be toured by helicopter or boat, adding a sense of adventure when seeing them.
Hawaii Film Locations – Oahu
Oahu has the most film and TV locations of the islands. Examples include: Pearl Harbor, Blue Crush and the TV show Lost. Oahu boasts of some of the most diverse filming landscapes. Many of these settings are easily visible by vacationers exploring on their own by rental car.
Oahu is one of the main settings where the popular show Lost was filmed. Lost fans can see familiar mountains and forests while stopping at Kaneohe Bay and He’eia Park.
By riding along the coast to Waihe’e Park, you can see the filming location of Karate Kid. Also nearby is Waikane Pier. Here, tourists can see a place featured in films such as 50 First Dates, Along Came Polly, Godzilla and Lost.
Many tour companies offers tours through the Kualoa Ranch. This place had many locations included in shooting films like Tears of the Sun, You, Me and Dupree and Last Resort.
The Ka’a’awa area is home to the Kualoa Sugar Mill and Cooper Battery, an old World War II coastal defense fortification. You could have seen it on Lost as well as Hawaii Five-0 as a Korean prison. Nearby, the producers of Lost re-created a village as “Richard’s house.” This is a prime location to take pictures of these popular film and TV locations. Travelers can also experience the hidden corners of the Ka’a’awa Valley. Here, you’ll see places in scenes from Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers and many others.
From Here to Eternity
One of the most iconic films ever shot on Hawaii was From Here to Eternity in 1953. Montgomery Cliff, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra were the big name stars in this iconic film. The film famously re-launched Frank Sinatra’s then struggling career and won of 8 Academy Awards. From Here to Eternity highlighted some of Oahu’s most beautiful coastal views and is a respected movie classic. The famous kiss in the surf scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was filmed on Halona Cove. It might be one of the most famous Hawaii film locations and visitors frequently visit the area. For honeymooners especially, this stunning cove is worth stopping by.
Hawaii Film Locations – Kauai
Over 60 movies or TV shows were shot on the island of Kauai and can be toured by kayak, boat, helicopter or car. However, some of the most dynamic sites are only visible from the air. One can enjoy the peaceful kayaking trip through an area once serving as the backdrop for Raiders of the Lost Ark. On helicopter, you can soar over Nawiliwili Harbor where scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed.
Many areas in Kauai have become world-famous film sets. Elvis’ famous Blue Hawaii and John Wayne’s Donovan’s Reef were both filmed in Kauai. The Coco Palms area is famously recognizable in Pirates of the Caribbean. While on the eastern side of the island, vacationers can explore Wailua Falls and Wailua River. Here, Fantasy Island (TV show), Blue Hawaii and the timeless musical classic, South Pacific, were shot.
The North Side
On the North Shore, from Hanalei Bay to the Na’ Pali Coast, you can recognize scenes from Honeymoon in Vegas, South Pacific, Lilo & Stitch, Lord of the Flies, The Thorn Birds, King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Jurassic Park and Six Days/Seven Nights. Quite possibly, the Na Pali Coast may be the one of the State’s most iconic Hawaii film locations. Another area is the riverside backdrop for the opening jungle scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can only see this place by kayaking down the Wailua River.
The South Side
The south shore of Kauai highlights enchanting landscapes visible only by air. You may recall seeing Manawaiopuna Falls in Jurassic Park. The Olokele Valley was a filming site in George of the Jungle. You can see the town of Koloa in scenes from To End All Wars. And Kipu Kai Beach was a filming location of Hook and Six Days/Seven Nights. Families can end a day of site-seeing by enjoying a meal at Tahiti Nui, made famous in the George Clooney film, The Descendants.
There is no reason not to feel like a movie star for a day. You can do this by delving deeply into Hawaii’s movie and TV landscapes and locations first hand. Start your planning now for a fun activity-filled vacation in Hawaii.
By: Vacheh Joakim