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by Aidan Booth February 21, 2019 4 min read

With almost 9.5 million visitors per year, Hawaii is easily one of America's most tourist-friendly states. Besides welcoming millions of international tourists, however, the Aloha State has also attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood over the past few decades. 

One of the most iconic movies ever filmed on Hawaiian soil was Steven Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece Jurassic Park. Fans of this classic adventure film (and the many sequels) should consider going on a "dinosaur hunt" of their own while on the Hawaiian Islands. So long as you know where to look, you can visit all the major Jurassic Park filming sites on a Polynesian getaway. 

So, "hold on to your butts," we're about to reveal the best Jurassic Park filming locations in Hawaii! 

Cue The John Williams Music: Na Pali Coast

                                    Photo by Braden Jarvis on Unsplash

In both the film and the movie, "Jurassic Park" is supposed to be located on a fictional island called Isla Nublar, which was situated near Costa Rica. Instead of traveling to Central America, however, Spielberg felt the northeastern Hawaiian island Kauai would be a better place to set this film. Hence, most of the filming destinations you'll see on this list are on Hawaii's "Garden Island." 

Probably the most famous Jurassic Park filming location is the jaw-dropping Na Pali Coast on northwestern Kauai. This distinctive geological formation serves as our first glimpse of Isla Nublar as all the main characters approach the island on their helicopter. 

The best ways to get a sensational view of the Na Pali Coast is to go on a helicopter ride of your own. If you'd feel more comfortable on a boat, then you could also look into going on a cruise of the area. Since the Na Pali Coast is so famous for being featured in Jurassic Park, you should have no issues finding a tour company that brings you by this area. 

Although it's not impossible to hike around the Na Pali Coast, it's only recommended for experienced hikers. Check out Na Pali Coast's official website here for info on beaches and hiking trails. 

"Welcome To Jurassic Park:" Manawaiopuna "Jurassic" Falls

                                    Photo by Martin Zangerl on Unsplash

Yet another Jurassic Park location on Kauai is Manawaiopuna Falls, which can be found in the central Hanapepe Valley. Measuring an impressive 400 feet high, this waterfall is right behind all the major characters as they get out from that helicopter ride to Isla Nublar. Manawaiopuna Falls is so closely identified with the Jurassic Park franchise that many locals now simply refer to it as "Jurassic Falls." 

Since Manawaiopuna Falls is on private property, you can't access it unless you go on a special helicopter tour. Only a few helicopter companies have access to this natural wonder, so be sure to ask the tour company you're interested in using beforehand. 

A Cattle Farm With Brachiosauruses: Jurassic Kahili Ranch

With a name like Jurassic Kahili Ranch, you'd better believe this location has an important connection with the Jurassic Park film franchise. Located on the northern shore of Kauai, this lush 2,800-acre ranch has primarily been used for raising grass-fed cattle over the years. To most movie enthusiasts, however, this ranch is best known for its hungry CGI-generated brachiosauruses in the first Jurassic Park film. 

This park has been featured in many other Jurassic Park films as well as countless advertisements. To find out more about visiting this lush ranch, please visit this official website. 

"Que Lindo Es!:" Mining In Kapaa

The "Mano de Díos Amber Mine" is supposed to be in the Dominican Republic, but its actual filming location was in the eastern city of Kapaa, Kauai. This is the area where local excavators discover fossils containing prehistoric mosquitos that are then used for DNA extraction in the first movie. 

To get to this filming location, you will need to wear your hiking shoes...and perhaps a waterproof jacket. The exact area you're looking for is the Kapaa Stream in the popular Hoopii Falls area. In total, this hike measures about 2 miles and could take a few hours depending on your skill level. 

"What Do They Got In There, King Kong?:" The Entrance Gate At Mount Wai'ale'ale

For truly dedicated Jurassic Park fans, plan on making an 8-mile trek to the base of central Kauai's Mount Wai'ale'ale. Believe it or not, this off-the-beaten-track destination was the site of the original Jurassic Park entrancegate. Unfortunately, this gate was torn down after filming, but you could still see the two poles where this famed gate once stood. 

To get to the Jurassic Park gate, you will need to travel on Kuamo'o Road towards the Waikoko Forest Management Road. Also, please be aware Mount Wai'ale'ale is considered one of the wettest areas in all of Hawaii…so plan accordingly. 

"Bet You'll Never Look At Birds The Same Way Again:" Kualoa Ranch

As you can see, Kauai steals the show when it comes to Jurassic Park filming locations. There are, however, a few important destinations for people staying on other islands. The most prominent of these non-Kauai filming locations is Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu. 

Once you arrive at this 4,000-acre ranch, you'll recall the thrilling scene where Grant and the Murphy kids take cover behind a log as they watch a T-Rex munch on its prey. Indeed, the actual log used in this scene is still on Kualoa Ranch and is a favorite stop for selfie-taking tourists. 

There are many Jurassic Park-themed tours you can take advantage of in Kualoa Ranch including thrilling ATV tours, horseback rides, and even a zip-lining excursion. Kualoa Ranch is about a 45-minute drive north of Honolulu. 

"Spare No Expense" On Your Jurassic Journey

                                     Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

Whether you're visiting Hawaii for business or pleasure, definitely try to add at least one of these Jurassic Park destinations to your travel itinerary. You'll be thankful once you snap a few photos at these incredible destinations…and then show them off to all your friends at home! Once you've seen all the destinations listed above, why not hunt for even more filming locations featured in The Lost World, Jurassic Park III, and the new Jurassic World films? Although you (hopefully) won't see any dinosaurs here, it's a fun experience to re-live the movie magic at these famous filming locations.


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