Kualoa Ranch

Coordinates: 21°31′15″N 157°50′14″W / 21.5207°N 157.8373°W / 21.5207; -157.8373
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Kualoa Ahupua'a Historical District
Near the visitor center at Kualoa Ranch
Nearest cityKaneohe, Hawaii
Area4,000 acres (1,600 ha)
NRHP reference No.74000718[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 16, 1974

21°31′15″N 157°50′14″W / 21.5207°N 157.8373°W / 21.5207; -157.8373 Kualoa is a 4,000-acre (1,600 ha) private nature reserve and working cattle ranch, as well as a popular tourist attraction and filming location on the windward coast of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi. It is about 24 miles (39 km) from Honolulu, and 32 miles (51 km) from Haleiwa. The ranch consists of 3 valleys: Kaʻaʻawa Valley, Kualoa Valley, and Hakipuʻu Valley. The ranch is located on Hawaii State Route 83 between Kaʻaʻawa and Waikane. The main street address is 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi 96744.


The Kualoa Ranch is at the foot of the Kualoa Mountain Range[2]

The valley was sacred to ancient Hawaiians from the 13th to the 18th century, as Chief Laʻa-mai-kahiki settled there after visiting Kauaʻi before returning to Tahiti. It was also the site of the sacred drums of Kapahuʻula and Kaʻahuʻulapunawai as well as the sacred Hill of Kauakahiakahoʻowaha, the key to the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Oʻahu. As written in the Kumulipo, an ancient Hawaiian genealogical chant, Kualoa is where Papa and Wakea buried their first still born child, Haloa. It is said that the first kalo (taro) plant grew up from where Haloa was buried at Kualoa.

Mokoliʻi island, as seen from the Ranch.

In 1850 an American doctor and missionary Dr. Gerrit P. Judd purchased 622 acres of ranch land at Kualoa for $1300, and also the island of Mokoliʻi just offshore, from King Kamehameha III. Dr. Judd was the first person to translate medical journals into the Hawaiian language for King Kamehameha and so the king was very grateful for his works. In 1860 Dr. Judd bought a further 2200 acres. Then in 1880 Dr. Judd's son Charles bought another 1188 acres. Today there are about 4000 acres of land.[3]

In 1863 Charles Judd and his brother-in-law Samuel Gardner Wilder started a sugarcane plantation and built a sugar mill at the ranch. Several years of low rainfall brought sugar farming to a close, and the mill closed in 1870. The ruins of the old sugar mill can still be seen along Kamehameha Highway.

In 1941 during World War II, the U.S. military occupied the land, which became the site of Kualoa Airfield. After the war the ranch was returned to the Morgan family, the owners and descendants of Dr. Judd.[3]

The entire ahupuaʻa (traditional land division of ancient Hawaii) was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu as the Kualoa Ahupuaʻa Historical District, site 74000718 on October 16, 1974.[4][5]

From 1993 to 1998, the ranch hosted Hawaii's first major rock festival, the Big Mele, since the Diamond Head Crater Festivals held on New Years Day from 1969 to 1978.


Riding along the Kualoa Ranch trails on horseback

The property continues to be a working cattle ranch and is run by John Morgan from the island of Hawaii.[6] Kualoa is open for guided tours and tours on horseback.[7]

In 2018, the ranch was raising shrimp and making it available, as local lunch cuisine, to visitors.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

More than 79 movies and TV shows have been filmed at Kualoa over the years, including Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Mighty Joe Young, 50 First Dates, You, Me and Dupree, Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, Jumanji, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Snatched, and Lost.[9]

The Secret Island, located within the ranch, served as the Finish Line for The Amazing Race 20, which aired on May 6, 2012.[10] A few months later, Secret Island appeared as the site of a Pit Stop on the French version of The Amazing Race.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Kualoa Fish Pond Tour". aprilwilliams.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Kualoa History". official web site. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  4. ^ T. Stell Newman (December 27, 1973). "Kualoa Ahupuaʻa Historical District nomination form". National Register of Historic Places. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Kualoa Ahupua'a Historical District". National Park Service. Retrieved August 28, 2020. With accompanying pictures
  6. ^ "Hawaii Cattlemen's Council - Francis S. Morgan".
  7. ^ "Tracking Coronavirus in Hawai'i—March 18, 2020". Honolulu Magazine. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Now You Can Eat Shrimp Raised On-Site at Kualoa Ranch". Honolulu, HI. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  9. ^ Epstein, Adam. "This mountain at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii has appeared in "Lost," "Jurassic Park," "The Hunger Games," and dozens of other movies and TV shows". Quartz. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  10. ^ "The Amazing Race Season Finale Watch: It's A Great Place to Become Millionaires". Cinemablend. May 6, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  11. ^ "Amazing Race : Mathilde et Séverine éliminées, un binôme s'insulte violemment". Purepeople (in French). November 13, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2020.

External links[edit]