David Morgan, 6th generation owner, invited us to visit the 4,000 acre Kualoa Ranch cattle ranch and recreation destination.
David is a descendant of Gerrit Judd, who was one of King Kamehameha III cabinet members. Judd purchased the initial land and offshore fishing rights from the king in 1850.
While still an active cattle ranch, the family has diversified operations including vegetable and fruit farming, flower nurseries and producing fish and prawns for local markets. There are a variety of non invasive visitor activities they were happy to show us including hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, concerts, sporting events, education sessions and TV and film production.
After our breakfast orientation meeting, we were off to a tour of the Moli’i fish ponds and gardens. These preserved fish ponds were built 800 years ago using lava rock walls and a series of wooden sluice gates where small fish could enter. Growing as they fed on the alga in the pond, the fish became too large to exit the gates. Photo credit Kualoa Ranch.
Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii fishpond tour on 800-year old ancient pond
Our next stop was the garden where taro, breadfruit, papaya, jack fruit, banana, pineapple, bamboo, sugar cane, coffee and a rainbow of flowers grew. We stopped near the macadamia nut trees seeking out a few overlooked nuts. The effort to required to crack these shells was impressive. By smashing the nut between two stones we were able to taste a few raw nut meat treats.
Kualoa Ranch Oahu Hawaii Stepping in the Footprints from Godzilla’s movie
After our stop for the lunch buffet in the main lodge we were off on our next tour. We chose the movie tour which took us out in a scenic part of the ranch valley. Cowboy, our tour guide took us through the former military bunker which has been used to film Lost and now houses movie relics and posters. As we rounded the bend the valley opened up in front of us. Here is were many movies and television shows are shot including Jurassic Park, George of the Jungle, Fifty First Dates. “@nctrlbst @alohayaling @alohabruce and @noelwilliamsinside one of Godzilla’s footprints. Photo credit April M. Williams”
The sites are marked by signs and our guide Cowboy had a story to tell of each one. Photo credit Kualoa Ranch.
Kualoa Ranch is about an hour drive from Honolulu. The ranch offers shuttle service from Waikiki and The Bus route 55 stops at the entrance to the ranch.
Follow Kualoa Ranch on Twitter.
For more information or to make reservations for a day at the ranch call (808) 237-7321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch video of our trip to the fish ponds, gardens and movie location sites.
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