If you’re as familiar with 1993’s Jurassic Park as I am, then you’ll know that Hawaii is no stranger to prehistoric monsters. It’s also home to filming locations for The Lost World Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) – the second and third films in the series. More recently, though, 2015 blockbuster Jurassic World was also filmed in Hawaii.
In fact, the fourth film covered more Hawaiian ground than any of its predecessors. And while the new park doesn’t last long once the deadly Indominus Rex escapes, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying your own self-made tour like my wife and I did. So here are all the Jurassic World filming locations in Hawaii you need to know about.
1. Na Pali Coast – North Shore, Kauai
This jaw-dropping coastline has featured many times in the series, but Jurassic World takes us there by the “Isla Nublar Ferry”. For unbeatable views of this rugged beauty, go a little higher with Island Helicopters’ Jurassic Falls Tour. And you’ll be glad to know that, despite our best efforts, we didn’t spot any giant prehistoric marine creatures lurking beneath these turquoise waters.
2. Waimea Canyon State Park – Waimea, Kauai
Na Pali Coast isn’t just viewable by helicopter. If hiking is a walk in the park for you, there’s an 11-mile trail from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Valley. Alternatively, a drive up through Waimea Canyon State Park – our preferred choice – is recommended, as both Kalalau Lookout and Pu’u o Kila Lookout offer intimate rear views of these striking coastal mountains.
3. Jurassic Falls – Hanapepe Valley, Kauai
The Jurassic Falls Tour saw us enjoy a full aerial tour of Kauai, but its signature selling-point – and only landing point – is Jurassic Falls. You’ll remember them from the original 1993 film, and they remain one of the most iconic Jurassic Park filming locations. In fact, they’re seen again in Jurassic World when characters Claire and Masrani fly across the island to visit the Indominus.
4. Fish Pond – Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
Our first Jurassic-themed stop on Kualoa Ranch’s Premier Movie Sites Tour saw us at the Fish Pond – the ranch’s windswept seafront. It’s seen several times in the film as it’s overlooked by the island’s helipad, though digitally altered to include the theme park. The closing scene where the T-Rex belts out an almighty roar towards the horizon is particularly memorable.
5. Jurassic Valley – Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
Just like the original, Jurassic World’s very own dinosaur stampede was filmed here. It’s also where brothers Zack and Gray explore lush meadows filled with grazing herbivores aboard the “Gyrosphere”. Scenes from TV series Lost were filmed here, too, and my wife and I even enjoyed a jungle gym of sorts left behind by Kong: Skull Island (2017).
6. Indominus Rex Enclosure – Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
Unlike in the film, the Indominus Rex’s bunker-like enclosure remains completely intact. Here, we stood in the same spot as Claire when she looks through the window at the deadly dinosaur-hybrid. And while we also see the iconic claw marks on the enclosure wall, luckily we didn’t see the Indominus herself in the surrounding jungle – unless she was camouflaging again…
7. Pacific Aviation Museum – Pearl Harbor, Oahu
Pearl Harbor’s Pacific Aviation Museum is of course much more than just a Jurassic World filming location. Nevertheless, it served the penultimate scene where survivors of the fallen park gather in a hangar on the mainland, and where our lead characters reunite. Whilst finding the exact hangar might prove difficult, a visit to this site is a must if you’re on Oahu.
8. Honolulu Zoo – Waikiki, Oahu
In the film, children are seen interacting with infant dinosaurs (of the herbivorous kind, of course) at the park’s “Gentle Giant Petting Zoo”. This scene was filmed at Honolulu Zoo’s elephant enclosure. The real gentle giants were temporarily relocated while filming took place, but the fact that a real zoo was among the Jurassic World filming locations added a nice touch to our tour.
9. Hawaii Convention Center – Waikiki, Oahu
The “Jurassic World Visitor Center” is seen a number of times in the film. And every time we see it we’re presented with impressive holographic dinosaurs and digital displays. We didn’t see any such holograms when we entered this building’s lobby area, but just being here helped us to recall those imaginative scenes.
10. Manoa Falls – Manoa Falls Trail, Oahu
In a nail-biting scene, Zack and Gray jump from the top of a booming 150-foot waterfall to escape the Indominus Rex. The spellbinding Manoa Falls are found in the tropical mountains of Koolau on the Manoa Falls Trail. It’s a one-hour roundtrip to see them, however, caution is strongly advised due to frequent flash floods and swimming in the pool is hugely discouraged.
11. Paradise Park Manoa Road – Manoa Falls Trail, Oahu
Near the Manoa Falls Trail is the abandoned Paradise Park. Ironically, in Jurassic World it was used as the island’s “Restricted Area” – the remnants of the original 1993 park. It’s also where Zack and Gray literally take us on a trip down memory lane to the old Visitor Center, which has been long since reclaimed by the jungle.
12. Makai Research Pier – Waimanalo, Oahu
Located on the south-east corner of Oahu, Makai Pier is a test site for underwater equipment, but in the film it doubled as the theme park’s lavish port. The pier is often open to the public and there are some picturesque beaches nearby. We didn’t find any prehistoric marine reptiles here, either, but we did spot sea turtles and there’s even the dinosaur-free Sea Life Park in the area.
These might be the most worthwhile Jurassic World filming locations, but where was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom filmed? While trailers for the latest sequel depict a mainland setting, the film is set to destroy Isla Nublar, meaning Hawaii was called upon again. In fact, we were even lucky enough to visit part of the set in Jurassic Valley during the Premier Movie Sites Tour.
Other filming locations for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom include Heʻeia Kea Small Boat Harbor and Halona Blowhole on Oahu, which will serve as some of the island’s final scenes. However, given the current popularity of prequels, it’s possible that future films could return to the island. And if they do, the franchise will no doubt call upon its true home, Hawaii, once more.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom marks Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary and will hit US theatres on June 22 2018.
Dan is a freelance writer from the UK who works for a number of online publications. He’s also working on a science fiction novel, and believes the impression Jurassic Park made on him as a child – both the Spielberg film and the book by Michael Crichton – to be the source of his passion to write. He previously critiqued theatrical releases for his local radio station, while his blog ‘Curious Rookie’ remains his platform for sharing film, travel and book reviews. Dan has also visited some of the most iconic film locations around the world, and his favorite destination is the island of Kauai in Hawaii.