Friday, November 21, 2014

Lost 2014 Tour: Kualoa Ranch

For sheer visual splendour the valley within Kualoa Ranch is hard to beat.  The area has attracted many film and television productions including Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and LOST.  In fact, the day of our tour there was a crew shooting in the valley, allegedly for a Shakira music video.  Jurassic Park 4 had also been filming recently.  In terms of LOST there are multiple locations scattered over the property: the Tempest station, Richard Alpert's pre-Island home, the area where Ana-Lucia killed Goodwin, Jughead's tower, the hill down which Hurley drove a Dharma van, the suspension bridge Hurley and Charlie crossed to reach Rousseau, the spot where the Man in Black smashed Jacob's wine bottle, and Hurley's golf course to name a few.

In 2011 I toured Kualoa Ranch in a humvee with 3 of my LOSTie pals.  Our driver and guide was a guy named Greg who was actually an extra on the show; one of his appearances was in the Santa Rosa scenes with Hurley.  After arriving back home from the LOST 2014 gathering, looking through pictures I noticed that he had actually attended the event!

For the 2014 tour we transferred from the buses that had brought us to the ranch from Honolulu to a set of open-window buses owned by the ranch.  We then set off along the dusty dirt roads.  After the bombings at Pearl Harbour the military ramped up their presence on Oahu, and there are many remnants of this on the ranch.

Military bunker.  (Photo: Ian)

Our first stop was at the "Jurassic Park log".  I'm not sure if it's the original, but there is a branch at the location much like the one that appeared in the first Jurassic Park movie in the scene where Sam Neill's character and the two kids must protect themselves from a stampeding herd of dinosaurs.

Running for cover.  (from "Jurassic Park")
Protected behind the log.  (from "Jurassic Park")
Kualoa Ranch, 2014
On the lookout for T. Rex.
I can't help but wonder if this tree...  (from "Jurassic Park")
... is the same as the tree behind the guy in white shorts.
I can't get enough of these mountains.
Kissing gorillas rock formation, 2014.
Partially obscured kissing gorillas in the background.  ("Jurassic Park")

Next we stopped at an old military bunker which has been converted into a mini-museum featuring artifacts from some of the movie and television series that have shot on the ranch grounds.  One of the rooms inside is dedicated to LOST and features the Galaga submarine model.

Making a second stop.
Artifacts from the Journet 2's Atlantis scenes.

There are actually two entrances to the bunker; the right-side entrance was filmed as the exterior of the Tempest station in LOST.

Right-side = entrance to The Tempest.
Remnants of Dharma times.
The left-side bunker entrance.

There are also spectacular views in every direction at this location.

View down the coast.
View of Mokoli'i island.  (a.k.a. Chinaman's Hat)
View down the road, just beyond the bunker entrance.
View out to sea
Heading back to the bus.

At this point our guide was about to head back to the parking lot to drop us off, but for many on the bus the #1 goal of the tour was to see Hurley's golf course.  So, after a bit of convincing and an Austin Powers worthy 15-point turn, we were on our way back into the valley.  Probably due to the aforementioned video shoot, the sign marking Hurley's golf course had been taken down.

Climbing the incline towards Hurley's golf course.
The fairway needs a little trim!
LOSTies survey The Island's only golf course. (Photo: Ian)
Video shoot on the edge of Hurley's golf course. Note kissing gorillas.
Mountain view.
Awesome, right?
Solitary palm.
Returning to the bus. Note Godzilla tracks.  (Photo: Ian)

We then high-tailed it back to the Kualoa Ranch parking lot, half-an-hour late but happy that we'd been able to get an up-close look at one of LOST's most memorable locations.

No comments:

Post a Comment