KUALOA RANCH

by Leona Hall and Christopher Diaz

Tired of the hustle and bustle in your daily activity? Want to spend a day in a place with beauty, history, and the panoramic views of the ocean and mountain and at the same time provide you with a day of activities for you and your family? How about relaxing on a secluded white-sand beach called "Secret Island? " Welcome to the land of Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Kualoa Ranch has acres of beautiful valley and mountain peaks located on the windward side of the island, in the town of Kaaawa Valley. To get to this scenic area from Waikiki and Downtown, take H-1 Freeway (North) to Likelike Highway. Take Likelike going east towards Kaneohe and continue onto Kahekili (83) heading north. Enroute you pass by the heads of several hiking trails, including Maelieli, Ulupaina, Ahuimanu, and Waikane. It should be approximately 15 miles before you see the site of "Chinaman's Hat." As you continue this route, on the right side of the street is Kualoa Regional Park and on the left side of the street will be Kualoa Ranch.

Kualoa means "long back" (James 21). As you walk the trails or view the 4,000 acres of towering mountains and valleys (from a helicopter ride) you will understand why. It was once called, "one of the most sacred places on the island." Centuries ago, the newborn children of chiefs were brought here to be trained in the arts of war and the ancient tradition of the Hawaiian chiefs. When the chief was visiting, passing canoes would lower their masts in recognition of the sacredness (Sterling 178).

As you view the ocean from atop the hills of Paliku or other parts of the ranch you will see Mokoli'i, also known as Chinaman's Hat . The legend behind Mokoli'i is that Hi'iaka, Pele's sister, created Mokoli'i island by sleighing a threatening no'o, dragon, and setting his gigantic flukes in the water as landmark. She used the body of the creature to form the lowlands below the Kualoa pali which provides travelers that roadbed running around that edge of the island (James 22).

Kualoa Ranch provides a fun-filled day of activities for you and your family or friends. The site includes Kualoa's History Museum, a petting zoo of various exotic animals, pony rides for the kids, and guided tours for you whether hiking on foot, horseback riding, or trolley car rides. The guided tours takes you through the sweeping trails in the mountains and valleys. If you prefer to snorkel, swim, paddle a Hawaiian canoe, or play volleyball on a private beach "Secret Island" is available to you. Prices vary from $10.00 - $35.00 for individual activities (wind surfing, horse back riding, etc.) and $79.00 Adults - $52.00 Child (3-11 years) for family packages. The family package includes a full day activity pass, lei greeting, buffet lunch and free round trip transportation from various hotels in Waikiki. Also available are kama'aina rates, you must be a Hawaii resident.

How about a change of scenery for your company functions? Company packages are available from air activities (helicopter rides), to land activities (horse rides, mountain biking, dune cycles, gun range, hiking, and trolley rides), to sea activities (scuba diving, sailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, canoeing, and windsurfing). Prices vary according to packages.

How about a special place to celebrate that special day? Kualoa Ranch has packages available for weddings, receptions, birthdays and retirements. Prices vary.

Kualoa Ranch has held various events like the Outrigger Hotels Hawaiian Mountain Tour , concerts featuring various local artists (Ka'au Crater Boys and Kapena) and Mainland artists (Santana and Blind Melon), various charity events which includes Aloha Week Festival, Outrigger Hotels charity funds, and many more. It is also one of many places, in Hawaii, that attracted the "Hollywood" industry. In the blockbuster hit movie "Jurassic Park" various locations of Kualoa Ranch was used for the movie (Carlson).

For a fun-filled day of activities come join us at Kualoa Ranch and we'll entertain you by air (helicopter), land (horseback riding or hiking on foot) and sea (scuba diving or snorkeling). All you need to provide are closed shoes, a camera, comfortable wear, a towel and sunscreen.

Works Cited

Carlson, Christie. Personal interview. 7 April 1996.
James, Van. Ancient Sites of Oahu. Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1991.
Sterling, Elspeth P. Sites of Oahu. Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1978.


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