Finding LOST filming locations on a tour of Kualoa Ranch in Oahu


Lauren with a Kos Tours hummer in Hawaii

After having so much fun visiting LOST related filming sites in Oahu, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy leaving the island unless I got to experience a lot more.

Whilst it’s extremely easy to drive around the island seeing the majority of well-known filming locations, I had read online that there were plenty more sites that weren’t available to the general public as they were located on private property.

After spending a few hours researching online, I eventually decided to go with 5-hour Kos Hummer Movie/Lost Adventure Tour. I liked the fact that as well as LOST filming sites you could see movie locations too – such as Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbour and Godzilla.

In true LOST style, on the morning of the tour the heavens opened and we experienced a crazy torrential downpour, causing us to get extremely wet and muddy extremely very quickly!

After getting acquainted with our tour guide and meeting the two other people on the tour, we set off for Kualoa Ranch to start exploring!

The muddy hummer!

As soon as we set off, I realised that we were now sat with the most irritating and bizarre couple. Dressed like they were from the 1920’s, they greeted me by asking me if I was a “Jater or a Skater”. Oh dear. It was going to be a long tour….

The first stop was visiting the house where John Locke’s father lived. You couldn’t see too much of it due to the security gates around the property, but it was still instantly recognisable. I wonder if the people who live there get fed up with the constant hummers driving past with staring tourists snapping photos!

Locke’s Dad’s house

As much as I dislike rain, I was really glad it was raining when we got to visit the banyan trees in the jungle. So many scenes have been shot there, and almost always in torrential rain!

It was quite scary standing there with the rain falling so heavily that it was hurting your head, preventing you from being able to see properly, making the floor so muddy that with every step you sunk down inches and felt like you were about to fall – not to mention the sounds of animals nearby.

Needless to say, I was glad to escape this part and jump back into the safe hummer!

Hiding from the smoke monster in a tree

Originally a World War II military installation, The Tempest becomes one of the Dharma stations that stores a poisonous gas in the show. On the way there we were overtaken by about 20 men riding quad bikes over the grass. Zooming around like maniacs, they decided to stop right outside The Tempest to ruin our photo-taking opportunity! We decided to wait them out, so I stood from afar and shot them one of my famous deadly glares until they got the hint and drove away, finally leaving us alone.

The bizarre couple who were on the tour with us decided to re-enact Jack and Juliet’s kiss outside the tempest. For a very long time. AFTER the photo of them had been taken… Fun.

The Tempest

Some of my favourite parts of the tour were getting to see the various different piers that were used over the seasons. We got to visit the submarine pier that was used in both the present day and flashback parts of the show, as well as the main pier where Ben and The Others were finally revealed to the audience.

The LOST pier where Ben was revealed.
The submarine pier
View of the island from the submarine pier

A lot of the scenes in LOST that were set in South America, Nigeria, Australia or elsewhere were almost always shot on Hawaii. We got to visit the South American school where Jack visits Sayid to try and convince him to return to the island.

South American school

The main part of Kualoa Ranch is huge valley which reminds me so strongly of LOST. So many scenes were filmed in this area, and everywhere I looked felt so familiar to me.

Ka’a’awa Valley
The hill where Hurley jump-started the blue campervan

At the time of taking the tour, the cast were still in the middle of filming season 5 and so we saw a lot of filming locations that were a completely mystery, and so it was fun trying to speculate how they could be used in the show.

One of the most exciting parts was this huge wooden structure in the middle of nowhere. We had no idea what it was for but when I watched the show, I discovered it was the structure that was used to hold the hydrogen bomb.

Wooden structure used to house the hydrogen bomb

We finished the tour with a bit of fun and games by visiting Hurley’s golf course. Our guide had come prepared for this and brought along a small model of Hurley to make it look like we were playing golf with him!

Playing golf with Hurley on his golf course

Despite the appalling company from the weird couple on the tour, we had a fantastic day driving through the mountains seeing all the sites. We were shown about 20 or so filming locations for different movies, but as I’d only seen one (Jurassic Park!) then that part of the tour was pretty dull.

Our tour guide was fantastic though – he was so knowledgable about the whole island and kept us entertained telling us about the various times he’d met the actors and the embarrassing things he’d done in front of them!

I believe that they still run these tours even though LOST has now finished. Most of the sites are still there and possible to see, so if you’re as obsessive a fan as I am. then this is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!

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19 Comments

  1. Patricia GW
    June 27, 2011
    Reply

    So cool! What an amazing experience to see those places in person! I definitely want to do it too, but I think I’ll take an umbrella with me. For the rain to be so hard you can’t even see must have been hard to walk through.

    • Lauren
      June 27, 2011
      Reply

      It’s something that definitely has to be seen if you’re a huge fan of the show!

      The rain was crazy, but it completely added to the experience, and made everything feel more “LOST-like”.

  2. Toni
    June 27, 2011
    Reply

    Oh The Tempest building looks so damn cool! You little LOST stalker you ;) Looks like you had great fun!

    • Lauren
      June 27, 2011
      Reply

      I was SUCH a stalker! If we’d had longer to stay, we would have done the tour again when they were filming so we’d get to meet them!!

  3. Amanda
    June 27, 2011
    Reply

    I’m so jealous you got to visit Oahu while they were still filming!

    I was just there in February of this year, so most of the filming sites (well, the sets) are gone now. But Kualoa Ranch does their own “Movie/TV Sites” tour into Ka’a’awa Valley, so I jumped on the opportunity to do that.

    The Tempest site has now been converted into a little mini museum for the movies and TV shows that have been filmed on the ranch’s property. They even had a mini replica of the “LOST” submarine inside.

    Ka’a’awa Valley itself is so amazing; I would have paid the $23 just to see that.

    • Lauren
      June 27, 2011
      Reply

      It’s a shame that we we did the tour on the 26th December, so all the cast were off on holiday otherwise we may have been able to meet a few of them which would have been AMAZING!

      That sounds really interesting about The Tempest though!

      It’s really beautiful..

  4. Tijmen
    June 27, 2011
    Reply

    Never knew it was possible to visit those locations. Would be so cool to see them myself, if only I was in Hawaii :)

    • Lauren
      June 27, 2011
      Reply

      Yeah, I wish I was in Hawaii right now! I love how it’s so easy to access so many of the well-known sites!

  5. Kris
    June 27, 2011
    Reply

    Another great collection of photos. The first time I visited Hawaii, I saw them filming the last episode of Magnum PI, but now I’m really dating myself…

    • Lauren
      June 27, 2011
      Reply

      Hahaha, yeah I had to google what that was… :D

  6. Sarah
    June 28, 2011
    Reply

    Um, you are one dedicated fan!

    Such a bummer to hear that the other couple on the tour were a bit lamer than expected. Just imagine if you ACTUALLY stranded on an island with them.

    I’m shuddering just thinking about it….

    • Lauren
      June 29, 2011
      Reply

      A little bit obsessive, yes! But it was worth it as I had SUCH a good time!

      After a 5 hour tour I’d had more than enough and was very happy to say goodbye!

  7. crazy sexy fun traveler
    June 29, 2011
    Reply

    You must have loved it! Do you love Ian Somerhalder, one of the actors as well? I met him in person :) http://www.crazysexyfuntraveler.com/bloody-night-con-in-barcelona/

    • Lauren
      June 30, 2011
      Reply

      It was one of the best things I’ve ever done!
      Arghhh, I love Ian! He is SO hot!! You’re so lucky!

  8. Jordan
    September 19, 2011
    Reply

    I’m late to the game, but this is still really really cool. I love Lost.

  9. jaybrooks@frontier.com
    February 21, 2015
    Reply

    Lauren I enjoyed your blog very much. We visited Kualoa Ranch this past December and throughly absorbed the Lost filming sites and movie sets.

    • Lauren
      March 10, 2015
      Reply

      So glad to hear that! :-)

  10. Jasmin
    April 27, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren
    Do you think it’s possible to do the tour alone? Without a Tour… or is it not possible to go everywhere by yourself? When you have a car…
    Thank‘s for your help!
    Cheers
    Jasmin

    • Lauren
      April 27, 2019
      Reply

      Unfortunately not. Kuala Ranch is private property, so you have to visit as part of a tour.

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