the Kualoa Ranch and Hula Pie day

Thursday 12 May 2016

mmmmmmmm Hula Pie!

But first, our day begins in the Aloha Coffee shop with a coffee and muffin or pastry for brekkie. This is becoming a theme as we seem to have this for breakfast for every day except the first and last day. As it happens we are being picked up from the Aloha coffee shop for our Kualoa Ranch trip so it works out perfectly all around.

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Kualoa is quite a way from Waikiki and adding transport to our booking was only an extra $10 US each.Pick up was at 6.55am and after collecting a few more people we were soon on the way. We chose the Kualoa Experience Tour Package which includes three 90 minute tours – we did the Ocean Voyage Tour, Jungle Expedition Tour and the Hollywood Movie Sites & Ranch Tour. Looking at the website it seems the prices have gone up since I booked back in February.

Kualoa Ranch and the welcoming committee.

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Before the first tour there was time to wander around so we did and we met up with some horses. Real horses. I was greatly amused by some Japanese tourists who were posing next to a fake horse for photos. We took photos of, and with, the real thing.

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You can see the fake horses near the people. Why they need fake horses when there are real ones I will never know.

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The following photo was taken later while on the Jungle Expedition Tour but it shows where we went for our Ocean Voyage Tour. The bus took us out onto the Kamehameha Highway and we pulled into the same driveway as on Monday when we visited the Tropical Farms Macadamia Nuts. Instead of going to the Tropical Farms car park we went down a track to the left and to the shore of the Hawaiian pond where a boat was waiting for us. The boat took us on a short trip down and over to the opposite shore of the pond – see the white bit at the lower end of the green strip in the middle. From there we walked through the bush to the Secret Beach area. We saw people there to the left who were doing the Secret Beach activities.

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The shore of the pond by the pier for the boat trip across the pond

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After leaving the boat on the other side of the pond and the short walk through the bush to the beach we waited for a little while for the catamaran to arrive.

You can see the people on the Secret Beach activities in the background doing their Secret Beach activities.

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Our catamaran arrived and we are soon on our way.

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The best part of the catamaran trip was getting up close and personal with Chinaman’s Hat.

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All too soon it was time to go back to the ranch. There was a short time before our Jungle Expedition Tour.

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Before the jungle part of the jungle expedition started we passed by these guys on our way up to see the replica of a sacred site.

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We spent a little while here while the significance of this was explained to us.

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There was also a good view from up there.

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Now this was the jungle expedition tour and not the movie sites tour but there were still movie sites and sights to be seen while trekking through the jungle.

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Guess what movie this set was from. Go on, guess!

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This is a prop for an upcoming movie so they are not allowed to removed the covers yet. Maybe it looks like a helicopter?

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A helicopter blade?

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More jungle.

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After the jungle tour it was lunch time. A buffet lunch was included in the price of our day and while it wasn’t anything fantastic it was still perfectly adequate.

The Hollywood Movie Sites and Ranch Tour was after lunch in these lovely buses.

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We drove past an old sugar mill which was mostly ruins. I love ruins and taking photos of ruins.

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In WWII the military took over part of the ranch and built “pill boxes” for observation points. They also had an airfield on the ranch.

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A bit further up the hill is a military bunker, Cooper Battery, there was an artillery battery where that big circle on the ground is.

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There was a bit of a museum area in the bunker and a few movie props also. You could walk all the way through and come out a little further along.

Who left these here?

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Somebody abandoned their vehicle at the other entrance to the bunker. Inconsiderate!

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The view from the front of the bunker is fantastic. You can see the Kamehameha Highway hugging the coast below.

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Driving through the ranch and so many beautiful views.

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Kualoa is also a working ranch and on this tour we went past some fruit trees and animals. Kualoa beef is for sale in the main shop at the entrance to the ranch.

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The movie sites were everywhere. There were a lot of signs depicting the movie sites and these are just a very few of them.

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Another covered up movie prop from the soon to be released movie. Do they look like giant teeth?

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With the end of the movie sites tour it was the end of our day at Kualoa, we took their bus back to Waikiki and were back by about 4.00pm. The buses were from Roberts and Polynesian and they were full. With everybody paying $10 each there must be around 60 people per bus. I wonder how much they paid to charter the buses?

We had a reservation for Duke’s later at 9.00pm. We only booked two days before and that was the earliest time we could get. So we decided to jump on a Waikiki pink trolley bus which cost $2 each. We got off at Ala Moana Shopping Centre and had a quick walk through. I wanted to go to Walmart, just because. So it was straight through Ala Moana and out the other side. Across the road was Walgreens so we popped in there. I had no idea what type of store it was but it seemed to be a bit of everything.

Walgreens even had a dole whip machine.

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We then went across the road to Walmart and walked around the store. I got our 17 year old son a Play Station card so he could download some games that aren’t available back home. After Walmart we stopped in to Starbucks for a coffee and were very happy to see flat white on the menu. I wasn’t happy that the price was almost double of every other type of coffee, so I settled for a cappuccino.

We eventually took a pink trolley bus back to Waikiki and headed to Duke’s for our dinner reservation. We got there a little early but only had to wait about 10 minutes.

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We had a great dinner and our waitress was great. We were both really looking forward to trying some of the famous hula pie and were not disappointed. It was amazing.

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I tell you, if we were at home that plate would have been licked clean!

A great dinner and a great way to end the day.

 

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