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8 must-see Hawaiian movie locations

Image: Embassy Suites Waikiki

Hawaii is blessed with a fabulous climate, immense natural beauty and crystal clear water … no wonder so many movies are set there. We have cherry-picked eight must-see Hawaiian movie locations – see if you recognise them!


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Fans of this blockbuster franchise will love escaping into the North Shore of Oahu to discover Kawela Bay, where Panem’s annual battle-to-the-death match was filmed. Visit the North Shore’s famous Waimea Valley and listen out for jabberjays while you pretend you are racing through the jungles just like Katniss and Peeta did here!

50 First Dates

Sea Life Park Image: iStock

The Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler rom-com was filmed on Oahu across several locations, including Waimanalo Beach, Dillingham Estate, Ka’a’awa Valley, Kualoa Ranch (Hukilau Café), Waimea Bay, Sea Life Park, Kaneohe Bay, and Waikane Pier.

Kualoa Ranch, Oahu

Kualoa Ranch Image: iStock

Take a fabulous 90-minute tour of Hollywood’s ‘Hawaii Backlot’, Kualoa Ranch in Ka’a’awa Valley, where scores of Tinsel Town’s biggest blockbuster movies and tv series were filmed. Hop aboard a vintage school bus and take a photo of yourself at the iconic Jurassic Park fallen tree, find Godzilla’s footprints, see the road site from You Me & Dupree, the house structure from Mighty Joe Young, and scenes from Hawaii Five-0 and LOST! Full of movie posters, props and memorabilia from movies filmed at Kualoa through the years.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Most of the action takes place in and around Peter’s (Jason Segel) resort accommodation, filmed at the real Turtle Bay Resort at Kahuku.


The stunning island of Kauai has been used for more film locations than anywhere else in Hawaii.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Enter the world of Jack Sparrow and Co on location at Kilauea Falls, Waikapala’e Wet Cave, Ha’ena and Honopu Beach.

Blue Hawaii

One of the classic Elvis Presley films, adored by generations for its Hawaiian-flavoured storyline and real Hawaiian locations. The famous wedding scene was shot on Kauai at the then premier Kauai hotel, Coco Palms Resort Hotel. Forced to closed after Kauai was hit by Hurricane Iniki in September 1992, the resort is due to reopen in 2017 under the Hyatt banner. You can still see the original coconut grove that the hotel was built on, originally planted in 1896!

Lilo & Stitch

This much-loved Disney Studios animated feature, released in 2002, tells the story of Stitch, an alien experiment designed to wreak havoc wherever he goes, but who escapes to Earth and is adopted by a little Hawaiian girl on Kauai.

Impressed by the beauty of Kauai, the film’s creators decided that the best way to recreate the island visually was to use a technique that had not been employed by Disney Animation in over 60 years – watercolour!

The production team spent weeks in Hawaii studying the geography, buildings, vegetation, and even the way the light falls from the sky at different times of the day. They incorporated real Kauai locations including the bridge to Hanalei, the Kilauea Lighthouse, the Princeville Hotel, and the Na Pali Coast to produce a beautiful family movie that truly captures the spirit of Hawaii.

Image: iStock


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