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Hollywood Loves Kaua‘i

Text by Kelli Gratz
Image by Jarod Powell

Hollywood Loves Kaua‘i

Board the Hawai‘i Movie Tour and set out to discover the untouched, authentic beauty of the natural and built landmarks that make up one of the most extraordinary places in the world. The vast open backdrops, rainforests, volcanic landscapes and pristine sapphire waters are just a few reasons why film producers and visitors alike flock to the islands to get “the shot.” The island of Kaua‘i is a safe bet in your quest for movie sightings, having been featured in more than a hundred motion pictures in the last 80 years, including box-office smashes like Pirates of the Caribbean, Jurassic Park, The Descendents, Avatar, King Kong, and classics like Miss Sadie Thompson and South Pacific.

The majesty of Kaua‘i evokes only truthful representations of the islands’ culture and people, and for that reason it’s an idyllic destination for visitors. The first major motion picture ever filmed completely on Kauai was the 1950s film Pagan Love Song, though it wasn’t until 1957 when Oscar Hammerstein II and 20th Century Fox featured Hanalei Pier in the film South Pacific that Hanalei really got a world-class reputation.

In figuring out where to start, the north shore of Kaua‘i holds top priority not only because of the breathtaking landmarks like Hanalei Bay, Hanalei Pier, Kīlauea Lighthouse, ‘Anini Beach Park and the Nā Pali Coast, but because it is chock-filled with appearances in major motion pictures like, Lilo and Stitch, Six Days Seven Nights, Mighty Joe Young, Lord of the Flies and Honeymoon in Vegas. Hanalei Pier, a must-see set on Hanalei Bay has been featured in ’50s,’60s and ’70s classics like Beachhead, Wackiest Ship In The Army and Acapulco Gold. The pier, even more stunning in person, captures the lofty peaks of the Hanalei mountain range laden with shimmering waterfalls and rainbows, and the expanse of Hanalei Bay with the endless horizon as the backdrop. This, plus all the activities offered like surfing, stand-up paddling, kayaking and swimming, makes Hanalei Bay the essential stopover during your trip to Kaua‘i.

While making the trip on foot would be awfully daring and courageous, Polynesian Adventure Tours offers amazing tours aboard an air-conditioned bus, equipped with flat screen televisions that show clips from the actual movies that are being showcased. The tour guide provides you with in-depth historical and cultural information that makes the trip not just fun but edifying. Enjoy all that the “gold coast” of Kaua‘i has to offer as the backdrop of your home videos, and the next time you’re watching Jurassic Park or Pirates of the Caribbean you’ll be able to say “I was there!”

Tours only available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

For more information visit www.polyad.com