The island of Kauai, the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands, is a favorite location for movie producers. Uniquely beautiful scenery with many un-crowded locations makes for great filming.
A fun way to prepare for an upcoming vacation is to watch movies with scenes set in the destination you are visiting. Below is a list of Kauai attractions and the movies that were filmed at that location.
The Napali Coast
The Napali Coast is 11 miles of isolated valleys and jagged coastal mountains on Kauai’s NW coast. The area is only accessible by boat or a famous hiking trail (the Kalalau trail). Several movies have been filmed on the remote beaches of the coast, in the Kalalau valley, and along the hiking trail. Examples include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Perfect Getaway, the 1976 version of King Kong, and Soul Surfer. Taking a boat trip along the coast is the best way to see the area.
Hanalei Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches on Kauai. Over the 2 miles long the beach features a gorgeous mountain backdrop. Movies filmed here include South Pacific, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, and The Descendants.
Kipu Ranch is a private 3,000 acre property on the southeast coast of Kauai. The area has been features in several movies. Through Kipu Ranch Adventures you can take an ATV tour of the area and explore the sites. Movies filmed here include Outbreak, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Blue Hawaii.
The easily accessible Wailua Falls is one of Kauai’s premier waterfalls thanks to easy access and a pleasant drive through the country to the falls. Several movies feature views of the falls including Flight of the Intruder, Fantasy Island (the opening scene), Dragonfly and Tropic Thunder.
The Coco Palms Hotel
Kauai’s famous Coco Palms hotel was devastated by a Hurricane in 1992. Many movies were filmed at the hotel: Deathmoon, Blue Hawaii, Donovan’s Reef, Jungle Heat, Voodoo Island, Miss Sadie Thompson, Beachhead, Bird of Paradise, and Pagan Love Song. For those who have a fascination with derelicts, the remains of the hotel still stand as developers stall on plans to rebuild. It’s still possible to take a tour of the grounds.
Ke’e is one of the most popular beaches on the north shore. The beach along the coast here extends for nearly 3 miles (meeting up with Haena Beach Park) and several sections have that remote look that film producers are after. Movies filmed here include Lord of the Flies, Throw Mama from the Train, The Thorn Birds, and Pagan Love Song, as well as the interesting documentary Taylor Camp about a hippie community in the 70s.
This popular beach is located next to the Poipu Sands condo complex and Grand Hyatt Hotel. In the movie Six Days and Seven Nights, Harrison Ford and Anne Heche jump off the cliff at Shipwreck beach as they attempt to escape from the “bad guys”. Many tourists jump off the cliff, perhaps reenacting the scene from the movie? Unfortunately many get injured in the process. The cliff is high enough that severe whiplash is possible. Leave this jump to the stunt doubles.