Everything you need to know before you book your Kualoa Ranch Zipline experience is in this blog post. I had an awesome experience there and will share photos, video and all the details about what to expect, what to bring and how to get there below!
KUALOA RANCH ZIPLINE ON OAHU
The Kualoa Ranch Zipline on Oahu is an amazing Treetop Canopy Zipline Tour, which begins at the top of the amazing Ka’a’awa Valley with 7 exciting tandem sections, 2 suspension bridges and 3 mini-hiking nature trails about 5 minutes in length.
Each zip line is has a culturally significant name coming from a different aspect of the valley with zip lengths ranging from 200 feet up to a quarter mile. Along the way, you learn about Hawaiian traditions and get to experience, Ka’a’awa Valley first-hand by zipping through the native flora and fauna and crossing natural streams. I really enjoyed this aspect of the tour as it was more than just a zip line activity, it was a learning experience.
It is recommended to book 2-3 advance as it does sell out and Kualoa Ranch is one of the most long-standing and popular tourist attractions on the island of Oahu. If you click on the following link you can choose your package. You can combine zip-lining with a movie tour, a visit to the secret island or with the ATV tour. There are lots of options but I suggest combining two as it is a 45-minute drive to Kualoa Ranch so it is a good idea to make a full-day adventure out of it before you return to Waikiki if that is where you are staying.
Click the following link to see the different combinations of tours and the booking availability for your dates.
Check tours and availability: Kualoa Ranch activity schedule and booking page
MY KUALOA RANCH EXPERIENCE
The sky was dark and the roads were empty as we were headed out on a 1.5 hour moped adventure along the East Coast towards Kualoa Ranch. We were booked in for the 8:30 am Zipline adventure at the historic ranch in Kaaawa Valley.
Riding a moped in the dark through imposing mountains was an eerie experience, especially when accompanied by the crashing of the waves threatening from below. The sky on the east side of Oahu is blanketed with millions of stars on a clear night. We stopped at Makapu’u Lookout for a short rest and to take the opportunity for a quick stargaze.
As we continued on our way through Kaneohe, the sun crept over the horizon and the sky was painted a vibrant orange The sunrise exploded across the sky as we pulled into the parking lot of the ranch, exhibiting a striking red which blanketed the sky and made sure our day was off to an amazing start, despite having numb butts from driving on the mopeds for so long.
Kualoa Ranch is a busy hub of tourism activity and it definitely has an authentic farm smell. They run tours through the Kaaawa Valley on horses, quad bikes and buses. Kaaawa Valley is also a movie hotspot, having been used as the set for Jurassic Park but it has also been featured in many other films such as Jumanji, Karate Kid, Pearl Harbor, Fifty First Dates and Hunger Games.
Our safari-style tour bus picked us up and we rumbled up towards Kaaawa Valley while the driver pointed out historic agricultural and military sites along the way beginning the 2.5-hour tour.
A quick run-down of the safety gear, a short stroll up to a hill and before we knew it we were standing on the platform for zip line number one. You fly down the line in pairs on separate wires. The instructor asked who would volunteer to go first. Jessie volunteered, which meant that she volunteered me too.
“Hold on and don’t swing your arms.”
Those were the last words I heard before we leaped away from the platform and off we went, zipping above dinosaur territory. A pretty cool feeling, especially in amongst such mind-blowing scenery.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT KUALOA RANCH ZIPLINE
For those who have bungee jumped or been sky diving, it won’t blow your socks off. It is a short scenic float through amazing surroundings, slow enough to allow you to take in where you are, send a snapchat, or facetime with your family back home! This is why it is a great activity for a family or a group of friends it is a fun day for the thrill-seeker and the non-adventurer of the group.
The shortest line is 200 feet and the longest line is a quarter of a mile. On the longest line, we did a ”coconut”, which is essentially tucking into a ball and going as fast as possible. The walk between each zip line is very short although two mini-suspension bridges kept us on our toes.
Each zip line has a culturally significant name and before our take-off the instructors tell a local story, teach a tradition or give a short lesson about native plants.
Our instructors were really relaxed and took the time to get to know all the members of our group. Despite the chilled environment they knew what they were doing and were serious with the equipment at the appropriate times making us feel pretty safe throughout the day.
There were a couple of cameras along the course but the quality of the photos wasn’t amazing. We took our GoPro and people even used their iPhone on the zip line, which I advise doing as you will get some cool close-up video and photos without having to pay extra.
This region of Oahu is still worth seeing even if you don’t want to pay for the tour or spend the whole day at Kualoa Ranch. Mountains looming on all sides, fog brushing their peaks, you are surrounded by lush green as far as the eyes can see. It actually feels like you are standing in Jurassic Park, looking around the corner for a dinosaur.
HOW TO GET TO KUALOA RANCH ON OAHU, HAWAII
If you aren’t trying to be a crazy moped duo like us, Kualoa Ranch offers a roundtrip shuttle service from Waikiki for $15 which is a decent deal. We began our drive back and our early morning began to get the best of us. Nothing a little nap on the sand at Waimanalo Beach didn’t fix!
I’ve pinned the location of Kualoa Ranch on the map below so you can see exactly where it is along the coast.
Where to stay on Oahu
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach. Luxury rooms overlooking the beach, a private lagoon and a free fireworks and dance performance show.
Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach. The bar and nightclub at the Sheraton is a great place to relax after a long day of island adventures.
Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Hotels in Waikiki can be expensive. Deciding where to stay on Oahu can be difficult if you don’t have much cash. Luckily, there is an accommodation option on the edge of Waikiki that is excellent value.
Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location. Walking distance to Waikiki beach and a central location to base yourself for a week of adventures.
Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like a theme park at times with just how many pools and activities are available. If you can afford it, this is the #1 place to stay for families on Oahu.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK AND WHY
A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU: WHICH REGION IS BEST FOR YOU?
Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII: UPDATED 2018
The best Waterfalls: 11 AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU, HAWAII
The Best Hikes on Oahu: 10 BEST HIKES ON OAHU, HAWAII
My favorite experience on Oahu: AMAZING DOORS OFF HELICOPTER TOUR OF OAHU, HAWAII
The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 THINGS TO DO ON OAHU – THE BUCKET LIST