First up was a cruise out in Kaneohe Bay to find some green sea turtles. The water was blue and pristine, a slight breeze, with the sun shining. We noticed a couple of turtles out on the sand bar, but they quickly dove away. Our boat continued out past Chinaman’s Hat (see picture right), giving the opportunity for some great photos of the surrounding scenery. On the way back the boat slowed by one of the reefs, and there one of the sea turtles popped his head above the water. Another one close by did the same, giving me a close view of these amazing creatures. I was going to be even more surprised later that day by one of these…
My second tour was through the gardens and around the fish pond (Molii Pond). We had the chance to see some of the local flora (most of it brought to the islands by the Polynesians) including fruits and flowers. A boat ride around the pond gave insight into how the early Hawaiians lured fish into the pond through a series of gates built into an 800 year old volcanic rock wall. The dock we departed from and returned to had been used in Lost (season 2 I believe, but I’ve never watched the show) to moor the submarine used in the show. The submarine was blown up, along with part of the dock. It was then back for a buffet lunch and a cup of Kona coffee (make that two).
The third tour straight after lunch was an offroad tour in a six wheel drive Pinzgauer up the mountain range (see left). It was rough, bumpy and fast, but a hell of a lot of fun! There were some amazing views from up there of Kaneohe Bay as well as Kaaawa Valley (where the Gallimimus stampeded in Jurassic Park). It was a mad dash back down the hill to make the final tour. This was the Ranch and Movie Tour, and took us around the back of the range we had just driven up. The end of the range (closest point to the ocean in the photo) housed the bunkers for Army Command back in WWII. This was later used in the movie Pearl Harbour, and inisde contained history of the movies in the location including:
Mighty Joe Young,
Tears Of The Son,
50 First Dates,
George Of The Jungle,
Lost TV Series,
You, Me, and Dupree, and
From there it was down into Kaaawa Valley itself to see the locations first hand. We stopped at the log from Jurassic Park that Sam Neill and the children hid behind, where Adam Sandler waited for Drew Barrymore each day, the plane landed in You, Me And Dupree, and Nicholas Cage ran across the battlefields of Windtalkers.
The day didn’t end there though. It was off around Kahana Bay to Laie Point for some very cool rock formations and a beautiful view back the way we had just came. The drive around the island continued past Shark Bay and Turtle Beach where I was fortunate enough to finally see a Green Sea Turtle up close, and I mean close. He was sunning himself on the beach, and you could get within a metre of where he lay. Exciting stuff! Then it was back to the house for a quiet night in after a huge day out.