I found myself shouting ‘Where the hell did she go’ halfway through my Quad Biking tour of Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii but in reality I knew exactly where she had gone………..I was just so flabbergasted I needed confirmation to reaffirm what I had actually seen!
It all started incredibly, we pottered around a little test track before starting our 2 hour ATV (quad bikes to us Brits) tour up the valley of Hawaii’s Kualoa Ranch. This area is famous as a filming location for Jurassic Park, Lost, Windtalkers and Godzilla along with many more films and TV shows. It is also incredibly beautiful and when you get deep into the valley the views back down towards the sea are incredible.
The tour starts up a track and onto a gravel paved area where two WWII bunkers are built deep into the cliff. They were designed for anti aircraft guns but were built after the Pearl Harbour attacks and weren’t even finished before the end of WWII. Meaning in the end they never got used for their original purpose. They now house props from Movies and TV Shows filmed on location and you get the chance to hop off your quad bike and take a walk through the bunker.
Back on the bikes you head deep into the valley with random stops with the excellent guides describing exactly what was filmed in each location.
As I mentioned on the return trip the vistas truly were incredible but then I had a view of something even more incredible.
Two bikes in front of me I had noticed a lady who seemed to be a bit shaky on the bike however on a narrow bit of track with a steep drop on the right side she proceeded to drive at full throttle straight over the cliff edge and into the thick undergrowth, hence me shouting out ‘Where the hell did she go’ in utter astonishment and surprise!
I did however click back into ‘Oh shit I better help mode’ pretty quickly and stupidly jumped through the undergrowth after her. A particular plant shredded my legs and I suddenly realised I didn’t follow any of the check your own safety first rules as I began sliding down the incline, which incidentally was much steeper than I had anticipated. Digging my heels in I scanned for any sign of the rogue quad bike driver.
About another 5 meters in front of me was an upside down quad bike, the engine stopped and I assumed the lady underneath.
To be honest I feared the worst.
This woman had gone 10-15 metres over the side of the valley and rolled the bike. Miraculously after shouting out she responded and said she thought she was okay. Something or someone was definitely on her side as the bike, whilst upside down, had wedged against a tree which meant she had 3-4 feet between the floor and bike creating a nice gap to squeeze out from. However more importantly the weight of the bike was on the tree and not her.
Thankfully by this point one of the guides had caught up and helped me drag and pull her back up the side of the valley and onto the track. What an intense end to such an incredible 2 hour trip. I had mixed feelings it was amazing but then I couldn’t get out of my head how lucky this lady was. We had a little chat at the end of the tour and despite being shaken up she walked away with just scratches and bruises.
Anyway back to the tour.
I would definitely recommend it, the scenery is the Hawaii I always had in my head and the guides are fantastic, bringing the Movie and TV locations to life. Whilst expensive I think the tour is good value. Kualoa Ranch also offers many other trips from Horse Riding to lunch on a private island so there is more than enough to fill a day.
For full disclousure I want to let you know I paid full price just like any one else would for this tour so my opinion and view is completely unbiased. Kualoa Ranch however did refund the tour in full due to the accident that happened, this was unexpected but great service after it left a slightly sour end to the trip.