Most famous Movies made on Kauai

Harrison Ford Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Most famous Movies on Kauai.    I suddenly thought – why haven’t I written about this before?    What movies were made on Kauai?     Loads of them!    From Elvis and Blue Hawaii to South Pacific to Jurassic Park to Six Days, Seven Nights to…… well you get the picture.

So here’s a post about the Most famous Movies on Kauai.     I thought I might start with what movies were made on Kauai by looking at the most famous movies made here.   So here we go

Jurassic Park 1, 2 & 3. (1992) 

Yes indeed.    In Jurassic Park 1 when they are flying into “dinosaur island” .. that’s Kauai’s famous Na Pali Coast.   You can read more about the magnificent Na Pali Coast here.    All the movie was filmed here and it’s fascinating to note that all the actors and crew were here for Iniki in ’92.   Yep, that’s how long ago it was made.   They hunkered down at the Princeville Resort hotel (can’t remember what it was called then) as that was one of the safe havens.   The crew helped clean up Princeville a bit afterwards too.  It was their last day of shooting!


Jurassic Park dinasaur

Photo Credit:  Universal Studios

Can you go have a look yourself at all things Jurassic?   Yes you can.    You can take the “Jurassic Adventure Tour” with Kualoa Ranch and see where they filmed a lot of the movies.     Or you can take the Jurassic Falls helicopter ride with Island Helicopters and see those famous falls.    Finally you can do the “5 must see Jurassic Park Locations”  with Makana Charters & Tours and see where they filmed the dinasaur egg, where they filmed the Mano de dies Amber mines scenes, landing at the falls in Hanapepe Valley and the Na Pali coast.      Makana is also my pick for a charter boat company going from the South shore.

Jurassic Park (all of them) are definitely one of the world famous movies made on Kauai!


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 

This might be the first movie that Steven Spielberg filmed on Kauai.    But not the last !   Is it the most famous of all the famous movies made on Kauai?   Let me know what you think!

That opening scene where Harrison Ford is running down the hill away from the “South American Indians” in South America was filmed right near the Huleia River in Lihue ~ you know when he grabs the vine and swings into the river.   Then the part with the plane taking off from the same scene was filmed in Nawiliwili harbor (not deep enough at the Huleia river)   The one with the snake.    And a few other scenes too I believe.     Great movie.   Harrison Ford Raiders of Lost Ark

Photo courtesy of Paramount & Lucasfilm


Pirates of the Caribbean ~ On Stranger Tides  (2016) 

This is a surely one of the most famous movies filmed on Kauai!

The Mohini Holo Dry Caves on the north shore right before you get to Ke’e beach – which is the last beach on the North Shore before the start of the Na Pali Coast – was used as one of the entryways to the “Fountain of youth”.   Easy to go and see when you visit Ke’e.

Waimea Wet Caves (Waikapala’e Wet Caves) were also used as the opening to the “Fountain of Youth”.   More than one entrance to the fountain of youth I suppose!

The grounds of the Coco Palms Hotel in Wailua was used as the location where Captain Barbosa and Jack Sparrow were tied up by the Spanish.  Jack Sparrow ~ Pirates of the Caribbean

Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Another landmark location for this famous movie filmed on Kauai is the arch at Honopu beach – which has been in a few movies.    This is where Jack runs up and looks through the arch.     It was also used in King Kong which happens to be the next movie on the list.

Honopu Arch Kauai

Photo courtesy of

King Kong (1976)

Way back in 1976 the Kalalau Valley and parts of the Na Pali were used to film this movie.   Also, Honopu arch and beach as mentioned above.      Many blog posts mention the “King Kong” mountain as being located in the Kalalau valley. It’s not.   That mountain is called Kalalea and is in Anahola, the Hawaiian homelands at the beginning of the North Shore.   King Kong 1976

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures


Six Days Seven Nights (1998)

I actually really enjoyed this movie!   It is one of the most famous movies filmed on Kauai and it pretty much the entire movie was filmed here.  When I first moved to Kauai stories abounded about the recent long shoot and about Harrison Ford driving around the island ~ I suppose he felt quite at home after Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Six Days Seven nights Harrison Ford Anne Heche

Yet again Honopu Arch and beach were filmed when Quinn & Robin are running from the pilates.    Kipu Falls & Pool were used near Lihue, Mahalepu Beach & trail on the South Shore and Kipu Kai beach.    Also Pila’a beach and – a lot of locations actually!

Okay so there’s a bunch more famous movies made on Kauai!   So I have to do another post and call it “Famous Movies Made on Kauai ~ Part 2”.   So that’s it for now.    The next post will be soon and will cover Avatar, Tropic Thunder, Lilo & Stitch, Soul Surfer. Blue Hawaii, South Pacific, Hook & The Descendants – and there’s still more!

Don’t forget if you come to Kauai to check out the filming locations!    Don’t forget to download your Kauai Guide too!     Aloha!


Harrison Ford & Johnny Depp in Raiders of the Lost Ark & Pirates of the Caribbean

About the Author

Kauai Advisor ~ Francesca Azuremare ~ has lived on Kauai for 22 years. I feel blessed to live in such a magical, beautiful place. Over the years I have helped thousands of people find the perfect place to stay on Kauai whilst also advising on everything from places to propose to the best Na Pali boat ride. Now I'm sharing that information here. It's the Hawaiian way. Aloha!