Jurassic Park III (2001)

The 2001 film “Jurassic Park III” was filmed in Hawaii and Southern California.  Early in the film, Dr. Alan Grant, played by Sam Neill, visits the home of Ellie, played by Laura Dern.  Ellie’s house can be found in South Pasadena, California.  The same house was featured in the film “Bringing Down the House,” as well as the 1970s TV series “Family.”

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LOCATION: 1230 Milan Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Much like the original “Jurassic Park” and the sequel “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” this third installment also shot scenes at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi, Hawaii.  In Spring 2019, the ranch began offering tours to the public for the first time.  However, it is unclear if they are still offering them, as most of their tour information has been removed from their website.  It’s difficult to pinpoint specific scenes from the film, as the ranch is quite large and mostly credited for being featured in general outdoor and jungle scenes.  The ranch’s movie tour focused primarily on the original film and the 2015 hit “Jurassic World,” with little mention of where scenes from the third film specifically shot.  Here are some looks around the grounds of Jurassic Kahili Ranch.  Please note that this land is private and unless you have express permission from the owners, it is trespassing to attempt to enter the grounds.

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LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

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One scene that can be matched up comes late in the film is when Dr. Grant and the survivors ride a barge along the water and pass herds of dinosaurs standing along the banks.  This was filmed at the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir. After a breach of the nearby Ka Loko Reservoir in 2006, located about 2 miles east of the ranch, the owners decided to decommission the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir in 2009 and downsize it into a lake. This is how it appears now.  This is the same area where Grant sees the dinosaur herds at the lake in the original film.

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Related articles: Jurassic Park (1993), Jurassic World (2015), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World (2015)

In 2015’s “Jurassic World,” the story takes us back to Isla Nublar, the same fictional island from the original “Jurassic Park,” supposedly located off the coast of Costa Rica.  The locations are a composite of multiple places, including Louisiana and Hawaii.  Filming largely took place at Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu, where as the original film also shot, albeit to a lesser extent.

As the ferry takes the boys to the island, the establishing shot shows the majestic Nā Pali Coast on the North Shore of Kauaʻi.  There are a variety of ways to see the coast, including boat and helicopter tours.  Some areas can also be hiked.

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LOCATION: Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

The escalators where the boys head to their room is on the island of O’ahu at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.  The same escalators were featured in the TV series “Lost.”

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LOCATION: 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

The helicopter pad where Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is picked up is at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, where the original “Jurassic Park” also filmed scenes.  The pad set was initially kept after filming was completed, but eventually the ranch decided to remove it, as many helicopters travel the nearby air space and they had concerns one of them might confuse it for an actual landing pad.  Many of the locations around Kualoa Ranch have signs such as this posted, identifying which films shot where.

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LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

The helicopter pad is featured in a number of scenes throughout the film.  Quite a bit of CGI was added, to include the buildings and train rail featured in the park.  In the distance is the Moli’i Fishpond, also part of the Kualoa Ranch property, which is featured in several other scenes in the film.

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The Indominus rex paddock set was also built on Kualoa Ranch, which does still stand.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, more than one of which are film related. We recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from this and other films that are only seen on that particular tour.  The Hollywood tour, while cheaper, skips many locations on the ranch.

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Here is the interior of the deck overlooking the Indominus Rex paddock.

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A view of the deck from the exterior.

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In a later scene, Claire brings Owen, played by Chris Pratt, to the paddock, where they initially believe the Indominus rex may have escaped.  The claw marks Owen points out are still there.

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The Moli’i Fishpond is where the giant mosasaurus emerges from the water and eats the shark.  Quite a bit of CGI was added to the scene.  The Moli’i Fishpond area has been featured in many movies, such as “Triple Frontier,” “50 First Dates,” “Snatched,” “Tears of the Sun,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “You, Me and Dupree,” as well as the TV show “Lost.”  Here is a sign identifying the mosasaurus scene.

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LOCATION: 49-243 Kuukama St, Kailua, HI 96734

It’s also on the banks of the Moli’i Fishpond where Owen’s bungalow and trailer set was built, though it has since been removed.  It’s worth mentioning that parts of this area can also by seen by visiting the local shops near the pond, which rent their buildings from Kualoa Ranch.  They offer tours of their own near the water for a small fee, but the Premier Movie Site Tour offered by the ranch is still our recommended way to see it.

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As the boys ride a train out to the Gyrosphere area, they pass a valley where gallimimus are running alongside a vehicle.  This is a nod to the original film, where Dr. Grant and the two children run from a gallimimus stampede, which was filmed in the exact same location at Kualoa Ranch.  The same valley pops on again in the sequel “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” when a convoy travels on an expedition into the park.

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The mountains seen here have a railway added via CGI.

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In the Jungle area of Kualoa Ranch, there is a stream that runs through, which is where the scenes of the Indominus rex attacking park security took place.  Unfortunately, their tours quickly drive past this location, so you have to be quick trying to get photos.

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The set where the boys wait in line for the Gyrosphere ride also still stands at Kualoa Ranch, with a stunning backdrop looking out over the ocean.

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The scenes of the boys wandering the park in the Gyroscope were filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  This is the same ranch where the brachiosaurus is first seen in the original “Jurassic Park.”  It also appeared in the sequels “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic Park III.”  For years, the ranch remained closed to the public, proving to be one of the most elusive and sought-after locations for fans of the franchise.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time. The tours were unfortunately suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic, but they may resume in the future.

The scene of the boys riding around with the dinosaurs was actually a composite of a couple different areas.  This is the field they initially traverse.

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LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

The filmmakers also wanted these mountains in the distance of several shots, which are in fact located in the same general area, but not from all of the specific angles seen in the film.  Visual effects were employed to place the mountains into the desired areas of the shots.

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The boys then notice an area of the perimeter fence that has a gate open.  This set piece was left standing at the completion of the film, at the request of the ranch.  The gate really does open and it’s heavier than you might expect.

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LOCATION: 22.173597, -159.398782

Here is a wider view of the full set piece.

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This is the view of the other side of the gate, where the boys look down.  There is also a reverse shot looking back up towards the open fence at the Gyrosphere.  This trail was made specifically for the film, to allow in equipment and crew and achieve the desired shots.  The tour itself does not go down this trail, but guests are allowed to walk up on foot and take a closer look, if they’re so inclined.

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As Claire and Owen go searching for the boys, they encounter a dying apatosaurus, which had the misfortune of encountering the Indominus rex.  This was also filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch.

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They then discover more dead dinosaurs lying scattered across this hill, realizing the Indominus is killing for sport.

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In the closing shot of the film, the T-rex emerges from this area onto the helicopter pad, back at Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.

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Here is one of the vehicles seen in the film.  It was actually owned by Kualoa Ranch prior to production. When the filmmakers saw it, they asked to use it in the film.

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If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, we highly recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu. Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from not only this film, but the original “Jurassic Park” as well. As a reminder, these are private ranches closed to the general public for unauthorized experiences. Please do not trespass. The only way to see them is by booking a tour.

Thanks to Sean Mello for providing the GPS coordinates of the fence.

Related articles: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)Jurassic Park (1993), Jurassic Park III (2001)