Famous Movies Filmed in Kauai

If you’re not yet convinced that Kauai’s beauty is out of this world, then you need to see how many major Hollywood films have chosen our beautiful island as a filming location.

After this list, you’re going to realize that you’re already quite familiar with Kauai.  And since multiple movies on this list were filmed on our ranch, you’re just a viewing away from seeing what’s waiting for you when you come and visit us.

Universal PicturesJurassic Park

This 1993 adventure movie brought the life of dinosaurs to the big screen in a way the world had never seen before.  But, director Steven Spielberg knew that it needed the proper backdrop to make everything truly work, and he found exactly what he was looking for on Kauai Ranch.

Universal PicturesJurassic World

Twelve years after the original was filmed, fans were again aching for dinosaurs terrorizing a theme park.  Their wish was granted with the creation of Jurassic World, but the filmmakers really wanted to make sure the fourth movie in the series was as good as the first.  So, they naturally decided to use the same filming location – Kauai Ranch.

TropicThunderTropic Thunder

The local beauty isn’t only shown by watching extinct species eat people, but it’s also a great setting for comedy war films.  2008’s Tropic Thunder, in which Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black played actors who accidentally entered a war zone, was also filmed on our lands.

DescendantsThe Descendants

George Clooney took to the shores of Kauai when filming The Descendants in 2011.  The celebrity superstar caused a mix of feelings in this comedy drama, and it gives people on the mainland some glimpses into the complexities of life in Hawaii.  It was yet another filmed on Kauai Ranch.


In this 2009 mega blockbuster, director James Cameron forever changed what moviegoers expect to see on the big screen.  But, the incredible animations were only made more powerful by mixing them in with real settings, and of course Kauai made it onto that list.

OnStranderTidesPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

This series of Disney films just keeps growing, and that leaves them scouring the seas for more filming locations to make each one better than the last.  It’s not surprising, then, to realize that the 2011 edition found the need to have some scenes in Kauai.

RaidersRaiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones is arguably the best adventurer ever to come out of Hollywood, and much of that reputation came from the opening sequence of the original film in 1981.  This was another movie put together by Steven Spielberg, and that success might have been part of the reason he came back later for Jurassic Park.


A favorite among kids of all ages, this live-action version of the Peter Pan story really brought it to life.  Of course, there’s only one place on Earth that could appropriately serve as Neverland, and that place is Kauai.


Although this movie is centered around the spread of a dangerous disease, the filmmakers needed to find a nice place to act as the Zaire jungle.  They decided to use the greenery of Kauai, but we can personally guarantee you that there’s nothing that dangerous on our friendly island.

SouthPacificSouth Pacific

This classic film from 1958 needed an amazing setting to capture the beauty of the Pacific without bringing back the harsh reminders of war.  Kauai fit perfectly into that description.

SoulSurferSoul Surfer

Tragically, this is a true story based on the life of Bethany Hamilton.  She’s a professional surfer who lost an arm during a shark attack in 2003.  However, the story took an inspirational turn when she was able to get back on her board and successfully win some competitions.  Since this tale was born to be a Hollywood film, they couldn’t resist filming on her home island of Kauai.

George_Of_The_JungleGeorge of the Jungle

This live version of the popular cartoon show might have been a childish version of the Tarzan stories, but cameras needed to be focused on some lush jungles to make all those vine swings seem possible.  George was able to pull it off, but we recommend getting an alternative form of transportation around Kauai.

SixDaysSevenNightsSix Days, Seven Nights

Harrison Ford made a return to Kauai during his 1998 film about being stranded on an island.  But, it’s hard to feel bad for the characters once you see how amazing of a setting it is!

MightyJoeYoungMighty Joe Young

This Disney story about a giant gorilla coming out of the wild needed an appropriately amazing place to call home.  Of course, that place was Kauai.

Filming Something Yourself?

As impressive as this list is, it’s only a taste of the movies that saw all the potential of capturing our island on film.  If you want to start down the path that these blockbusters took, check out our information about filming on Kauai Ranch.