Hawaii – full of dramatic landscapes, unique weather and charming culture. It’s no wonder that film and TV producers navigate to these beautiful islands time and time again. Admittedly, it probably also helps that the islands are fairly close to Los Angeles, but we won’t dwell on that for too long.
We’ve seen stunning Hawaiian scenery within films like Pirates of the Caribbean, 50 First Dates and From Here to Eternity. But what some of you may not know is that Hawaii is actually the island from the successful TV series, Lost. Interestingly, Hawaii is also home to the Thailand, Korea and Africa scenes that you see throughout the series as well, which just goes to show how diverse this country really is.
My fiancee and I love seeing filming locations during our travels. From seeing the Harry Potter train in Scotland, to walking in the steps of Julia Roberts in Los Angeles, we love it. Which meant that whilst embarking on our trip to Hawaii, we knew that we wanted to get involved with a tour that would take us to all of the major filming locations for Lost – one of our favourite TV programmes.
Once we found KOS Tours online, we knew this was the company that would make this dream happen. Their tours were not only great value price-wise, but they combined the major filming locations with ones we never even thought it possible to see, plus you get to ride around in a proper hummer – call us sold! And guess what? If you book direct with them and mention that you came to them via my blog, you’ll get a cool 10% off your booking! More info below.
We chose the Circle Island tour as we wanted to see as many locations as we could in one day. This article is all about our favourite places we got to see during the tour and I’m hoping that this may inspire more of you to visit the island of O’ahu – especially for fellow Lost fans out there. Lest we ever forget the numbers haunting our dreams and nightmares: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.
Oh, and for any of you who haven’t yet watched Lost. You should. It’s a whole 6 series of awesomeness with a few existentialist questions thrown in for good measure.
Waikiki – The Church
This location is a set of two churches used within the finale of the series. What I found interesting was that one of the churches served as the outdoor scenes, whilst the other church was used purely for the inside scenes. Almost like the producers were taking the best of both and merging them together – super handy with them being right next to each other, lucky producers!
Kahala – Hurley’s Mom’s House & Hurley’s House
In a fairly nice area of O’ahu, are row upon row of fabulous (and large houses). It is here where you can find the house Hurley bought for his mum. Just around the corner from that sits Hurley’s house – you might recognise the garage! When filming, these houses were just used for the outdoor scenes – the scenes indoors were filmed in a studio.
Lana’i Lookout – Parachute Landing
This lookout point offers views across the scenic countryside, including mountainous landscapes on the south side of the island as well as sea views. There were various scenes filmed here including where Miles landed with his parachute.
Halona Beach Cove – The Blow Hole
At first glance, this is such a beautiful little alcove of a beach, complete with golden sand, rocky backdrop and turquoise water. Upon second glance, you can recognise its surroundings as various scenes in Lost. Coincidentally, this particular cove was also used within one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Makapu’u Lookout & Rabbit Island – Jacob’s Lighthouse
This lookout point is perfect for more sea views and a glance at Makapu’u beach. You can also see the Rabbit Island here (looking nothing like a rabbit). This beach and surrounding areas were also used within 50 First Dates as well as for a few scenes in Lost.
Windward Community College – Santa Rosa Mental Institute
Spooky, spooky, spooky. Very spooky. With the typical dramatic mountain backdrops behind it that you get so used to seeing in Hawaii, this is one spooky building.
Used as the Mental Institute within Lost, I can totally see why this spot was chosen. Although now part of the University of Hawai’i campus, our guide told us a story about a few people who have claimed to see faces at the windows of this building. He even showed us a picture, and I’ll admit, the photo really did look like someone was looking down on us from the window. Safe to say I got the total chills once we heard that. This isn’t the only haunted place I’ve been to either.
Byodo-In Temple & The Valley of the Temples – Wedding in Korea
This was one of my absolute highlights of the trip, as I completely didn’t expect it. I had honestly thought that the Korean scenes were filmed in Korea, and I really didn’t expect to find a Buddhist temple in Hawaii. Absolutely stunning, reverent and colourful, this was definitely a highlight, and would be even for those of you who aren’t big fans of Lost.
Waikane Pier & China Man’s Hat
Waikane Pier is where Michael and his son left the island via boat. From here, you can see views of the China Man’s Hat – an island that really does look like a hat!
Waimea Valley – The Waterfall
This was another highlight for me as I adore walking through pretty nature parks and gardens. Our trek took us through the main path in the valley to Waimea Falls, which is where Kate and Sawyer found a briefcase from the plane wreckage. You are allowed to swim in this pool, providing you wear the lifejackets provided, or you can just stand and admire the waterfall.
We chose to have lunch at the cafe here, and we found out that wild peacocks roam the valley (and cafe) looking for food. Surprisingly, the peacock would come right up to the tables begging for scraps. This was my first time seeing one this close-up and it certainly did look like a majestic beauty.
Kawailoa Ranch – Kate’s Tree
Within the TV show, this tree was used by Kate when she retrieves her time capsule, and upon looking at it, it’s easy to see why it was used. It’s got such an interesting shape from growing unevenly, and is quite alone within its surrounding landscape. One of nature’s interesting phenomenons how trees can both grow like this and just grow wherever a seed is dropped.
O’ahu Beaches – Various Scenes
During this tour, we walked along many sandy beaches that were used throughout the TV series, including the “Survivor’s Beach” and where the plane crashed. On some of the beaches, our guide let us just hang out there for a while – it was a lot of fun to splash around in the water and take in the views.
Oh! And how cool is this? On one of the beaches, this family stepped into a perfect formation for me to catch a photo – they look just like they’ve stepped off the TV screen in Lost onto the beach… weird!
And on another beach, our guide started taking out models of the characters from Lost, so that we could re-enact some of the scenes. My fiancee will murder me for posting this photo, but I think it’s a laugh!
Waialua Sugar Mill – Nigeria
Similarly to Korea, I was surprised to find that the African scenes were filmed in Hawaii as well. It really does go to show how diverse this country really is, and it was such an interesting find. The reddish-brown ground is vastly contrasted with the green landscape, making it a very captivating place.
YMCA Camp Erdman – The Others’ Compound
This was one of the major sights that we knew we wanted to see during the tour. Originally built as a children’s camp; during the series, it also served as “The Others’ Compound”. When we arrived, the children had left for their day activities, so it was hauntingly quiet.
Our guide pointed out each of the main character’s huts, and we had fun posing in front of them. I also love how the camp has erected a sign so that this filming location cannot be mistaken.
Waialua – Radio Tower
It may be a little difficult to see from the photo, but in amongst the dramatic landscape is a bright red radio tower, which served the same purpose within Lost. Personally, I just loved seeing this part of Hawaii as it showcases the dramatic landscapes Hawaii is famous for, quite perfectly.
Ala Wai Harbor – “Searcher” Boat
Within the series, a boat called “Searcher” is used at quite a poignant moment, and I was surprised to find out that the boat is real and actually called that in real life. Here we are looking very chuffed with the discoveries we made on the day!
This was the last destination on our tour before heading back to our apartment near Waikiki Beach, so we took this moment to take a photo of our tour guide, Greg. Did you know he was actually in the TV series? This was such a nice touch to help make our tour extra special!
Do you fancy a tour just like this? This is what you need to know.
Price: $199 per person
Timings: 7.00am – 4.30pm
Food & Drink: Snacks and water provided throughout the day. Lunch not included in the price.
Booking: Book direct with KOS Tours either by phone (808) 561-2440 or by email at HummerToursHawaii@yahoo.com.
Discount: Yep, that’s right. The lovely folks at KOS Tours are offering a 10% discount for anyone who books direct with them and mentions that you came to them via my blog. Just mention me: Justine from Wanderer of the World, and you’ll get some money off your booking!
Other Info: For the tour to run, there needs to be at least two people booking, unless you make special arrangements with the KOS Tours team.
So, first things first: are you a Lost fan? And would you embark on a tour like this? And second, when are you next heading to Hawaii? Let me know in the comments section below…
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Psst! Want more Hawaii wanderlust inspiration? Take a look at these 36 photos!