‘On location’ in Kauai

One thing to do in Kauai is visit locations where Hollywood movies and other shows were filmed. Even if you’re not specifically planning to visit movie locations, you might enter a landscape or terrain on a hike where you suddenly feel you’re in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark” or something. This happened to me on the first hike we made in the Wailua River Valley, four years ago. I seriously half expected to run into Harrison Ford and the filming crew just around the next corner. We did run into a filming crew once on one of our hikes.

We hiked the Wailua Ridge again this trip and I blogged about it two blogs ago (with lots of pictures, the picnic table near summit, the two trails that connect to form an arc…) I just now did a Google search to see if, indeed, some of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was filmed here, and came across this entertaining 90-second youtube video entitled ‘Me at Raiders of the Lost Ark Film Locations”

It’s cute. Captures the excitement you feel imagining (complete fantasy) that you are part of a (defunct) movie set where you’re the hot shot celebrity (you’re totally un-photogenic) showing up for filming. Wait! Check your makeup and hair! Your posture! People are photographing you! (This fantasy dissipates in about 7 seconds, thank goodness, when you heave a sigh of relief that you are just an ordinary hiking and sweaty Joe Blow, and you’re not stuck in this humid location filming on set for the next 12-16 hours.)

Just to keep the fantasy going, here’s my photo of Anahola Mountain or ‘Kong Mountain,’ featured in the video above.

Anahola Mountain

Anahola Mountain

I took it Monday, January 11 – we had just pulled off highway 56 near Anahola and parked as close as we could to Papa’a Beach. Eric had convinced David and me to check out this film location from the movie ‘Six Days, Seven Nights,’ a 1998 adventure-comedy film starring Harrison Ford (once again) and Anne Heche, who get stranded on a remote deserted island after a plane, piloted by Harrison Ford, crashes. They spend most of the movie on this tropical island (Kauai) trying to get rescued, fall into a cave, jump off a cliff, etc. Near the end of the movie, at Papa’a beach, they crash a plane.

Here is a topographical map of Kauai, which shows you how remote and rugged most of the island is, and why they would film this movie here:



Roads travel mostly along the exterior edge, and up into interior near the west. But they do not circle the island. You travel one way and then back again.


Six Days, Seven Nights, released June 12, 1998, was filmed in three locations on Kauai: the Na Pali Coast on the northern end of the island, Papa’a Bay, near Anahola on the northeast side, and Shipwreck Beach, on the southern tip near Po’ipu. All these locations are popular tourist destinations.

So, here we are today, Eric, David and I, checking out Papa’a Bay where the plane, piloted by Robin (Anne Heche), crashes on the beach near the end of the movie:

Papa'a Bay - just the right size for a small plane crash and beach scene

Papa’a Bay – just the right size for a small plane crash and beach scene

I snapped a photo of the beach from as about close as we could get to it. While filming the movie, ‘Six Days Seven Nights,’ the producer, Peter Guber, decided he liked the pristine beach and surrounding area so much, he bought it, 174 acres, for 7.2 million dollars. Although the beach itself is public, the access road to the beach is now private. Guber built a compound on the property that includes a 13,000 sq. ft. mansion, two guest houses, caretaker’s quarters, stables, tennis courts. He decided to sell it in 2009. The property made history for being the most expensive for sale property on Kauai when it was first listed for 45.6 million. It eventually sold for 28 million dollars.

While the owners can make it very difficult for people to access one of most pristine beaches in Kauai, they can’t keep people like me from taking photos of the mansion, zooming in on the photo to get a better look, and then posting it on my blog

Yeah have you thought about the next hurricane Iniki?

Yeah have you thought about the next hurricane Iniki?

Along with the scoop behind why the public cannot access the road to one of Kauai’s most beautiful public beaches, Papa’a Beach.

Well, there’s plenty else to see in Kauai. After this little adventure we continue down 56 near Kapa’a to Donkey Beach. Here there’s plenty of parking and a handicapped accessible paved walk to the beach. It’s really quite lovely – you pass through a tunnel of greenery from the parking lot to the beach.

Passing through the tunnel. Find Eric's backpack..

Passing through the tunnel. Find Eric’s backpack.

We sat and picnicked on the beach under a grove of trees.


Practically had the whole beach to ourselves. We met about five other people.

Then we walked out to a rocky point overlooking a secluded cove, and sat a while to take in the ocean and sounds of crashing waves. Watched three whales breeching in the distance. I captured this photo. David’s profile…


David, with his movie star good looks.

Walking back to car now

Walking back to car now

Star presence too. Eat your heart out, Harrison Ford.

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2 Responses to “‘On location’ in Kauai”

  1. 1world2feet Says:

    Great photos!

  2. Jody Caraher Says:

    Thank you!

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