It’s sometimes easy for locals to overlook Kualoa Ranch as just another visitor attraction. After all, the meat and potatoes of the Morgan family’s ranch are its horseback and ATV rides, and tours of film locations in the otherworldly landscape of Kaaawa Valley and the bluffs overlooking Chinaman’s Hat.
But the scenery and history draw kamaaina as well. Thousands of schoolchildren have glimpsed ancient Hawaiian culture there, and families have celebrated countless weddings and birthdays in Molii Gardens.
The greatest value of Kualoa Ranch is simply that it exists: 4,000 acres of spectacular, undeveloped real estate on Oahu. The working fishpond, the string of ponies, the herd of cattle in the tall grass – sure they’re pieces of a surprisingly diverse enterprise, but they’re also artifacts of one family’s legacy of conservation.