Culture & Travel24 October 2023
Hawaii, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and unique culture, has long been a darling of the film and television industry. It's no surprise that iconic productions like Pirates of the Caribbean and 50 First Dates chose this stunning locale for filming.
Today, we're making our way to O'ahu Island, the third largest among the Hawaiian archipelago. O'ahu, a vibrant blend of Eastern and Western influences, served as the backdrop for the wildly popular series Lost. Despite the passage of time, Lost aficionados still flock to this island to embark on sightseeing tours, tracing the footsteps of their beloved show's characters.
Our first stop on O'ahu, Hawaii's most populous volcanic island, is Mokuleia Beach, where the wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815 was depicted. It was here that we were first introduced to the 48 survivors of the plane crash. Situated on the island's north coast, the beach is a haven for surfers, boasting its white sands and breezy shores. Caution is advised for novice swimmers due to the powerful currents and waves, though typically, the beach maintains a serene ambiance.
Recall the poignant love story between Sun, the daughter of a stern Korean businessman, and Jin, a humble waitress? The unforgettable proposal scene, a highlight of the series, was filmed in this very temple. To witness the setting where Sun's father's lavish estate was depicted, make your way towards the East Oahu coastline, following the Kahekili Highway that leads to the Valley of the Temples in Kane'ohe.
Amidst Hawaii's wealth of history and culture, we now venture towards a hidden gem nestled in a magnificent botanical garden. Covering an expansive 1875 acres, this lush valley offers a paved path leading to a 45-meter waterfall. Recognize this place from the series? It's where Kate and Sawyer stumbled upon a briefcase from the plane wreckage. If admiring the peacocks and the cascading waterfall isn't enough, you can also take a dip in Waimea Falls, provided you don a life jacket.
Dharma Initiative Headquarters
Not everyone recalls the camp where The Others resided. Most of the scenes featuring the Dharma Initiative were filmed at the YMCA Camp, in close proximity to Mokuleia Beach on O'ahu's north shore. If you're keen on visiting, bear in mind that it's private property and accessing the camp for a quick tour necessitates a permit.
Did you know that the renowned house purchased by Hurley for his mother is also situated on this island? In fact, numerous scenes in Lost purportedly set in various countries were actually filmed on O'ahu Island. Hurley's house, located in one of the most picturesque areas of O'ahu, on a street lined with lush gardens and vibrant houses, is a favorite haunt for fans of the series. Although the interiors remain inaccessible, you'll immediately recognize the garage and the spots where the outdoor scenes were shot.
The spot where Michael and his son bid farewell to the island by boat was precisely captured here. The island visible from the pier is commonly referred to as the Chinese Hat due to its distinctive shape resembling a hat. Despite being a must-visit on Lost series tours, Waikane Pier gained fame through the movie 50 First Kisses. While the pier itself is private property, you're free to enjoy the breathtaking view from the coastline between Waiahole and Kualoa in Kaneohe Bay.
Best Things to Do in Oahu
Take a Stroll
Oahu Island is an absolutely breathtaking place to explore stunning hiking trails, surrounded by lush mountains, forests, and waterfalls. With 300 recorded hiking trails, you can enjoy the island alongside hikers of all ages and skill levels.
Hike the Stairway to Heaven
That is, if you're willing to cough up a $1000 fine! Climbing the 3922-step metal ladder to the summit of Ko'olau mountain, where an old World War II radio station is located, is prohibited. The area is under 24/7 surveillance by security guards, and thousands of people get fined for attempting the climb annually. Note that the staircase is closed for safety reasons, as some sections are quite perilous.
Explore the North Shore
More and more people are discovering the serene and unspoiled spots in the northern part of the island. Families with children are now frequently spotted on the beaches, which offer excellent opportunities for surfers and divers, especially at Lanikea Beach and Sunset Beach, where you can observe sea turtles.
Discover the Botanical Gardens
Visiting the botanical gardens, where you can find thousands of fascinating plant and tree species, take numerous photos, and enjoy leisurely strolls, is one of the most delightful activities on Oahu Island. There are at least eight of these gardens with their own waterfalls and ponds on Oahu, with Lyon Arboretum, Wahiawa Botanical Garden, and Waimea Valley being the most renowned among them.
Indulge in Shave Ice
Tourists visiting the island adore frozen fruit ices, known as "Shave Ice". You can find Shave Ice with unconventional flavors like lemon, passion fruit, bubble gum, Azuki beans, and Mochi (Japanese rice balls) on almost every street.
Visit the Lighthouses
Lighthouses undoubtedly offer some of the most breathtaking vistas, particularly on a tropical island, and Oahu boasts several of them. While some are off-limits to the public, allowing only distant views, catching a glimpse and snapping photos of lighthouses such as Diamond Head, Makapuu, and Barber's Point will leave you content.
Capture a Rainbow
Travelers to Oahu often express their awe at the abundance of rainbows, unmatched anywhere else in the world. Hawaii even features a rainbow on its state license plate. Owing to the Alize winds and other weather conditions, Hawaii has earned the title of the "rainbow capital of the world". Your task is simply to seize the moment.