Before you ask, no, there were no polar bears.
We tend to think blonde beaches and luaus, but there’s more to Oahu than meets the eye. With heavy rain and rippling mountains, it’s a place of mystery and drama and the perfect backdrop for a certain TV show. Fun fact: nearly all of “Lost” was filmed there, even scenes set in Korea and Kenya.
“Lost” is my favorite show of all time, so I had a mission in Oahu: to see as much of “Lost” filming locations as I could in a single day. This took personal research and time with KOS Tours. I highly recommend KOS Tours, as they give tours of movies and shows filmed in Oahu. Plus, you get a hummer ride tour!
Let the tour begin!
A lot of “Lost” characters have daddy issues, but it’s hard to forget Locke’s father who steals Locke’s kidney. Surprise surprise, this bad dad’s first house is located on the side of a mountain road. It’s one of the few house locations where scenes were filmed both inside and outside the building. Unfortunately there’s no going inside, but it’s instantly recognizable from the outside.
Not too far up the road from the house is one of the most iconic scenes from the first few episodes of “Lost.” Look familiar? Hint: replace me with Kate and imagine a downpour of rain as she cries for Jack. Bayan trees: perfect shelter for smoke monsters and polar bears?
Even a third location lay upon the sides of this mountain road. This place was from one of my favorite episodes, “Ab Aeterno,” where we witness the history behind the mysterious, unaging character, Richard Alpert. Here’s the tree where Richard and Hurley have a tender moment finding Richard’s wife’s necklace in season 6.
This binder from Kos Tours has still frames from “Lost” to compare to the real place. The mountain range is exactly the same, but the pier from the show is no longer there. I saw the spot where Ben talks to Sayid about returning to the island in season 5, two of my favorite characters from the show. The photo comparison to the actual scene is near perfect.
One location was in the midst of a makeover for a movie scene. While I explored, a film crew painted and sawed pieces for a stable. In “Lost,” this building was both a Nigerian Cantina and the home of Jin’s poor fisherman father.
This seaside photo may not be familiar, but that’s because it’s missing a submarine. One of my favorite characters, Juliet, arrives on the island at this very spot via submarine. She views the island for the first time to see a spectacular view of mountains.
What’s a “Lost” adventure without some of the Dharma locations? One of the many bunkers of Dharma, the Tempest, was actually a WWII bunker. I explored inside and found that the bunker was used for many movies and shows in the past. The bunker kept souvenirs from its Hollywood past, like this piece of Dharma equipment. Remember when Jack kisses Juliet outside the Tempest? Check out the similarities:
Not too far from the Tempest bunker location is the bridge that Hurley and Charlie cross in season 1. The bridge is gone, but the pole still stands.
Now perhaps the most magical part of my tour with Kos was in a place called Kuoloa Ranch. This private ranch located off Highway 83 on West Oahu is a goldmine of filming locations, not just for “Lost” but also for films like “Godzilla” and the “Jurassic Park” series. You might need Kos Tours to access this area, but it’s definitely worth it.
When I stood in this valley, it felt like a sacred place, or maybe I just love rolling hills, jungle, and epic mountain views. Kuoloa Ranch is home to many iconic spots from the show, like Hurley’s golf course, the hut where Richard and his wife lived, the hill where the Dharma van got started, where Jacob’s mother follows Jacob to the Man in Black’s camp, and where the Man in Black broke Jacob’s wine bottle.
Other benefits of Kos Tours are the photographs. At Hurley’s golf course, my guide pulled out a Hurley figurine and some golf clubs for me and my mother. We posed and our guide put the Hurley figurine close to the camera so it looked as though the actual Hurley stood with us. He also took a matching photograph of me standing right where Jacob’s mom stood. Check out the similarities!
Despite the rain, our guide ran outside with me to take a picture of me pretending to push the Dharma van. He used the same technique as the Hurley figurine, using a small model of the van. The guide had an adventurous spirit, setting few limitations to our enjoyment and exploration.
Since I squeezed all these sights into a day, I wonder what other “Lost” sights are out there. I wish I could have gone to the survivor’s beach, the caves, the spot where Sun and Jin got married, or Hurley’s house.
For people who are not into “Lost,” these locations are worth checking out. Even without the pop culture references, the island, its plants, and valley are a once-in-a-lifetime kind of beautiful.
I’m currently rewatching “Lost” after my tour, and I feel a closer connection to the show. As a huge fan of the series, I now see the show from a new and more intimate perspective. I watch the Bayan trees, the golf course, and the valley, feeling shocked from this sense of I was there.