Jurassic Park has to be one of the most famous movies of all time. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this film. It had a very big budget and made a very big impact in the world of movies. It made such an impact that there were sequels. But where was Jurassic Park filmed? The location is on many bucket lists. But let’s get started with the story after the film location is revealed.

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - Running From Dinosaurs

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed?

The original Jurassic Park movie was primarily filmed in Hawaii, with the iconic waterfall scene being filmed at Kipu Falls on Kauai’s east side.

Other locations included Manawaiopuna Falls (also known as Jurassic Falls) and Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge—both located on Kauai. The island of Oahu was also used for filming, including scenes filmed in the Kualoa Ranch private nature reserve. For certain shots, the movie was actually filmed in California’s Redwood National and State Parks.

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed Backdrop

In addition to on-location shooting, many of the iconic sets used in the film were built at Universal Studios Hollywood in California. This included the laboratory, helicopter landing pad, and velociraptor cage. The famous visitor center was also constructed there. Finally, a small amount of filming took place at an animal park in Eureka, California. This is where some of the dinosaur scenes featuring live animals were filmed.

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - Establishing Shot

The Story Behind Jurassic Park

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - In The Trailer
Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Richard Attenborough

Jurassic Park is a science fiction thriller about a research team visiting an island populated by dinosaurs cloned from prehistoric DNA. Their mission was to study the creatures for potential use in scientific and medical breakthroughs. Unfortunately, things quickly go awry when the dinosaurs escape from their enclosures and start terrorizing the scientists, visitors, and workers of the park. 

The film follows Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Dr. Ian Malcolm as they struggle to survive the chaos caused by these creatures from a distant past, while also trying to uncover the secrets behind John Hammond’s mysterious creation. 

The Cast

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - Laura Dern and Sam Neill
Laura Dern and Sam Neill

Sam Neill starred as paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern played paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Jeff Goldblum portrayed chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm. These were the main characters.

The characters of Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim Murphy (Joseph Mazzello) were also crucial to the movie’s success. Other notable cast members included Richard Attenborough as John Hammond, Bob Peck as Robert Muldoon, and B.D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu.

Who Directed Jurassic Park?

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - Sam Neill Watching a T-Rex

Universal Pictures’ Jurassic Park, released in 1993, was directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie went on to become one of the highest grossing films of all time. Spielberg’s vision was brought to life through expert editing, note-perfect casting, and incredible special effects—all of which were crucial for recreating the movie’s prehistoric setting. More than 25 years after its release, Jurassic Park continues to be a beloved part of popular culture, and Spielberg is an integral part of how it got there.

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - Waterfalls

Jurassic Park Box Office Details

  • Jurassic Park Film Budget: $63,000,000
  • Opening weekend: $47,026,828
  • Gross (US & Canada): $404,214,720
  • Gross (World): $1,109,802,321

Fun Facts About Jurassic Park

Despite its success, Jurassic Park was not without its flaws. According to director Steven Spielberg, the film was shot in only six months on a very tight budget of $63 million. Additionally, the Brachiosaurus used in the movie was actually a model made from rubber and steel and not a life-sized dinosaur. Despite the film’s low budget, it went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time and earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Where Was Jurassic Park Filmed - BTS with T-Rex
Behind the Scenes with T-Rex

Here are a few fun facts: 

  • The iconic T-Rex scene cost nearly half of the $63 million in the budget. 
  • The Brachiosaurus used in the movie was actually a model made from rubber and steel and not a life-sized dinosaur.
  • According to the author, Michael Crichton, the screenplay only contains about 10-20% of the book’s content.
  • Michael Crichton demanded a non-negotiable fee of $1.5 million and a substantial percentage of the gross profit.
  • Ariana Richards’ audition consisted of screaming. Steven Spielberg wanted to see how she showed fear.


Jurassic Park was a major success with both audiences and critics alike. The movie was lauded for its special effects, which won the film an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1994. It also earned three other Oscar nominations that same year: Best Sound Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound Mixing. 

In addition to these accolades, Jurassic Park won three Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction, and Best Writing. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.

More Film Location Resources Like Jurassic Park

If you are looking for more film locations similar to Jurassic Park, insider information and behind the scenes footage of your favorite movies – here are some additional posts for you to check out:

What is Hawaii Famous For?

Hawaii is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. It’s also home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes including Mauna Loa and Kilauea. People flock to Hawaii for its tropical climate and abundant outdoor activities such as surfing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and hula dancing. In addition, Hawaii is famous for its rich history and Polynesian culture, making it an ideal filming location. 

The Hawaiian Islands are also a popular destination for world-renowned events like the Ironman World Championship and the Professional Surfing Tour.

Unique Places in Hawaii

Hawaii is full of unique places to visit. From the stunning Waimea Canyon on Kauai to the historic Iolani Palace in Honolulu, there’s something for everyone in Hawaii. The Na Pali Coast State Park features cliffs and lush valleys that can only be reached by hiking or taking a boat tour. 

Additionally, visitors should not miss out on the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor, which was made famous by the 1941 attack by Japan. Another popular destination is Haleakala National Park in Maui, where visitors can explore the crater of an inactive volcano and hike over its diverse terrain.

Hawaii has a number of unique museums such as The Bishop Museum in Honolulu and The Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo.  

Can You Visit the Jurassic Park Set?

The Kualoa Ranch on the main island of Hawaii has a Jurassic Park Adventure Tour that you can take. This tour takes you through many of the filming locations. 

Things to Do in Hawaii

There are so many great things to do in Hawaii, it would be hard to list them all here. But I’ll give you a few to explore:

  • Take a helicopter ride over a volcano
  • Go snorkeling 
  • Tour a pineapple or sugar plantation
  • Take a catamaran trip along the coast
  • Take a tour to visit the many waterfalls
  • Take a whale watching cruise

There’s so much to see and do in Hawaii, there’s no way you would be bored. Between the activities and restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What island did they film Jurassic Park on?

Most of the movie was filmed on the island of Kauai. 

Where was the waterfall scene in Jurassic Park filmed?

The waterfall scene was filmed at Manawaiopuna Falls on Kauai. It’s a privately owned waterfall that is now known as Jurassic Falls.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know about you, but filming in a beautiful location like Hawaii doesn’t really sound like work to me. But if you plan to go to Hawaii, it should be for a vacation not work, right? 

It probably won’t matter what time of year you visit Hawaii since the weather is great most of the year. My visit to Kauai was much too short (a week) and I’d love to go back again. How about you? Have you ever been? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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