ATV touring is the perfect thing to get involved with if you’re a fan of an off-road adventure and want to get your blood pumping whilst you tour the amazing island of Oahu.
Not only is it incredibly fun, but it also allows you to explore some of the more remote regions of the island and get into some especially scenic-looking spots for your camera roll.
These tours across the island take you around a several-mile journey through some of the private areas of the island that are usually closed off to the public.
Without an invitation from the owner, you won’t be allowed to simply drive or hike up to some of these places so an ATV or off-road tour is a really good way to see some more of the sights!
An ATV and off-road tour can be a really good place to experience a muddy adventure surrounded by world-class scenery. If the typical tourist spots are less appealing to you, an off-roading adventure can be a great way to get off the beaten path
What Can You Expect From An Off-Road Tour?
ATVs and off-road touring are a fun way to explore no matter the weather, if you don’t mind getting a little muddy that is! Every tour is a little different, depending on where you’re headed and who your tour operator is.
Here’s a little overview of what sort of thing you can expect from your off-roading adventure.
Many of the tours let you drive your off-road vehicle, which is the most fun in our opinion, though you’ll need to do a crash course and a safety tutorial before you are cleared to get going.
Though, even if you’ve got no previous experience, the drives are usually pretty mellow and controlled.
To drive an ATV, you’ll need to be a minimum of 16 years old, though smaller kids can always be driven around in ATV buggies, so all of the family can join in on the fun!
For the most part, you’ll have a brief intro about the areas you’ll be exploring, and then you’ll set off on your adventure. Usually, our guide will be in an ATV ahead of you, and you simply follow them through the trails, stopping off at the scenic points along your journey.
Some of the tours provide refreshments on your journey, though you should look into this before you book as each tour is different.
As ATVs are pretty loud, it’s hard to chat or explain things whilst on the go, so when you stop at your destination en route, your guide will usually fill you in on some of the Hawaiian history and cultural significance of the areas you are visiting.
Be sure to look into the location of the tours you are getting. The main benefit of getting an ATV tour is that you can go through a lot of untouched natural beauty which is owned by private ranches across the island.
It’s always a good idea to do a little bit more in-depth research before you go, as you may not get an opportunity to go through them again as many private owners often change their allowances for tours.
The Coral Crater Adventure Park focuses mainly on dirt tracks and an adventure course however, if you’d rather do something a little different than a jungle trail!
What To Bring On A Off-Road Tour
Whilst your tour operator will usually provide you with safety equipment for your journey, there are a few things you should consider bringing with you to make your trip more enjoyable and comfortable!
- Closed-toed walking shoes are essential here, this is not one for sandals and flip-flops!
- Long pants – Leave the shorts or any dresses or skirts at the hotel.
- Sunglasses are great for keeping flying mud from getting in your eyes.
- Sunscreen is another essential as you’ll be outside for a long period.
- Insect spray – you’ll thank us if you bring it along.
A fresh set of clothing for after your tour as you’ll be muddy and possibly wet too.
List Of Tour Operators and Tours On O’ahu
There are three off-roading tours available on the island, all of which have their unique feel.
Gunstock Ranch is the cheapest priced, though they offer passenger rides only, versus the more expensive Coral Crater route where you’ll spend double for an hour’s tour, half of which can be passenger, half drive.
So, as you can see, it’s important to read up about the tours you want to take as they differ greatly both in terms of price and content.
Let’s get into more detail about these three routes:
Gunstock Ranch-Off-Road Adventures
This stunning cattle and horse ranch is nestled on the North shores of O’ahu. Offering an hour to 1.5 hours of off-road experiences on ATVs, you can explore the stunning mountain scenery and even a locally sourced picnic lunch during your tour.
During the tour, you’ll be able to see many of the film locations for Hawaii 5-0 and explore a magical-looking hidden cave. The journey takes around 1..5 hours, though can take longer if you choose to extend your tour, though this will, of course, cost more.
The tour also includes many stop-off points where your guide will tell you about the history of the land, making this journey come to life.
What To Expect: This tour is passenger only- that means that you will not be driving any ATV yourself, instead your guide will drive you and your passengers around in an off-road vehicle through the duration of the trip.
More Information: The ranch also offers intimate trips, horse riding experiences, and lessons as well on this stunning ranch owned by Greg Smith and his family.
If you are looking for the most popular choice for off-roading, Kualoa Ranch is the one to head straight for! The main draw here is that you’ll get to ride your own ATV, with no mixed parties riding the same ATV, which means you can ride as a family.
Tours are around 2 hours in length and take you through the Jurassic Valley, rarely visited remote areas where films are often shot.
More Information: This is run by Kualoa ATV tours, and the price will depend on the length of your tour, along with the time of year.
Coral Crater Adventure Park
Different from the other two tours mentioned here, this tour offers a dirt track or course for you to explore around the adventure park. This is perfect if you’d rather learn some off-road techniques and fly around this awesome theme park.
If you’ve had your fill of scenic routes, this is a great one for the kids or anyone who wants to get adventurous at the same time and make a day of the Coral Crater Park, which offers ziplining amongst many other specialties.
More Information: The park itself costs money to enter, and we recommend buying tickets in advance as it is usually very busy. The ATV hire itself is also an additional cost and you’ll have to watch some safety footage to be able to ride.
We think these are all amazing choices and can be personalized too, as your budget allows. If you only have the opportunity to do one, we recommend Kualoa as it’s the perfect combination of action, and scenery and is perfect for the whole family.
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