You have to understand. I taught music for many years, and one of my joys was to introduce junior high age students to the magic of Broadway musicals. And, one of my all-time favorites was and is “South Pacific” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. To have a whole day to explore many of the places where the movie version was filmed back in 1958, was sheer bliss for me. To also pass the settings for “Blue Hawaii,” “Jurassic Park,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark?” Well, that just pushed the day over the top. We could have chosen an organized group tour such as this one, but instead we got in our rental car with a map and plenty of time and explored on our own.
From our hotel on Poipu Beach in the southern part of the island, we headed up the east coast, stopping first to catch glimpses of O’paeka’a Falls and the Wailua River, both seen in “Blue Hawaii” and “Jurassic Park.”
Next up was the Kilauea Lighthouse. Another set of falls near this point was used in “South Pacific.” See a video of it here.
Then we arrived at Lumaha’i Beach in Hanalei Bay and walked out onto Hanalei Pier. This area is where virtually all of the scenes in “South Pacific” involving the military men and women were filmed, including arguably the most popular “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair.” Click on this video to view a short musical synopsis of this movie.
We stopped for smoothies in the town of Hanalei and quietly sang to ourselves:
Puff, the Magic Dragon, lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a Land called Hanalei. The composer himself has denied any connection with this place, but don’t tell the locals. They embrace it completely.
We lingered at other beaches along our way back, including this amazing sight known as “The Spouting Horn,” and then had a sumptuous dinner at Keoki’s Paradise. Indeed a perfect day.