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If you’re a fan of the popular NCIS franchise, you may be wondering where the latest addition, NCIS: Hawaii, is filmed. This tropical spin-off brings all the action, drama, and investigations of the NCIS team to the islands of Oahu.

So if you want to walk in the footsteps of Jane Tennant and her team, read on to find out exactly where NCIS: Hawaii is filmed.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: NCIS: Hawaii is primarily filmed on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu at local studios and various outdoor locations meant to depict Pearl Harbor Naval Base where the fictional NCIS Pearl office is located.

Main Filming Location

Hawaii Film Studio

The primary filming location for NCIS: Hawaii is the Hawaii Film Studio in Kalaeloa, Oahu. This state-of-the-art facility opened in 2021 and features two large sound stages, production offices, mill shops, wardrobe rooms, and more spread across 10 acres.

According to their website, it is the largest soundstage facility in Hawaii.

Many of the indoor scenes, like the NCIS: Pearl Harbor headquarters and private residences, are filmed on the Hawaii Film Studio sound stages. The production employs local Hawaiians to build the incredibly detailed sets.

In an interview, set decorator Jess Royal noted, “We have carpenters and painters from the local Hawaii unions who have just been amazing.” Their craftsmanship brings an authenticity to the sets that reflects the beauty of the islands.

Pearl Harbor Exteriors

Numerous external scenes are filmed on location at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam military base. Visitors to Pearl Harbor may recognize areas like the USS Missouri Memorial, USS Arizona Memorial, and Ford Island from the show.

However, much of the base remains off limits to productions due to security concerns.

The showrunners worked closely with the Department of Defense to gain access to film at Pearl Harbor. Chris Silber, an executive producer on the show, said “It’s really incredible to be here and actually see it and smell it and feel what it’s like on base here.It adds so much texture and fabric to the show.”

NCIS: Hawaii was also the first show ever allowed to shoot on the USS Michael Murphy, providing incredible on-location realism.

Notable Oahu Filming Locations

Kualoa Ranch

This stunning nature preserve and ranch on Oahu’s northeastern shoreline offers diverse scenery perfect for filming. Verdant valleys, jagged peaks, quiet beaches and grazing animals serve as backdrops in many scenes across the NCIS: Hawaii first season. Jurassic Park, Godzilla and Lost were among the many popular films shot amid Kualoa’s dramatic vistas.

Pua’ena Point Beach Park

In multiple episodes, the Five-0 team convenes and launches ocean operations from this windy but picturesque North Shore site. With swaying palms, sandy beaches and turquoise waves crashing offshore, the spot brings an authentic Hawaiian flavor crucial for the island-based drama.

Pua’ena Point Beach Park spans just 3 acres, but photographers and filmmakers alike appreciate the park for framing clear views of the stunning seascape. When the characters gaze out meditatively across the Pacific, they’re likely taking in the panoramic sightlines from this location.

Waimea Valley

Sprawling across 1,800 acres on Oahu’s North Shore, Waimea Valley resembles a lost world seemingly untouched by modern civilization.

The grounds encompass archaeologically rich Hawaiian heritage sites, endemic botanical gardens, and the picturesque Waimea Falls and swimming hole.

In the NCIS: Hawaii pilot episode, Jane Tennant and Kai Holman have a reflective conversation while exploring the lush tropical landscape. Many movies and TV episodes have captured “the grandeur and intimacy” of this location over the years. From blockbusters like Jurassic Park to shows like Lost, Waimea Valley transports audiences to the islands through cinema.

Other Hawaiian Islands Used for Filming

NCIS Hawaii


The island of Maui has served as a backdrop for several episodes of NCIS: Hawaii. The lush green valleys, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs provide stunning scenery that complements the show’s island setting.

Specific locations on Maui that have been featured include Kapalua Bay, where a body was found washed up on shore in the pilot episode. The rocky sea cliffs of Nakalele Point were also used as an exterior crime scene location.

Several highway and country road scenes have been filmed along the Road to Hana and in Upcountry Maui as well.


The scenic island of Kauai is known as the “Garden Isle” for its abundant tropical foliage and has also made appearances in NCIS: Hawaii. In one episode, an exterior mansion scene was filmed at a luxury property near Poipu Beach.

Additionally, helicopter establishing shots have captured Kauai’s famous Na Pali Coast cliffs.

With its lush green peaks and valleys, Kauai provides a unique landscape that showcases Hawaii’s natural beauty. Scenes set on rural roads, secluded beaches, and even island ranch locations have the potential to be filmed on Kauai in future episodes.

Its old sugar plantation towns also offer great backdrops for the show’s storylines involving traditional island history and culture.

Big Island

As Hawaii’s largest island, the aptly named Big Island offers diverse landscapes suited for filming, from black sand beaches to tropical rainforests to even snowcapped mountaintops.

While not used as extensively so far, the Big Island provides intriguing options for future NCIS: Hawaii episodes. Its active Kilauea volcano and lava fields create an almost alien atmosphere that would complement mysterious or tense storylines.

The historic cowboy countryside of Waimea and the white sand beaches of the Kohala Coast are additional iconic Big Island locales ready for their closeups.

From tropical coastlines to volcanic badlands, the Big Island encapsulates the full spectrum of Hawaii’s natural wonders for impactful on-location filming. It will be exciting to see if more of the island graces future episodes.

Studio Locations

Hawaii, the popular television series set against the backdrop of the Hawaiian Islands, relies significantly on studio facilities in California to bring its captivating narratives to life.

The primary filming location for the show is the Hawaii Film Studio in Kalaeloa, Oahu. However, the intricate sets and scenes depicting the main office, character homes, and more are crafted at a key studio facility in California to ensure the show’s visual authenticity and storytelling finesse.

Also read: Shows Filmed In Hawaii: A Comprehensive Guide

Fun Facts About Filming NCIS: Hawaii

The stunning backdrop of Hawaii provides a beautiful and unique setting for filming NCIS: Hawaii. Here are some entertaining behind-the-scenes facts about the show’s production:

Filming Locations

While the show is set in Hawaii, it is actually filmed in Oahu at a production studio. However, the cast and crew do embark on location shoots around the island to capture those iconic beach landscapes and island vibes.

Local Extras

If you look closely at crowd scenes, you may notice some familiar faces. The show employs many local Hawaiian actors and extras to authentically capture island culture and communities.

Behind-the-Scenes Secrets

  • The cast had to learn local Hawaiian slang and phrases to accurately depict living in Hawaii.
  • Due to heavy shooting schedules, the cast has stand-in and photo doubles for long distance shots.
  • The actors do some of their own stunts, with guidance from the show’s stunt coordinators.

Fun With Props

Since the NCIS team investigates crimes involving the military, there are plenty of chances to feature interesting weaponry and gear on the show. The actors seem to have as much fun handling the props as viewers do watching them in action.

So while viewers tune in to enjoy the show’s mystery and intrigue, the production benefits from the rich, vibrant setting of Hawaii. It undoubtedly makes filming the show an entertaining adventure for cast and crew!

Also read: When Is Ncis: Hawaii Coming Back With New Episodes?


As you can see, while NCIS: Hawaii makes use of local Oahu studios and locations, the show has also tapped into what the other Hawaiian Islands have to offer when needing to depict exotic locales. And the California-based CBS Studio Center remains an important home base for internal scenes as well.

We hope this inside look at where NCIS: Hawaii films all the action has shed some light on how this Aloha State spinoff brings the islands to life every week. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions about the show’s production.

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