Sunday, June 5, 2011

A countdown to Hawaii: 5 days

Ride to Magnum House

We all know who Magnum is!!  Ever wonder why men in their 50s/60s have mustaches…it’s because of this private investigator living on Oahu!!
For all of you who don’t recognize the name Thomas Magnum, I’ve saved you the Wikipedia trouble.

Tom Selleck portrayed this PI.  The series ran from 1980-1988 in first-run broadcast on the American CBS television network.  According to the Nielsen ratings, Magnum P.I. consistently ranked in the top twenty U.S. television programs during the first five years that the series was originally telecast in the United States.  Originally appearing in a prime time American network timeslot of 8pm Eastern on Thursday s, it was one of the highest-rated shows on U.S. television.

In Magnum P.I.Robin's Nest is not located on the southeast coast of Oahu on Kalanianaole Highway, or near Waimanalo Beach. It's located on the fictional road of "Kalakaua" (street number "1429" or "1541"), somewhere on the North Shore! This is in spite of the fact that we can often see Rabbit Island in the background. Rabbit Island is nowhere near the North Shore! We also never see any waves breaking in the ocean! Luckily, the estate's general location was only referenced four* times in the show, so the odd location setting didn't really present much of a problem. Still, the Ferrari must have racked up a lot of miles coming and going from the north side of the island to all of the action on the south side!

The Robin Masters Estate (usually referred to as simply "The Estate") in the show sits on"200 acres .... from the mountains to the sea", including approximately fifty yards of beachfront property. A mountain range looms closely behind the estate, creating a stunning, beautiful, backdrop. The main compound of the property (what is seen in the show) sits on five acres and is surrounded by a unique lava rock wall on three sides (with an iron-gated entranceway) and a concrete sea wall on the ocean end. It is wired for security and features a large main house, a separate guesthouse, stables (no animals), orchards, a caretaker's house (or gatehouse), a greenhouse, a private tennis court, a man-made tidal pool, and a secluded, semi-private beach.
In the real world, the estate is much smaller than it appears in the show. It is a "mere" three acres in size! It's hard to see through all the foliage and the lava rock wall on the perimeter, but the estate actually sits very close to Kalanianaole Highway. The estate was built in the early 1930s and is comprised of a large, 8,921 sq. ft. Spanish Colonial Revival-style main house, a unique boathouse (with one bedroom, one full bath), a 1,880 sq. ft. gatehouse (with five bedrooms, two baths, and a two-car garage), a storage wing, a private tennis court, and, of course, the beach and tidal pool. The estate does not have stables or orchards. The boathouse was used as the exterior of the guesthouse (Magnum's quarters) in the show.

One of the highlights of the estate is the beautiful tidal pool, framed by a 500' by 50' stone wall (submerged at high tide, but visible at low tide). The enclosure is an ancient Hawaiian turtle pond known as Pahonu Pond (Pahonu means "turtle enclosure" in Hawaiian). The original purpose of the pond was to house captured sea turtles for
an Ali'i (High Chief) that favored turtle meat. Turtle meat was kapu (forbidden) to all but the chiefs under penalty of death. The turtle pond (and rock wall) was restored in the 1960's and was added to the Hawaii Historical Register in 1978. Because of the ancient turtle pond, the Anderson Estate is also often referred as "Pahonu", a name that can be found on a plaque by the front gate.

One of the reasons the Anderson Estate was chosen to represent Robin's Nest, in addition to its beauty and picturesque setting, is because it is located next to a piece of property (the Shriners Beach Club at 41-525 Kalanianaole Hwy) that had space for the production crew. The property was used as a temporary parking lot and staging area for the filming equipment.
Virtually all of the indoor scenes of Robin's Nest, namely the main house and the guesthouse scenes, were filmed at the Hawaii Film Studio (also known as "Five-O Stage"), located at 510 18th Avenue (next to Kapiolani Community College) at the foot of Diamond Head crater. Outside of balcony shots and the boathouse lanai, there were only three scenes filmed inside the real buildings of the Eve Anderson estate.

 Know this!  The house is not marked.  Keep your eyes open!  You wouldn’t want to take a picture of the wrong house!  Happy Hunting!! 
I plan on finding that house!!


  1. Do you know what the square concrete structure is in the robins nest tidal pool? Just curious.

  2. Hello Darla,
    I actually don't know what the square concrete structure is. I'll do a little research and let you know! Thanks for reading!

  3. Darla, some believe its a helicopter pad! Hope this helps!

  4. small for that.

  5. I think they were saying it used to be a helicopter pad. Even still, I'm unsure. Does anybody else know what it is?