Living in the Moment on the Island of Lanai

This gallery is comprised of photographs that illustrate the luxuriously rustic beauty of jewel-like Lanai.
By: Sponsored The Hawaiian Islands
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Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Pierce M. Myers Photography

Photo By: Dahlquist Ron, Getty Images

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Tor Johnson

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Tor Johnson

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Pierce M. Myers Photography

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Lanai Hospitality Players

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Pierce M. Myers Photography

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Tourism Japan

Photo By: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Pierce M. Myers Photography

Take a 4-wheel drive about a half an hour north of Lanai City and you will discover Kaiolohia, also known as Shipwreck beach. This windy 8-mile stretch of beach has broken many a ship with its shallow, rocky channel, including a 1940s tanker that lay rusting as a ghostly reminder to mariners to stay away. The rough water also makes for poor swimming, but the views of Molokai and Maui and wide stretch of open sand make this a great place for beachcombing. 

Shark's Cove is not a good place to swim, but you’d be hard pressed to find a beach that is more visually stunning. Iron-rich rocks give the cliffs a deep, red color that contrasts sharply with the turquoise water. The area has strong currents, so we recommend picnics, hikes and sunbathing instead.

Before you head out to snorkel at Hulopoe Beach Park and Marine Preserve, pick up a laminated fish guide at one of the local stores, then get ready for your own version of show and tell. The bay is rich with fish, from striped Moorish idols to our state fish the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. (Try to say that three times.) Once in a while, a friendly green sea turtle might even stop on by to say hello. 

For most of the year, Hulopoe Bay, which fronts the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, is the best place for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling on the island. Rent a kayak or bring your own and soon you'll find yourself torn between paddling and stopping to take photos. 

The sea cliffs of Lanai rise nearly a thousand feet above the Pacific. Visitors can travel along the network of four wheel drive roads that traverse the island and enjoy incredible views all along the rocky coast.

A horseback ride is the most adventurous way to access the magnificent views of mountains, valleys, and seascapes that can be enjoyed from Koele Lookout. Koele itself has its own unrivalled landscape, symbolized by its towering Cook Island pines.

The mountains and remote valleys of Lanai are home to a remarkable variety of wildlife including wild turkey, quail, pheasant, Axis deer, and Mouflon sheep. The deer and sheep can often be found on the sheer cliffs of the island’s high country. 

Hawaiians came to Lanai as early as the 15th Century and left evidence of their existence in rock carvings called petroglyphs. If you like scavenger hunts, Luahiwa Petroglyphs are a challenge to find, but for the determined traveler, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past. 

The sunlit sky above Lanai is home to the Pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl. In the absence of streetlights and neon, Lanai’s crystalline night sky is also home to a galaxy of stars, invisible to most of the outside world.