Ready for more adventure? Let's keep going on day 3 of your Lanai trip.
General: DIY / How-To
|Guide Series: Lanai Vacation Itinerary
It's going to be hard to top yesterday (Lanai Itinerary - Day 2) after seeing the spectacular views at Garden of the Gods / Keahiakawelo but Lanai is full of amazing sites so today we'll check out another popular place. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and toilet paper (along with plastic bags again) because there are absolutely no facilities of any kind where you're going or anywhere along the way once you leave town.
Let's head out to Kaiolohia Bay (Shipwreck Beach) on the the north shore of the island. As you can tell from the photo above, this beach gets its name from an actual shipwreck that's just off shore. It has a very "ghost ship" feel to it when you see it in person, especially when there's nobody else out here. As it turns out, the ship is an oil tanker from the 1940s that got beached and remains here today, slowly rusting away.
Amazing views before you descend
The drive here from Lanai City is mostly paved and pretty enjoyable with lots of great views along the way. There are a lot of switchbacks on the way down to sea level which takes longer than going back to town since you'll want to go slower on the way down to be safe.
Once you leave the pavement you won't have too much further to go but you'll need to switch your car to 4x4 mode. Assuming you rented a Jeep, you'll want to switch into 4H mode (not 4L) which you do by throwing the lever in 4H mode while driving at any normal moving speed (using 4L requires a different process). When you get back to pavement on the way home switch back to two wheel mode. Talk with your rental agent if you have questions about the different modes of your Jeep.
Your rental map will tell you to stop before you hit soft sand because you don't want to get stuck out here and that's probably good advice. Park before you're in soft sand and walk in the rest of the way.
You won't swim at this beach. First off, it's incredibly rocky and reefy all over so getting in the water is difficult. But it's also a dangerous place to swim due to very strong currents that come through between Molokai and Maui. Speaking of those islands, you'll be able to see Molokai by looking north (straight out) and Maui's Kaanapali area by looking east (right if facing the ocean).
This is a fun place to just hang out. Those strong currents I mentioned also bring in a lot of random debris onto the beach so it's also a great beach to explore and do some beachcombing. Kids will love that part.
If you're feeling adventurous, head back to the fork you hit to get to Shipwreck Beach, where you turned left and marked by the helpful rock sign pictured above. This time, take the route towards Keomoku Village and you can check out Ka Lanakila O Ka Malamalama Church which is an old, abandoned church. You'll find it about 5.7 miles east after the road forked from Shipwreck Beach. The beach along this area is Keomuku Beach if you want to check that out as well. Remember, park off the road but not in any sand as you do not want to get stuck out here.
The super adventurous can continue clockwise around the coast and will eventually hit the Old Club Lanai which was, at one time, a small resort. It's been abandoned since the 1960's and talks of Larry Ellison (Lanai's 98% owner) building a new Club Lanai have come and now gone. Could be an interesting place to poke around, but it's a long drive and when you're done you'll be coming back the same way that got you here.
This was a pretty busy morning and it's time to head back for a real lunch. As is always the case, the options are your hotel or Lanai City. After lunch, let's go check out Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock). I'll be honest here, this isn't super exciting for everyone. Sweetheart Rock is a great picturesque backdrop for some beautiful photos but it really is just a giant rock in the water to some people. The story behind it, which you can read at Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock), is very neat and sometimes knowing the story and then seeing it in person makes it more exciting. Either way, you won't complain about the amazing views here.
If the rock didn't do much for you don't panic, I didn't just bring you here for a rock! While you're here, check out Shark's Bay / Shark's Cove from above. It's another photo opportunity but not a place you'll swim.
But we do need a swim and, look at that, we're right at Lanai's best and most accessible beach, Hulopo'e Bay Beach Park. What a coincidence! If you're a guest at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay let the attendant here know and they'll set you up with beach lounges and shade. You can even get food and drinks sent to you here and they have sand toys available for the keiki (kids). If you're staying elsewhere, it's still a public beach so you can use it like everyone else (except the lounge chairs).
When evening comes around, walk up the path to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, even if you're not staying there. They do a torch lighting ceremony that's fun to watch. Then why not drop into one of the restaurants here for a nice dinner before calling it a night.
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