Lanai Itinerary - Day 4

Another day of amazing adventures and mind boggling beauty.

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• General: DIY / How-To • General: Educational

Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Lanai Vacation Itinerary
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Eager to explore more of Lanai? How about a trip to Kaunolu Village, the largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village. It's located on the southwest corner of the island and only accessible via, you guessed it, a rough trail that requires a 4x4. This was once a favorite fishing spot of King Kamehameha back in the late 1700's and early 1800's and was where he retreated to after conquering Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.


Today, you'll find the remains of Halulu Heiau, petroglyphs, Kane'apua Rock, and Kahekili's Leap (Warriors Leap) which is where warriors would demonstrate their bravery by diving off this 60 foot cliff. This is not a place where you should demonstrate your own bravery. This place is considered very sacred by the Hawaiian people so make sure to be respectful and not touch any of the structures or petroglyphs. The village was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1962 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.


First, you'll need to make sure that your rental company will allow this trip (if not, talk with your hotel's concierge about arranging a tour). Then, you'll want to make sure the weather is good without any recent major rains that might make the trail too muddy. If all is good, take Highway 440 towards the Lana'i City Airport (LNY) but go beyond the airport turn in and instead make a left at the next turn which will be Kaupili Road. This dirt road will take you south / southeast for about 2.5 miles and you're now looking for a yellow pipe on your right. You know you're out in the boonies when directions include "turn at the yellow pipe". Turn right onto that trail where the pipe is and you have another 3 miles or so heading downhill towards Kaunolu Village. You're out in the middle of nowhere now so make sure you have water, snacks, and other supplies to be safe. Obviously, other options include hiking much of the trailer if you'd rather not drive it.

When you're done, you'll come back the way you came but when you get to Highway 440 turn left towards Kaumalapau Harbor instead of right to the Lana'i City Airport (LNY). Follow the paved (for a change!) road down to Kaumalapau Harbor for some more incredible views of Lanai's west coast. It's just views you're here for but it wasn't a big detour so why not!


After grabbing some lunch, how about hitting the links? Lanai is home to two and a half golf courses so you have options. First up is the legendary The Challenge at Manele Golf Course which provides amazing ocean views and is located at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. The next best option is The Experience at Koele Golf Course which is located at the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele, which will be much cooler as well. Both are 18 hole courses that golfers seem to love.


The final (half) option is Cavendish Golf Course which is a 9 hole, par 36 course. It was built in 1947 for sugar plantation workers on the island. It's still here today and best of all, it's completely free to play here! That's right, free! Of course, you'll need your own clubs if you're playing here.
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