Kaunolu Village

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Address , Lanai City, HI 96763
The largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village.

• General: Cost: Free • Cultural & Historical: Heiau / Sacred Site

Kaunolu Village is a former fishing village that was abandoned in the 1880's and is the largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village. You'll find it on Lanai's southwest corner and only accessible via 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.

If you're going you first need to make sure you have a 4x4 Jeep or Hummer (etc) and that your rental company will allow this trip. 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 and southeast for about 2.5 miles and you're now looking for a yellow pipe on your right. Turn right onto that road 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.