Lana'i, Hawaii's Secluded Island

Photo by John Fischer

Lana'i is one of the most inaccessible islands in the state, which contributes to its signature raw, natural beauty and quiet atmosphere. Getting there will require an inter-island flight from select local airlines or a ferry from the Lahaina side of Maui. You'll find some of the most unique hotels in the world on Lanai, as well as pristine beaches perfect for snorkeling and friendly, welcoming people.

For many years, almost all of Lana'i was dedicated to growing Hawaii's most popular export, pineapples. Pineapple production ended in October 1992.

Size

Lana'i is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a land area of 141 square miles. It is 13 miles wide by 18 miles long.

Population

As of the 2000 U.S. Census: 3,000. Ethnic Mix: 22% Hawaiian, 21% Caucasian, 19% Japanese, 12% Filipino, 4% Chinese and 22% Other.

Nickname

Lana'i used to be nicknamed the "Pineapple Island" while the Dole Company owned a huge pineapple plantation there. Unfortunately, no pineapple is grown on Lana'i anymore. Now they call themselves the "Secluded Island."

Airport

The only airport is the Lana'i Airport, located three miles southwest of Lana'i City. It is only serviced by inter-island flights.

Largest Town

Lana'i City (the island's one and only populated town).

Climate

Lana'i has a varied climate due to large elevation changes on the island. The temperature at sea level is usually 10-12°F warmer than the temperature in Lana'i City which sits at 1,645 feet in elevation. The average afternoon winter temperature in Lana'i City is around 66°F during the coldest months of December and January. August and September are the hottest summer months with an average temperature of 72°F. Lana'i is a relatively dry island with an average annual rainfall of just 37 inches.

Passenger Ferry Service

The Expeditions Lahaina-Lana'i Ferry departs Lahaina Harbor on Maui from the public loading dock near the Pioneer Inn and docks at Manele Harbor near the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay. There are five daily departures in each direction. The fare is $25 each way for adults and $20 for children. Expeditions also offer several "Explore Lana'i" Packages.

Geography

Miles of Shoreline: 47 linear miles of which 18 are sandy beaches.

Number of Beaches: 12 accessible beaches, one of which (Hulopoe Beach at Manele Bay) has public facilities. Sands may be white to gold in color.

Parks: There are no state parks or national parks, but the island has five county parks and community centers.

Highest Peak: Lānaʻihale (3,370 feet above sea level)

Number of Visitors Annually: Approximately 75,000

Lodging

Visitor Attractions:

  • Keahikawelo: A rock garden with a unique climate located at the end of Polihua Road in Lana'i City. Also known as the "Garden of the Gods."
  • Shipwreck Beach: Six-mile coastline of the island's north shore where the remnants of a dozen shipwrecks can be found. The main beach is located about a 45-minute drive from Lanai City.
  • Hulopoe Bay: The beach in front of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, named America's Best Beach in 1997 by Dr. Beach. The neighboring beach park is a popular spot for barbeques and camping, and the protected tide pools along the Eastern edge of the bay are a highlight.
  • Puʻupehe: Also known as "Sweetheart Rock," the best view can be found following a short hike past the tide pools at Hulopoe Bay.
  • Kanepuʻu Preserve: A 590-acre native dryland forest preserve located five miles Northwest of Lanaʻi City.
  • Manele Golf Course: Despite its small size, Lana'i is home to one of Hawaii's best golf courses, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele Golf Course at the Four Seasons Lanai.
  • Manele-Hulopo‘e Marine Life Conservation District: Manele and Hulopoʻe are adjacent bays on the southern coast of Lana'i. The ruins of the ancient fishing village of Manele extend from the area just inland of Manele Small Boat Harbor to Hulopoʻe Beach Park. Within Manele Bay corals are most abundant along the sides of the bay near the cliffs, where the bottom slopes off quickly to about 40 feet. The middle of the bay is a sand channel. Just outside the western edge of the bay near Puʻu Pehe rock is "First Cathedrals", a popular SCUBA destination.

Concierge-Arranged Activities

Virtually all activities on Lana'i are arranged through the concierge at one of the resorts. These include:

  • Air Rifle Gallery
  • Archery Gallery
  • Beachcombing
  • Blue Water Adventure Rafting
  • Croquet
  • 4x4 Exploration
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Island Tours
  • Lawn Bowling
  • Mountain Biking
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Spas
  • Sports Fishing
  • Sporting Clays
  • Tennis
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