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Take it easy. That’s the signature note of the most central of the Hawaii islands. From here you can view five islands packed with excitement and promise yet you are invited to just wine, dine and recline. Once the centre of pineapple plantations Lanai is now home to luxury resorts. These are all situated around pretty bays and sheltered from Norfolk and Cook Island pines that give everything a slightly South Pacific feel. The charm of Lanai is that it is just 18 miles wide yet feels well off-the-beaten-path. Kick back and maybe explore hidden beaches, stumble on archaeological sites and enjoy the natural sights. Who could ask for more?
Lanai City – As the only city on the island you’ll find the best shops and restaurants around Dole Park. Named after the fruit business responsible for all those former pineapple plantations Dole Park also offers a pavilion, picnic tables and community centre. There are several veteran memorials in the park commemorating the soldiers that fought and died in World War II and Korea.
Keahiakawelo – Take a four-wheel drive tour out to the Garden of the Gods. In this otherworldly landscape you will be surrounded by eerie and beautiful rock formations that have been created by the gradual process of erosion over the steady trickle of time. The view above the ground is just as stunning, stretching out to encompass the cobalt waters and the islands of Molokai and Oahu seemingly marooned within them.
Pu'u Pehe - Sweetheart Rock is ideal for families and groups as well as romantic couples. Follow a trail from Hulopo'e Beach to wonderful viewpoints of Pu'u Pehe Rock. Along the trail you can explore numerous tide pools, a sea arch, Sharks Bay and Sharks Cove.
Kaiolohia - Shipwreck Beach is a secluded stretch that contains an almost spectral ship marooned on its pure shores. The World War II ship was disposed of here after the war and has stood for half a century on the reef. There is a remote hiking trail to Kahue and petroglyphs to explore nearby
Sights on Lanai include the contemplative war memorials in Lanai City, the surreal manmade shipwreck at Kaiolohia and the thought-provoking contours of the eroded rocks at Keahiakawelo. Magnificent and commanding views of nearby islands can be had from Pu'u Pehe and Kamalupau Harbor provides breathtaking views of the 1,000 foot cliffs that line Lanai's southern shore. For a sense of life before the fruit companies and luxury tour operators arrived take in the astounding drawings made on lava rocks by ancient Hawaiian settlers, known as the Luahiwa Petroglyphs.
Lanai offers great snorkelling, surfing, ocean swimming and plenty of opportunities to relax and be pampered on its beautiful beaches and resorts. Scuba divers will love the challenging dives on the southern coast that provide swim-throughs, archways and lava structures along with abundant marine life. Back on land there are some quality golf courses complete with views stunning enough to put the most seasoned pro off their stroke.