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Best Lanai Beaches

Huawai Bay

This small but beautiful bay is located below the Challenge at Manele golf course. Few tourist ever see this lovely area as it is mostly frequented by local fisherman and is very difficult to access via the Po'opo'o Fisherman Trail. The tiny salt-and-pepper sand beach is isolated and surrounded by small seacliffs. The water offshore is deep, crystal blue and hosts excellent snorkeling and diving when the sea is calm. Take Highway 440 south out of Lanai City. About 5 miles out of town the highway makes a left turn, continue straight on Kaupili Road and take the first left on New Manele Road. Follow this road down to the ocean. The road runs through the golf course. The paved trail to the bay is on the right just before the golf course begins.  

Hulopo'e Beach


This protected beach is the safest place on the island to swim. It's beautiful white sand beach and underwater coral formations makes it the central recreational area on Lanai. The Manele Bay Hotel sits on the bluff overlooking this perfect site. The beach is located in a protected Marine Life Conservation Area so there are numerous and colorful fish as well as unique coral formations found here. To the left of the beach is Pu'u Pehe Rock, also known as Sweetheart Rock. Take Highway 440 south from Lanai City approximately 13 miles. Follow the signs to the Hulopo'e Beach Park.  

Polihua Beach

Located approximately 11 miles north of Lanai City. Accessible by 4-WD vehicles only from the Polihua Trail at the end of Polihua Road.  One of the most famous green sea turtle nesting beaches in Hawaii and a good place to watch whales (in season). Over 1-1/2 miles of white sand. Windswept - susceptible to sand storms and dangerous currents. Water conditions can be extremely hazardous - not safe for swimming. Surfing when water conditions are right for expert surfers only.  

PUU PEHE (Sweetheart Rock) (South Coast)

Reached by following the shoreline from the left side of Hulopoe Beach. A large cove lined with a white sand beach. A sea stack known as Sweetheart Rock lies offshore. According to legend, Puu Pehe, a young girl, drowned in a sea cave. Her lover, with help from the Gods, carried her body to the summit and buried her beneath the ruins of what is believed to be an ancient bird shrine. The cove's very clear waters contain an abundance of marine life affording excellent swimming and snorkeling.  

Sharks Bay South Lanai

Sharks Bay is a small area located to the left of Hulopo'e Beach. It is divided from the beach by a red lava rock tongue of land that protrudes out into the ocean. This length of lava is a perfect place to hike to obtain great views of the coastline, both east and west, and of Pu'u Pehe Rock. The Cove is sandy, protected, and secluded from the main beach area - perfect area for a picnic or just sunbathing. Swimming here is not recommended due to strong currents and numerous rocks.Shark's Bay is separated by a small rock outcropping from Shark's Cove, a much smaller crescent of sand. Shark's Bay is much easier to reach and just a beautiful. Take Highway 440 south from Lanai City approximately 13 miles. Follow the signs to the Hulopo'e Beach Park. Take the trail to the left of the beach to the Shark's Bay and Shark's Cove.  This is one of our favorite Hawaii beaches.  

Shipwreck Beach

One of the most interesting hikes on Lanai is the trek down Shipwreck Beach. The beach stretches over miles of northeast coast of Lanai fronting the Kalohi Channel that separates Lanai from Molokai. This channel is known for its strong currents and numerous reefs. Many a ship has run aground along this channel - thus the name, Shipwreck Beach. One such "wreck" is the World War II Liberty Ship whose hulk clings to reef close to shore. This particular vessel was not the result of an accident. After the war several surplus crafts were provided residence on the Lanai reef as an economical means of disposal. This particular vessel withstands the ocean currents and waves and has stood for over 50 years on the reef. The reason it has not eroded away over all these years is that the boat is made from concrete. According to Honolulu's Maritime Center this ship was one of 22 ferrous-concrete oilers built between 1942 and 1944. None of these ships were ever given a name, just a number/letter designation which has been lost over the years. Shipwreck Beach's first recorded shipwreck was in 1824 when the British vessel Alderman Wood foundered on a reef. Two years later an American ship, London, carrying a cargo of gold and silver bullion sunk along this coast. It is uncertain how much of the gold and silver was ever recovered. The beach is a series of sand, lava rock, and boulders. It is a great place for beach combing, especially the eight mile section that fronts Molokai. Due to the trade winds, this area is continuously windswept and hammered by currents of the Kalohi and Auau Channels. Even though the beach is guarded by a wide reef, swimming in this area is extremely unsafe. Blasting trades come through the Pailolo Channel that separates Maui and Molokai creating a venturi-like funnel, churning up the sea and creating incredibly strong currents in the area. These churning waters propel considerable flotsam onto the beach. A entire fishing village, Federation Camp, was built from the debris washed ashore here. From Lanai City, take Highway 44 northeast to the end of the road (approximately 7 miles). Turn left on the dirt road and continue for 1.6 miles to the parking area near the lighthouse ruins. Shipwreck Beach lies in front of the ruins and stretches for several miles to the north and east.