Lanai – Regions

The island of Lanai is untouched by development and still resembles much of what ancient Hawaii was like many years ago before Western settlement and influence. The island is home to historical sites that have remained close to its original state due to the solitude of the island.

Lanai has the smallest population out of all the Hawaiian islands and has only one main city. The rest of the island is left to Native Hawaiian forests and beautiful white sand beaches. The scenery on Lanai is peaceful with its remnants of its pineapple plantation days and wide-open land area.

There are three main regions on Lanai – South Lanai, Central Lanai, and North Lanai. Most of the paved roads are in Central Lanai, totally approximately 30 miles of pavement. The rest of the roads on the island are dirt and rocks, so when visiting Lanai you will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle in order to explore more of the island.

South Lanai

This peaceful region of the island has an equal mix of luxury with the casual “laid back” living style of the local people. This part of the island is home to Lanai’s only harbor, Kaumalapu. This is where the islanders receive their produce and products from other islands and the continental United States. This region is sunny most of the time and is great for viewing the sunset. In fact, for a completely unobstructed view of the sunset, Kaumalapu Harbor is the perfect destination. This region is also home to a marine life conservation area where you can see dolphins at play most of the time. This area also has historical history of Hawaii’s early monarchy rule at Kaunolu Village. This site is where King Kamehameha I would come to fish. This has become a main ancient Hawaiian historical site as it still has remnants of a Hawaiian village.

Central Lanai

The main hub of the island is in this region. Lanai City is the main and only town in Lanai. This is where you will find places to shop, dine, and find a place to stay on your vacation. It is also where you will find all business and government offices. This region is also home to the Lanai airport, which is where you will arrive by plane to the island, as this is the only airport on the island. This area is an old plantation area for pineapple, where you can still see the areas of where pineapple was once a main export and income for the island. Lanai City is at a higher elevation than its coastline regions, so it is a bit colder in this area. The distinguishing feature of this island is the large pine trees along its roadways through the town, which is the main hangout for locals of the island.

North Lanai

More of the rustic area, the region of North Lanai is not developed and most of the unpaved roads of the island. The only means of exploring this region is with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. There is a white sand beach, Polihua Beach, which is secluded from the rest of the island. Polihua Beach is a beautiful two miles of white sands along the coast of Lanai, which is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or a quiet picnic. Another beach in this area, Kaiolohia Beach, which is nicknamed Shipwreck Beach, is another beautiful white sand beach area. This beach got its nickname, because there is a shipwrecked boat that sits a few feet off the Lanai coastline. This area is also home to most of the island’s Native Hawaiian plants, some of which can’t be found on other islands.