From the air, Lanai’s rugged coastline and Kaumalapau Harbor, the island’s lifeline to the outside world. Almost everything comes to Lanai on a weekly barge from Honolulu.
Here's a sight visitors seldom see. The weekly barge comes on Thursdays and unloads on the dock, which for security reasons is closed during the process.
The road to Manele Bay. This is typical Lanai, misty, green and planted with Norfolk and Cook pines--for more than decorative reasons.
These Norfolk and Cook pines were planted on Lanai to catch moisture from the morning mist. Otherwise, the island can be quite dry.
Lanai has two Four Seasons resorts. The Lodge at Koele is different from any other Hawaii resorts, cool, green and upcountry, with these manicured grounds.
The interior of the Lodge at Koele, here complete with Christmas decorations.
In addition to the two Four Seasons, there's the Hotel Lanai, originally built in 1923 to house visiting Dole Plantation executives.
A Honolulu couple, Tom Kiely and Mary Charles, have restored the 10-room Hotel Lanai to much better than it's ever been in its history.
Tom Kiely, hotel manager Michelle and Mary Charles, with Sebastian, their golden retriever.
The open-air lobby of the Hotel Lanai, and the best place to catch the hotel's WIFI signal.
Popular with locals is Lanai City Grill, the Hotel Lanai's restaurant, where you can get such delights as this seared ahi salad.
Tata, a retired plantation worker, comes every day to groom the hotel grounds.
Tata doesn't like to smile, since he's a bit deficient in the dental department.
On the lawn of the Hotel Lanai, painter Mike Carroll likes to paint in the open air.
The ebullient Mike Carroll moved to Lanai 9 years ago, intending to stay for two. He and his wife now run Mike Carroll Gallery in Lanai City. "I wouldn't live anywhere else," he says.
Mike Carroll is painting one of his favorite Lanai houses— “Great shapes and colors,” he says. In the background the green Transportation Building, once part of the plantation, now a maintenance shop.
Carroll often invites other painters to Lanai. This is Saim Caglayan of Kauai.
Retired plantation worker Louis Oajashi grabs a little morning sun on his porch in Lanai City.
In 1922, James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Co. purchased all of Lanai, and planned Lanai City to be like the New England town he grew up in, a grid of streets around a central square, now named for him.
Like most buildings in Lanai City, Mike Carroll's Gallery sits across the street from the central square.
Blue Ginger Cafe bakes its own bread and is a popular hangout for Lanai City residents.
Cathy Abilay of the Blue Ginger Cafe recommends the Lanai omelet for breakfast, then returning for a loco moco for lunch.
Kepa Mali and his wife Onaona are Hawaiian cultural experts. Their Lanai Culture & Heritage Center will provide you with a deeper sense of Lanai’s history.
One of the first buildings in Lanai City, the 1926 Lanai Playhouse still plays movies—and houses a fitness center.
This tongue-in-cheek sign in Lanai City points to locations both far and just a few steps away.
Jenny Majkuss both runs a local clothing store and tends to baby Mia. "I don't think you could do that anywhere else," she says. "On Lanai, someone will always hold your baby for you."
The Dis and Dat building has been many things, from fish market to tofu factory. It's now a gift shop.
“I don’t think you’ll find a shop like this anywhere else,” says manager Kenne Williams of Lanai City’s Dis & Dat shop, hung with wind chimes from all over the world.
Barbara Zigmond's scooter sits outside the small restaurant Pele's Other Garden--meaning she's inside cooking good things.
Like for instance, her Bowties and Butterflies, butterflied shrimp on pesto bowtie pasta.
Or her chicken Parmesan.
Richard's Market is one of Lanai's three general stores. Best to come on Friday, the day after the barge arrives from Honolulu.
Bryan Plunkett, conservation manager, and his dog Pono, were kind enough to let us tag along on a strip over Lanai's Munro Trail.
The Munro Trail is named after naturalist George Munro, who managed Lanai Ranch from 1911 to 1936. The dirt road goes up and over Lanaihale, the island's highest peak.
The Munro Trail takes you uphill through stands of pines and uluhe ferns.
The views from the Munro Trail are extensive. That's Maui in the distance.
In the distance, the West Maui Mountains and to the right, barely visible, Haleakala.
As you climb, the terrain gets a little rugged.
This Rube Goldberg contraption is a scientific station that measures fog drip--proving that preserving the forest is critical to Lanai's water supply.
The view over the Palawai Basin, which up until the 1990s would have been filled with pineapple.
Lanai City in the distance.
Lanai is serious about conservation, both to protect the watershed and to preserve the endangered Hawaiian petral, the uaa, which nests in the ferns in remote forests like this one.
Bryan Plunkett stands next to a fence that keeps the introduced Axis deer and Mouflon sheep from destroying the critical plants of the watershed. He's helped build 17.6 miles of fence in difficult terrain.
Seabird biologist Jay Penniman is creating a sanctuary for the uaa, the Hawaiian petrel, a seabird that was one of the first species to go on the federal endangered species list.
Near the summit of Lanaihale, the highest point on the island.
The gulches of Lanai's rugged Northern shoreline, with Molokai in the background. The trees you see were planted 80 years ago, by hand, by crews of men with mules.
Deep gulches extend to the shore from Lanaihale.
Road signs are few but welcome on Lanai's dirt roads.
Signs along the road to Keomoku.
We laughed, because the road was so rough we were doing at best 10 miles an hour.
Yet another remote, and colorful, farm.
A panoramic view across the channels to Molokai and Maui.
Lanai is a hunters’ paradise: Axis deer, mouflon sheep and game birds. To keep sharp, you can shoot at Lanai Pine Sporting Clays. Here, instructor Larry Icalla, who says he’s been hunting since he was three, shows how it’s done.
Each station at Lanai Sporting Clays emulate a particular game bird, here an Ereckel's Francolin.
And as we were shooting, an apparently fearless Ereckel's Francolin dropped by the course.
Lanai has only 34 miles of paved road. We set out on this dirt road toward Kanepuu Preserve and Keahiakawelo (the Garden of the Gods).
Kanepuu Preserve is one of the largest and most accessible dryland forests left in the Islands. It has to be fenced to keep out deer and other introduced species.
Ambrose Amancio, 79, cuts down weeds along the stainless steel fencing of Kanepuu.
The weeds would blow the seeds of alien species into the forest preserve.
The amazing Bob Hera works tirelessly to reclaim the native dryland forest. For more on Hera's efforts, look for the April/May 2009 issue of HAWAII Magazine.
A lizard suns itself atop a worker's mat in the Kanepuu Preserve.
It's a long bumpy ride to Lanai's Polihua Beach, which is the reason you often have it all to yourself.
The sand at Polihua is filled with small and fragmented shells.
The otherworldly Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods).
Our jeep after the trip to Polihua Beach and Keahiakawelo. We had to wash it at a friend's house before we turned it back to the rental company.
And you can see why the jeep got dirty.
The road to Kanepuu winds through a towering ironwood forest.
If most of Hawaii is sun, surf and coconut palms, Lanai is mist, pines and green open spaces.
Lanai is serious about energy independence. It's recently opened solar farm provides 30 percent of its daytime electricity needs. To get an idea of the size of the installation, see the next picture.
In the distance, that's the more than 7,000 solar panels that track the sun and provide power.
The small boat harbor at Manele Bay, a popular landing spot for day excursions from Maui.
Framed by tide pools, the Four Seasons Manele Bay Resort stretches long and low across the landscape.
Amid the tidepools, a sea arch.
Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock. According to legend, a young Lanai warrior hid his beloved, Pehe, in a sea cave, afraid other men would see her. She drowned in a storm and, after burying her atop the rock, he leapt to his death.
Award-winning California painter Randall Sexton tries to capture the shimmer of the tidepools on canvas.
This may not be the Hawaii most people think of, but for people in Hawaii, it's often their favorite island besides their own.
Sunrise on Lanai