Written by smmmarti guide on 16 Mar, 2002
Our visit to Lanai started in Maui at the Lahaina Ferry docks where we boarded the Expedition for the 45-60 minute trip across the channel. (There are ferries departing Maui at 6:30, 9:15 and 12 and returning to Maui from Lanai at 2…Read More
Our visit to Lanai started in Maui at the Lahaina Ferry docks where we boarded the Expedition for the 45-60 minute trip across the channel. (There are ferries departing Maui at 6:30, 9:15 and 12 and returning to Maui from Lanai at 2 pm, 4:30 pm and 6:45 pm. The fare is $25 adults each way and $20 for kids.) The boarding point is directly across from the Pioneer Hotel and just adjacent to the Carthaginian ship and white lighthouse.
We had made prior reservations, which is highly recommended, and the ferry operators also took care of our rental car reservations on Lanai. Other options for making the excursion include going through a tour operator (Trilogy takes their catamarans out and arranges special functions and entertainment to groups) or as advertised all over town at activities desks.
When choosing your method, plan to spend as much time as possible if you are only taking a day tour of Lanai, as the ferry eats up two hours of your time and the trip to the rental car agency in Lanai City is another 20-30 minutes drive from the harbor in a shuttle van. Also, be advised that you will be required to return the rental vehicle at least one hour and fifteen minutes prior to your ferry departure. Even if you arrange your visit so that you end up at the shore, you will need to go back up the hill (ugh!) much earlier than I consider it necessary to make the trip to the ferry dock. We ended up waiting almost an hour on the windy coast for the ferry’s arrival at the end of a long day.
So, in effect, if you take the 9:30 am ferry, you’ll arrive at 10:30 am and not be in your Jeep rental until 11 am. By the time you decide your route and get some provisions in town, which are essential since Lanai City and the hotels are the ONLY place to get food, water, or use the bathroom on the island, even if you take the last ferry home (6:45pm) you will now have about five hours to see four trails that take about five hours to drive round trip. This won’t leave you much time for enjoying the gorgeous beaches and hotels.
In the likely event you are caught in a downpour up on the Munro trail or anywhere in Lanai City, as has happened to us with every visit, you will miss out on visiting some of the most impressive sites on Lanai while waiting out the rains. And you should wait. Even Jeeps cannot navigate some of the ruts and rugged washes that occur during rains. The rental agency has a photo journal to prove it which shows Jeeps in red mud past their bumpers and on their sides moving with musdlides!
On one visit, we were at the top of the trail when a downpour wouldn’t let up so we went down the hill to the Hulopo'e Bay beach and waited for a clearing which came within hours. But by then, we had only two hours left before we had to return the car and had to make a choice of which of the four trails we wanted to travel most.
By the end of the day we had gone up and down the mountain four times before we boarded our ferry that night, spending too much precious time backtracking to be happily efficient.
My suggestion? Spend the night in the secluded wonder of Lanai. Really see the stars and hear the sounds of silence. Take your time and don’t worry about the weather which is sure to throw you off anyway. I enjoyed myself here even more when there was no hurry to catch a ferry and no penalty for missing the shuttle (the rental car agency will charge you $10/pp if you miss their cut-off time for returning the Jeep.)
Written by smmmarti guide on 20 Mar, 2002
Lanai is a Hunter’s Paradise as Well
Boarding the ferry we noticed many locals were toting arms. At first it seemed a bit disconcerting, until we learned that hunting season was scheduled to open in Lanai the day after our visit. I’m…Read More
Lanai is a Hunter’s Paradise as Well
Boarding the ferry we noticed many locals were toting arms. At first it seemed a bit disconcerting, until we learned that hunting season was scheduled to open in Lanai the day after our visit. I’m not certain how reassuring the news was, but at least it explained a thing or two. When the lady at the rental car agency warned the people in line before us not to venture off the paths the following day, I was glad this time we were just day-trippers.
On our travels down the long, winding and wide-open trail toward Shipwreck Beach, we passed a group of fellows in the back of a pickup parked by the side of the road gazing into the open meadows in the distance. I got out to take the picture postcard perfect photo of Maui in the distance, but they didn’t seem the type to be contemplating the view. They waved at me cordially enough and once I was back at the Jeep, we realized they were the same group we’d run into in town a few hours back while they stocked up on their provisions. These were definitely the hunters, staking out the territory, my husband assured me, champing at the bit until tomorrow’s season opened on axis deer, ring-necked pheasant and any number of other game birds.
Recalling that the Lodge at Koele offers sporting clays and has an elaborately designed course set up for both archers and sharpshooters, one must put two and two together and realize there’s more to this sport than…sport. There’s also trophies and game to be taken down with a steady hand, keen eye and savvy touch.
On the road to the Garden of the Gods a mysterious landscape with collections of rocks piled systematically one on top of the other, we encountered a similar group as we had on the last trail to the Shipwreck Beach. Fellows in the back of truck beds scouting out the territory and not looking a thing like the tourists who typically traverse these rocky and rutted trails. No, they were not looking to shoot travel photos.
I didn’t want to think about it, really, enjoying the day as we were visiting the wonderful outposts and oasis’ that make up Lanai. Down at Hulopo’e Beach, an utterly perfect white sand model of tropical splendor adjacent to the Manele Bay Hotel, we dove into the waves, after watching some spinner dolphins frolic in the protected marine sanctuary along with a couple of locals who surfed the comfortable curls as they came round the lava rock point.
We envied the chosen few who had retained right to camp in Lanai’s only campgrounds for $5 a day right on the most beautiful beach one could possibly dream up. Running water, showers, toilets, grills and picnic tables resting under palm trees, are all included in the price and are the only amenities one could possible need in such a paradisiacal setting. (To reserve your piece of paradise, call Lanai Company at 808-565-3978 for advance reservations.) By now I had put the hunters completely out of my thoughts.
On our shuttle ride back from the rental car agency however, we were given a full-out introduction into the art and science of hunting on Lanai from our driver. He managed to site and point out every sort of game and fowl from the top of Lanai to the bay while keeping the van safely on our side of the road. Creatures that had been running and flying unnoticed right under my nose the entire day were suddenly visible as I learned what to look for. They were everywhere! Axis deer 200 meters in the distance standing naively in an open field. And another and another. Ring-necked pheasant scuttled under nearly every tree lining the side of the road. Quail and birds unique to Lanai we were told, make marvelous dinner. No wonder the hunters were salivating. Stalking prey here must be similar to shooting fish in a barrel.
Not that I underestimate the sport. Our driver explained that he hunts with bow and arrow (60 lb. pull crossbow) and also with firepower. I could sense his respect for the sport and the targets in the way he described both the skill required to hunt and his knowledge of the animals’ and their habits and movements. I realize that without natural predators these populations would become overcrowded and am confident the wildlife management of Lanai is a carefully considered and honored tradition.
This small insight into royal sport of hunting, a primitive tribal urge made safe and sane, a bonus to our day, offered another window through which to view the complex relationship between kindred spirits, the hunted and the hunter, and served to add another touch of fascination to our memorable day in Lanai.
Written by Ramsey on 11 Jan, 2005
I go to the spa for massages and manicures/pedicures often at home. I was so disappointed in the spa at Manele Bay. While waiting for my massage, I had to hang out in the little reception area where they sell products. Once I made it…Read More
I go to the spa for massages and manicures/pedicures often at home. I was so disappointed in the spa at Manele Bay. While waiting for my massage, I had to hang out in the little reception area where they sell products. Once I made it into the massage room, there was no music and no candles. It was a bit chilly and was not very relaxing. I also had a facial there that was good, but again, not relaxing.
My husband had a massage and said that it was okay, but he didn't have any music either; he said that his masseuse said that their sound system had broken. Hmmm. Plug-in CD player maybe?? Something?! This too is part of the 4x4 package.