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Lānaʻi Adventure: Kaiolohia, Shipwreck Beach

Lanai Adventure: Kaiolohia, Shipwreck Beach

Lanai Adventure: Kaiolohia, Shipwreck Beach

About 30 minutes from Lanai City, including some off-road driving, is an off-the-beaten path Hawaiian treasure.

Another of the adventures awaiting visitors to the remote and mysterious island of Lānaʻi, is Shipwreck Beach.

Although the tides are too strong for swimming in the sea, the beach (accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle and a hike up a portion of the 8-mile beach) is absolutely worth the visit for the vistas of nearby Molokai Island, across the Kalohi Channel, and the sight of massive wreck of a World War II-era ship.

The wreck is a deliberate one. The ship, one of 22 iron and concrete oiler behemoths build between 1942 and 1944, was given a final resting spot on the reef near shore, for as long as its rusty hull holds together.

Though Kaiolohia is great for photography, sunbathing, or beachcombing, the currents formed by the trade winds through the Pailolo Channel between Maui and Molokai make swimming prohibitively dangerous. A remote hiking trail (Kaiolohia-Kahue) begins near the parking area and leads to petroglyphs 300 feet inland for the beach.

Directions: From Lanai City, drive Highway 44 to the very end, turn left on the dirt and sand road to the parking area. Hike along the beach, and the shipwreck becomes visibile after approximately half a mile.

Photographs and video by Matthew Breen

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Matthew Breen