Sporting Activities in Lanai
Lanai, with all its beautiful sceneries and its many interesting geological features, is a must-see for any tourist. Its pristine beaches and clear blue water have attracted and continue to attract many vacationers. The island's rainforests are also a sight to behold. If you think, these are enough reasons to visit Lanai, wait until you see the island's offerings of amazing geological wonders. Located south of Lanai City is the Puu Pehe or the Sweetheart Rock. This 80-foot rock is considered one of the most celebrated landmarks on the island and it never fails to amaze the tourists who visit the area. Another magnificent geological wonder that you will see on the island is the Garden of the Gods. Contrary to its name, the site is not a place where you will find blooming flowers. Instead, what you will see there are rocks and boulders of varying colors, sizes and shapes. Why the name then? According to legends, the boulders and rocks found in the area actually fell from the garden of the gods in the sky while the gods tended their garden.
There is no doubt that Lanai is an ideal place for sightseeing and relaxation but you will be surprised to know that the island is also an excellent venue for many fun outdoor activities. Its varied terrain and other physical features make Lanai one of the best places to engage in sports ranging from the most ordinary to those that border on the extreme. Below are just some of these activities that you can enjoy while on the island of Lanai.
If you are one of the many who live to play golf, you will find Lanai to be a paradise. Depending on your preference, your level of expertise and your budget, you can find a golf course that is just right for you. The island has a very popular golf course, The Challenge. This three-hole golf course at Manele designed by Jack Nicklaus is built on lava outcroppings. Another excellent thing about this golf course is that every hole provides an excellent view of the Pacific ocean. You will also find the golf course complete with necessary facilities such as rental clubs, driving range, putting green, bar, restaurant, and pro-shop. If you are not into this sport yet, The Challenge is also a great place to learn it. You can take lessons there and be on your way to becoming a pro in no time. Not as well known as The Challenge but beginning to become popular is a golf course in Koele known as The Experience. The course was designed by Greg Norman. This golf course is famous for its incredible terrain, its elevation, range of play challenges, and the architecture of the landscape. The Experience also offers lessons, and driving range, putting green, rental clubs, restaurant, bar, and pro-shop can also be found there. If you are on a budget, you can still play golf in the nine-holer Cavendish Golf Course. You don't have to pay a specific amount for this course, a donation will do. This course was designed by E.B Cavendish during the heyday of the pineapple plantation. This golf course, however, cannot be compared with either the Challenge or The Experience in that it has no starter, no clubhouse, and no phone.
A game of tennis would also not be far from the list of what to do in Lanai especially if you book your accommodations at either Manele Bay Hotel or the Lodge at koele. This is because from there, you have easy access to the Tennis Center at Manele. The center has six plexipave courts and offers facilities such as the tournament facilities and the pro shop.You will also find a number of tennis courts at Koele. Aside from those courts, you can also make use of public tennis courts for free but you have to make sure you have made reservations before you go there to play.
What about mixing sightseeing with getting your daily dose of exercise? Biking is the sport for you then. Lanai offers excellent trails for bikers. From the city, you can follow the route going north. You then have to make your way through the former pineapple fields and the magnificent Garden of the Gods. With the beautiful sceneries that await the bikers, biking is an activity that you should not miss doing while in Lanai. Unfortunately, not everybody can go biking hassle-free because there are not that many bike rentals in the area and usually, only guests of resorts with bike rental facilities can engage in this activity.
One of the favorite activities of those who go to Lanai is hiking. With the beautiful sceneries you will see along the way, you will not feel tired. The hiking trails in the island will take you to secluded beaches, forests, and incredible sites such as the Garden of the Gods. One of the popular trails is the Lanai Fisherman Trail. So called because the fisherman in the area use this trail to go to their fishing spot. Another well-known hiking trail is the Koloiki Ridge. This trail starts behind the Lodge at Koele. Along the way, you will see the Views of Maui, Molokai, Naio Gulch, and Maunalei Valley. The Munro Trail is also a popular one and is considered one of the most challenging trails.
If you want to enjoy outdoor activity, nothing beats camping. It would be an excellent experience if you could stay outside for a whole day drinking in the beauty of nature. Just imagine yourself enjoying the freshness of the air outdoor, sitting on the grassy camping ground, or watching the star-studded sky while you lie on your back. Doing these things would really make your vacation a memorable and fun-filled one. This is why, you should not miss camping when you visit the island. You can opt to camp at Castle and Cooke Resorts Campground. Hulopoe Beach also offers a grassy camping ground. There are various camping facilities in this site. These include barbecue grills, beach side showers, in case you want to dip in the water nearby, and clean restrooms. Cutting firewood is prohibited in this place, so you have to buy charcoal in the city before you head off to this site.
Being an island, Lanai is not just a haven for those who love to engage in land-based activities. It is even a more fantastic place for those who enjoy water sports. One water activity that you can enjoy in the waters of Lanai is deep-sea fishing. For deep-sea fishing, the ferry departs from Manele Harbor very early in the morning, around six o'clock. You can enjoy good catches all year round. But it is in summer and spring that the catches are really excellent. Among the fishes you can have the chance to catch are the prized Mahimahi, ono, marlin, and ahi.
Hawaii is famous for its beaches so your Hawaiian vacation would not be complete without plunging into its crystal blue waters. There are various excellent beaches in Lanai. One of these is the Hulopoe Beach. You can find a lot of palm trees on this beach and the sand is of golden hue. The colorful fishes that you will see underwater are simply magnificent. It's no wonder this beach was ranked by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a professional beach surveyor, as the best beach in the US in 1997. You can also opt to go to Polihua Beach. However, you have to be careful swimming in this beach because of the strong current.
The water of Lanai is home to various species of colorful fishes. The place also has many acclaimed cavern dive sites that make the waters of the island a scuba diver's paradise. The dive site Cathedral, near Hulopoe Bay, is considered the best cavern dive site in the Pacific by Skin Diver magazine. This cavern is composed of lava ridges, an archway, and a cave.
Kayaking is another fun activity you can do while on the island. Manta rays and sea turtles can be your company while you kayak in the blue water. The view of the long stretches of coast line is also one of the things that make kayaking enjoyable. If you want to go kayaking, it is necessary that you know how to swim. It is also advisable that you do kayaking in the early morning because the water is calmer at such time. It is important that you transact with a kayak owner from Maui beforehand because there are no rentals in Lanai.
Another water sport you can enjoy in Lanai is surfing. For beginners, the southeast-facing breaks at Lopa Beach is an excellent spot. If you want a more challenging surfing spot, you should try the waters of Hulopoe Bay. If you don't know how to surf, you should not miss taking surfing lessons here.
Snorkeling is one of the easiest sports you can enjoy in Lanai. It is also one of the most enjoyable. With the richness of the underwater life in lanai, you would surely find this sport really fun. You can bring your own snorkeling equipment, rent one from your hotel, or buy it in Lanai city.
The island of Lanai is not just a place that holds a feast for the eyes, it is also definitely a sportsman's paradise.