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Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

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Portland, Oregon
posts: 148
reviews: 10
Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

Undecided on if a normal rental car will suffice or if I really need a Jeep. Is there really a lot of off-roading or is it just gravel/dirt roads?

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 3,991
reviews: 26
1. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

Part of my answer depends on where you are staying. If you are at the Lodge at Koele or Manele Bay they have free shuttle service over most of the paved roads. So you don't need a regular car at all. But all the interesting sites are off road and some of those roads are REALLY tough. The Munro trail is often the toughest and in fact the 4X4 rental people sometimes don't let you go there (esp. in the winter after rain). On a day when they said it was OK a couple years ago, we almost got stuck in the deep mud heading up a steep hill. So if you want to go to Garden of the Gods, Polihua Beach, Shipwreck Beach, etc. you will need a 4X4.

Now if you are staying at a B&B, camping on the beach, etc. and you just want to get to town, you may need a regular rental car.

Lana'i is my favorite island, so if you have any more questions I'll try to answer them.

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Destin
posts: 2,638
reviews: 5
2. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

I rented a jeep for one day and it was needed to get to Garden of the Gods, Shipwreck Beach, etc. The other days I used the freee shuttle.

Maple Ridge, BC...
posts: 83
3. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

Here's a question for you drval - if you're camping on the beach, do you need a tent? Do I have to pack a tent and sleeping bags all the way from Canada? It would be something to lay under the starry sky - what is the best site for information on Lana'i? I'm hearing so much more about it these days, more than when we were married in 2001 on Maui...

Veg

Portland, Oregon
posts: 148
reviews: 10
4. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

drvalgemae, thanks for the info, I guess I should just rent Jeep then. I really want to thoroughly explore...

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 3,991
reviews: 26
5. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

I'm not sure if you need a tent, but if it rains (not too likely), or if there are a lot of bugs, you may want a tent. I would start with checking the info in the Moon book on Maui, it has a section on Lana'i. I think the Maui Revealed also does. Otherwise check out some of the links for Lana'i from this web site.

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 3,991
reviews: 26
6. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

I checked the Moon book and found the info on camping on Lana'i. There are just 6 camping sites on Hulopo'e Bay, and they need to be reserved in advance. Since essentially the whole island is owned by Castle and Cooke company you need to contact them through their subsidiary, the Lana'i Company for info and reservations. The book said you can reserve for a max of 6 nights, you need to be at least 18 y/o, and the fee is $5 for the site, plus $5/night per person.

The Address:

The Lana'i Company

PO Box 310

Lana'i City, Lana'i, HI

96763

attn: camping

or call:

808-565-3982

Good Luck!

Portland, Oregon
posts: 148
reviews: 10
7. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

Thanks again for the feedback, I just got back yesterday from Maui (was in Lanai last weekend)

I HIGHLY recommend a Jeep for anyone thinking about exploring Lanai. A Jeep is a must for the dirt roads. A normal rental car would get destroyed on some of those roads due to the rocks (high centered, tires popped, etc.) I was there for 3 days but IMO, the whole island can be explored in 1 full day if you are pressed for time. The change of pace was really nice though, it is very quiet and relaxing.

Some potentially helpful info for anyone contemplating a visit:

The Manele Bay Hotel is currently being renovated but the beach facilities are open for guests of the Lodge or Hotel Lanai. If you are not staying at the Lodge or Manele Bay hotel, the shuttle will cost you $25pp/RT+tax so don't think the shuttle is free --it is not. No big deal however since Lanai City is ~9 miles from the dock if arriving by ferry. With current gas prices at $4.20+/gallon there, I wouldn't be surprised if the price goes up.

Manele Bay supposedly has the best swimming/snorkeling on Lanai. After exploring the whole island, I believe it, however the current was quite strong when we were snorkeling. It was also quite choppy, even early in the morning (maybe it was just that particular weekend) entry/exit from the beach was not easy due to large waves so I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. The dolphins were out in the bay often so that was a bonus.

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 1,224
reviews: 1
8. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

FYI re the shuttle fee--Lodge and Hotel guests have to pay the $25 too.

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 3,991
reviews: 26
9. Re: Do I really need a Jeep in Lanai?

I'm glad you had a good time on Lana'i. I will be there for 12 days in January. I think the waves you experienced were not quite the norm. On past trips the surf was fine for snorkeling most days, at least in the AM (and these trips were in winter when the surf is usually higher).

Yes, the guests do get charged for the shuttle, but it is a one time fee for your whole stay, or per day, not per trip. I can't remember the exact fee, but I'm sure it may be going up with the price of gas (although it has come down significantly here in Minnesota - I paid $2.54/gallon this AM).