The Hawaiian Island of Lanai was surprising. Before going there, we didn’t know what to expect but we thought that we would be visiting a typical tropical island filled with beaches lined with coconut trees and giant resorts surround by lush jungle.

As it turned out, it is nothing like anywhere we have ever been. An extremely dry and barren island, it was very few visitors and with only three choices of places to stay on the island, it doesn’t see a lot of action when it comes to the usual party goers and sun seekers.

If you are looking to step back in time, get away from it all and unwind from the daily grind, Lanai is the place for you. Koele Lodge run by The Four Seasons, feels like you should be sipping scotch in the Library while smoking a cigar with Hemmingway. The Manele Bay Four Seasons has the perfect blend of and upscale resort with an intimate relaxed atmoshpere that makes you feel right at home.

We spent nearly a week exploring this tiny island that takes mere hours to drive around and discovered some picturesque locations, touching scenes, relaxing moments and we even managed to have a bit of adventure travel along the way.

Enjoy these travel photos of Lanai, Hawaii

Horses graze at sunset at Four Seasons Koele Lodge, Lanai Hawaii

Horses graze at sunset at Four Seasons Koele Lodge


A view of Molokai from Lanai

The road winds down to a great view of Molokai


Shipwreck Beach off the coast of Lanai

Waves crash at Shipwreck Beach


View of Lanai from the highest point on the island off Munroe Trail

The view of Lanai from the highest point on the island. Munroe Trail


An abandoned wooden church driving around Lanai

An abandoned wooden church discovered while renting a Jeep


Horses graze at the Ranch near Four Seasons Koele Lodge, Lanai

More Horses graze at the Ranch near Four Seasons Koele Lodge


Close up of native Fern on the Munro Trail in Lanai

Close up of native Fern on the Munro Trail

Lanai Cat Sanctuary in Hawaii

Local resident of the Lanai Cat Sanctuary or LARC for short


The Garden of the Gods in Lanai

The Garden of the Gods in Lanai


The view of our Room at Koele Lodge in Lanai

The view of our Room at Koele Lodge in Lanai


Our trip to Lanai was made possible by the Lanai Vistors Bureau where we area a part of the New Media Artists in Residence program for Travel Blogs.

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    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Jennifer. The horses were such an amazing thing to see from Koele Lodge. They were just hanging out in the corrals of the stables and as we sat out during sunset there they were. It is a very romantic setting.

    1. debndave Post author

      Check out Travel Blog Success on Monday evening and listen in on Dave’s tutorial on photography and maybe he can help you out!

  1. Leigh

    Simply gorgeous.I knew nothing of Lanai other than it was laid back. Looks like a place I would enjoy visiting to recharge.

    1. debndave Post author

      Wow! that is so cool. You’ll have to add lanai onto the list. I’m not sure how many you are allowed to visit. I know one is off limits due to being filled with unexploded bombs and I think another doesn’t allow visitors (it’s private I believe) so that would just leave Lanai and Molokai for you?

    1. debndave Post author

      That church was just re-furbished a few years ago. It’s interesting to check out the ruins and history of the island as well. It was quite the pineapple plantation.

  2. Jeff Bartlett

    While that first image steals the show, I love the simplicity of the seventh shot down. Blue, Green and not much else. I haven’t made it to many tropical destinations, but Hawaii has always been in the back of my mind.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Jeff. That’s exactly why I chose that one too. I also loved the simplicity of it. I don’t take a lot of shots like that normally, so it was something fun to play with.

  3. Steve

    Love the photos! We run trips for our travel club to the Big Island all the time but would love to check out Lanai!

  4. Lesley Peterson

    I don’t think most people realize just how remote the Hawaiian islands are (the most remote inhabited in the world). Your pictures really transmit that lovely sense of remoteness, truly getting away from “it” all. Beautiful!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Lesley, you are right. They are very remote. Just a cluster of islands in the Pacific with nothing else around. Lanai and even it’s neighbour Molekei are very remote. Only a few thousand inhabitants.

    1. debndave Post author

      You guessed it, yes. HDR. I think the cat is our favourite too. visiting the cat rescue centre was also our favourite experience on the island as well.

    1. debndave Post author

      Haha, it really did. We were all sitting down below brushing and playing with the other cats when this one jutted his head out from the beams. It was so cute!

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Surminga, These photos of Lanai were taken in HDR which is a method of layering exposures. However, I do process all my photos a little dark. I like that way too.

  5. Arti

    What fabulous photography!! Especially loved the Shipwreck beach shot, its just overwhelming to look at it.
    Wish you a wonderful week ahead:)

  6. Evan

    Amazing photos! We love Hawaii but have not yet been to Lanai. You definitely make it look worth visiting. I think that the next time we go, we will have to include Lanai for a few nights at least.

    1. debndave Post author

      That’s a great idea Evan. You can catch a ferry from Maui to Lanai, people even do day trips there. but to stay over at the Koele Lodge or Manele bay is pretty special and worth doing.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Liz, Lanai was certainly surprising. To stay at one of the Four Seasons was definitely a dream and a great destination for a special occasion. Lots of people were there for anniversaries.

  7. Andrew

    Absolutely not what I would expect from a Hawaiian island. I guess we get inundated with volcanoes, beaches and hula girls. I have definitely heard the name, but not sure if i have seen pictures. Pretty cool, though I still think if I was to stuff myself on a plane long enough to get there, I would like to see volcanoes, beaches and hula girls.

    1. debndave Post author

      Haha, true Andrew. the good news is you can do day trips to Lanai from Maui. Just a one hour ferry ride and you are there and then back in time for sunset and Hula girls:)

  8. Jeremy Branham

    I used to think of Hawaii as a place people just go to enjoy the sand, sun, and beach. I don’t look at Hawaii like that any more. I think there is so much more to it than that. I’ve experienced a little of it the few times I’ve visited and I want to experience even more. The islands are so diverse and different. I love the photos of Lanai – looks like a place I would definitely enjoy!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Jeremy, I think Lanai is different than most of the islands. It is very unique. With only around 3000 residents, it truly feels like you have it all to yourself. Especially when you rent a jeep and head out to explore.

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  10. Waegook Tom

    These photos are incredible! Amazing shots. Although I have to say that I’m a sucker and the one of your feline friend has to be my favourite. I want snuggles!

  11. Abby

    Gorgeous! Love the opening shot. I would have had absolutely no idea that was Hawaii if I saw those photos without any text!

  12. Simon

    Awww…. Another place to add on a list that’s getting longer and longer :-) Awesome pics. I particularly liked the one with the horse grazing!

  13. Jill Ginsberg

    Hi there! Just wanted to say how happy I am that I have found your blog. Your photos and posts are just wonderful. I’ll thank you for giving me the travel itch again :)

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  15. Flashpackers

    Definitely won’t be missing out on visiting Lanai, as part of our around the world trip. The whisky and cigar sounds like a great idea. So much love for the travel photography – awesome.

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  17. alexander benjamin

    As of 2011, the two resort hotels on Lanai were managed by Four Seasons Hotels; the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the Lodge at cool. The Hotel Lanai in Lanai City was built in 1923 by James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company as a lodge to house the executives overseeing the island’s pineapple production. It was the island’s only hotel until 1990.

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