Isolated on Lanai’s windblown northeastern shore, Shipwreck Beach offers more than sand. The rusted hull of a 1940s oil tanker rests permanently on an offshore reef, a reminder of the channel’s treachery. It’s claimed numerous ships, so people call it Shipwreck Beach, but it’s proper name is Kaiolohia.
Petroglyphs from a Hawaiian village are etched into rock behind the beach on Kukui Point. A nearby concrete foundation of an old lighthouse makes an excellent platform for looking up and down the coast or across the channel to Moloka‘i. Windsurfers often take advantage of the strong gusts here. And look closely at the water. You might see sea turtles lolling near the shore. Not for swimming, but great for isolated, wild beauty.
Access is by paved Keomuku Road from Lana‘i City. The pavement ends about a mile before the beach, though you can walk on the sandy road if you don’t have a 4-wheel drive. You’ll pass a fishing camp sometimes used by locals. Near the lighthouse, you’ll find a widened parking area.