My accessible travels: Lanai, Hawaii


The beach at the end of one of the bumpy trails.

The island of Lanai is small, sparsely populated, and fantastic. I had the opportunity to go there seven years ago with a friend who had never been there before either. Fortunately, she was the kind of person who enjoyed (or pretended to enjoy) pushing my butt around in the manual wheelchair I was using at the time.

We went in the morning, came back in the afternoon, and the whole day was an adventure from start to finish. We flew over on a very small plane and they used this spider-looking device to get me up and down into the plane. Then we rented an off-road jeep and used the map they gave us to traverse the island, including the VERY bumpy “roads” down to the edges where the most beautiful and desolate beaches were. At times it felt like we were the only people on the island. While looking out over Shipwreck Beach, I felt like ghosts were going to fly out of the ship. It was nothing but us, the dark gray sky, and the rusty boat out in the distance!

After dropping in on one of the few hotels on the island, we drove through the Garden of the Gods, had lunch, and decided to go back to Oahu since it was raining. In 3/4 of the day we’d driven on almost every major road on the island! If you ever get the chance and you’ve got someone who can drive a jeep to go with you, then I highly recommend taking a day trip (or more) to Lanai. Make sure you can handle bumpy roads and even if you don’t get car sick — take a Dramamine.

Here are a few of the pictures I took on this trip:

This is the contraption they used to get me on/off the plane.

The jeep we rented.

One of the roads our jeep had to traverse. I am not sure if we had any metal left on the underside after we got done!

The eerie shipwreck beach. Felt like I was in the Goonies.

The garden of the gods. Super neat to drive through.

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