Located northeast of Lanai City and on the northeastern coast of the island, Keomuku Village is certainly not the easiest spot on the island of Lanai to reach. However, if you don't mind driving on rough roads for a few hours, then you are in for an interesting sight once you arrive. The Keomuku village is a Lanai attraction that will especially delight travelers who enjoy remote locations, ghost towns, and scenic coastlines.
Keomuku Village is an old abandoned village on Lanai that saw its heyday long ago, and it is now nothing more than a Lanai ghost town. But even though it is deserted today, the Keomuku Village still played a role in the history of Lanai. Back in the 1890s, during the period when the Maunalei Sugar Company was attempting to grow sugarcane on Lanai's coast, Keomuku became the island's flourishing agricultural center. When the Maunalei Sugar Company made an announcement that it would build a sugar plantation, the local population quickly swelled from less than 200 to 900.
The company's success continued until, in building a railroad along the Lanai coastline, it disturbed the stones of a heiau, or Hawaiian temple. Hawaiians believed this angered the gods, and as a result, the mill's water turned salty and the population was wiped out by an epidemic. The Maunalei Sugar Company closed soon afterward, in 1901.
At another time, the Keomuku was used by the Gay family as a coastal headquarters for cattle and sheep ranching activities, but by the 1950s that practice had ceased and the remaining Keomuku population moved to Lanai City. Today, all that remains in this Lanai ghost town are a few buildings and the Malamalama Church, which was recently restored. Gazing on this deserted shadow of a town, it is incredible to think that this was the island's hub 120 years ago, and now nothing is left.
If you make it to this Lanai ghost town, you're likely to have it all to yourself to enjoy. The drive to the beach is a long one, but once there you'll find six miles of black detrital sand beach and clear waters. (If you're looking for white or golden beaches, it's better to try other Lanai beaches such as Hulopoe Beach or Shipwreck Beach.) Because there are no tourist facilities here, you'll be focusing on nature. Enjoy hiking along the beach and combing it for shells, and simply soak up the beautiful scenery of this remote part of the Lanai coastline.
Do keep in mind that you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach Keomuku Village. Remember to consider this requirement when making your transportation or car rental plans for your stay in Lanai. Those who make the drive are sure to have fun exploring the Keomuku Village and the beach. For those travelers who really enjoy sites with a bit of history to them, other Lanai historical attractions, such as the Kaunolu Village and the Luahiwa petroglyphs, are worth a visit as well.