Family Travel, History & Culture, United States

Getting into Nature on the Lanai Polaris Off-Road Tour

April 13, 2017

Our local guide pulled the Polaris UTV (Ultimate Terrain Vehicle) off the rugged trail and under the shade of a palm-like Pandanus tree. We had stopped near Pu’u Ali’i, meaning hill of chiefs in Hawaiian, to learn more about where water used to flow on Lanai. Here we heard how non-native plants and animals transformed part of the island. As I watched my son study the dry creek bed, I noticed a sweet scent in the air. Curious, I asked our guide about it. “It’s nature,” he chuckled, kicking up a rust-colored cloud as the Polaris off-road vehicle shot forward.

Lanai off-road tour awesome adventureWe were about half-way through a two-hour Lanai Polaris off-road tour. With a top speed of 70 miles/hour and a guide intent on showing off his island home, we were covering a lot of ground.

Lanai Polaris off-road tour funAlthough we have been traveling to the island for over a decade, this was our first time venturing beyond the luxury confines of the Four Seasons Resort, nearby Hulopo’e Bay, and traffic-lightless Lanai City. With only 30 miles of paved roads on the 90,000-acre Hawaiian Island, the Polaris off-road experience is an excellent way to get into nature and learn about Lanai’s unique culture and history.

Petroglyphs Lanai Polaris off-road tourOur Lanai Polaris off-road tour focused on the Palawai Basin – the ancient caldera of the volcano that formed the island. Here we drove through mature forests and along exposed ridgelines, learning about native and introduced species. We stopped to look at Lanai’s historic sites including petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings). At various points, we parked in elevated clearings for expansive views across the Pacific Ocean to neighboring islands.

Stunning views Lanai Polaris off-road island viewsThe Lanai Polaris off-road adventure concluded with a top-speed, white-knuckle sprint along a tree-lined straightaway. It was full-on nature – wind in the hair, dust on the face, and grins that lasted well past happy hour!

Travel Tips – Lanai Polaris Off-Road Tour

  • Recent enhancements on Lanai include a re-designed resort and numerous new amenities including an on-site Adventure Centre, offering exciting activities like guided Polaris off-road tours, horseback riding, and helicopter tours.
  • Lanai Polaris off-road adventures are open to Four Seasons Resort guests and the general public. Guided two-hour tours are available at a rate of USD 395 per couple or USD 247.50 per person. A preferential rate is available for Four Seasons Resort guests. The price includes transportation to and from the Lana’i Adventure Center, the use of a helmet and goggles, access to a luxurious Airstream trailer at the start and end of the experience, drinks & snacks, and chilled towels to wipe off the dust at the end of the tour. You can find out more about the Polaris off-road tour and other experiences on Lanai here. A Polaris self-drive option is available for guests wanting to get behind the wheel.
  • Polaris produced the first North American made ATV in 1984, and they are a world leader in off-road innovation. Given the terrain and speed we experienced, the Polaris UTV is an impressive vehicle. As is often the case since the Four Seasons Lanai re-opened in early 2016, it is nothing but the best for resort guests.
  • You can use this app to plan your vacation and adventures on Lanai.
  • Visit the Four Seasons Lanai website for the latest offers.

Our Lanai Polaris off-road tour was provided by Four Seasons Lanai, but I wouldn’t hesitate to book it again  – it was a blast! As always, if I don’t love an experience, I won’t recommend it.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Janice April 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

    That looks like a very fun experience, no worries about exceeding the speed limit❤️

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily April 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Exactly – so much fun ripping around the rugged trails!

  • Reply Bilyana | OwlOverTheWorld April 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Off road tour sounds awesome to me. The landscapes are amazing. Seems like a lot of fun.

  • Reply Fiona Maclean April 16, 2017 at 2:00 am

    I love the look of those Lanai Polaris off roaders! great for photography I should think. I wonder where else they have them!

  • Reply Anna Faustino April 16, 2017 at 3:07 am

    I love off roading! I think it’s a perfect adventure adrenaline fuelled activity without being too over the top! Looks like a great place to do it.

  • Reply noel April 16, 2017 at 10:49 am

    This does sound like a great way to explore the island especially the unpaved and 4wh accessible spots which I’m sure there are many on the island

  • Reply Izzy April 17, 2017 at 1:23 am

    The Polaris UTV experience looks like something I would love to join in on! Was there any concern raised about possible damage to the surrounding area’s flora? I’m sure that whoever organized this did a detailed survey of the land but that thought just popped up in my mind.

  • Reply Megan Jerrard April 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    This sounds epic! I’ve been on quad bikes and ATV tours before and absolutely loved them for the thrill and the chance to explore off road in parts of nature we would’t have otherwise see. Haven’t taken a Polaris UTV though, would love to!!

  • Reply Christopher April 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    That UTV looks so bad ass. As the owner of a Jeep Wrangler who would love to go off roading, this is one of the many adventures I need to add to my to go to list. Looks like so much fun

  • Reply Sara Broers April 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Now this looks like the way to explore any Hawaiian island or any island of sorts. A little off roading and you are sure to experience some things that you would not have otherwise. What a fun experience!

  • Reply Veronika Tomanova April 19, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Wow, this sounds amazing! I have only been on jeep in the desert in Egypt but that was some years ago. Polaris UTV cars seem so much fun! It seems like a great way to discover the surroundings. Thanks for the travel tip!

  • Reply Robert April 21, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Looks like a super fun eco-adventure in Hawaii! These off road adventures are becoming increasingly popular. Will definitely have to give it a try on our next visit to Hawaii. Thanks for sharing the excellent photos an video. 🙂

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