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The Heartbreaking Story of Sweetheart Rock on Lanai

Posted on July 21st, 2015 by Aloha

On the southern coast of Lanai, off of Highway 440, is picturesque Holupo’e Bay and Lanai’s main boat Harbor, Manele Bay. Between these two bays, rising from the ocean, is the popular attraction of Pu’u Pehe.

The iconic rock carries the tale of two lovers from ancient Hawai’I – the maiden Pehe, and her warrior from Lanai named Makakehau. He was so taken with her beauty, that his eyes would mist up in tears when he looked upon her. He took her with him back to Lanai, and hid her in a sea cave at the base of the cliffs in Manele Bay.

One day he noticed a storm brewing while he was gathering supplies, and hurried back to the cave, only to find Pehe drowned by the surge of storm waves. Makakehau was stricken with grief and called upon the gods to give him strength to climb the steep rock island where he eventually buried her. He then jumped from the 80-foot summit to his death in the surf below.

Today, Pu’u Pehe is also known as Sweetheart Rock, and is a popular tourist attraction. To get to the rock is only a 15 minute hike from the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. The hike will take you past Hulopoe beach and its tide pools. Sunsets from the rock are especially beautiful, and if you are lucky, you will see the spinner dolphins that frequent the surrounding waters.

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