Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
The dramatic landscape of Kilauea Point—a rocky promontory crowned by a historic red-topped lighthouse—is one of Kauai’s most scenic spots. And on this Island, that’s saying a lot. Pacific trade winds whip up the water surrounding the blustery point and drive them, shattering into millions of tiny droplets, against the more than 500-foot-tall sheer cliff faces. Seabirds soar and dive into the deep blue water for food.
Most of the expansive 203-acre refuge is off limits—it protects some of the largest nesting colonies of seabirds in the main Hawaiian Islands. But, from the short interpretive trail between the entrance and the lighthouse, it’s easy to find red- and white-tailed tropic birds, albatross, great frigatebirds, red- and brown-footed boobies and wedge-tailed shearwaters flying overhead. Hawaiian spinner dolphins, rare monk seals and migrating humpback whales (Nov. and April), can sometimes be spotted offshore. The area is also an important habitat for the nēnē, the world’s rarest goose and Hawaii’s state bird.
Visitors can climb the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse, built in 1913, for outstanding ocean panoramas on tours offered two days a week. A small bookstore and information center has details about the various birds and habitats in the refuge.
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What are Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge hours of operation?
What's the best way to experience Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge?
- North Shore Kauai Audio Driving Tour
- 8 hour custom tour of the tropical North Shore/Hanalei/Lighthouse
- Kauai East Side and North Shore Private Guided Tour
- Kauai Movie Adventure