Two miles north of the historic town of Kilauea is a 200-acre headland habitat—the island’s only wildlife refuge open to the public—that includes cliffs, two rocky wave-lashed bays, and a tiny islet serving as a jumping-off spot for seabirds. You can easily spot red-footed boobies, which nest in trees and shrubs, and wedge-tailed shearwaters, which burrow in nests along the cliffs between March and November (they spend winters at sea). Scan the skies for the great frigatebird, which has a 7-foot wingspan, and the red-tailed tropicbird, which performs aerial acrobatics during the breeding season of March through August. Endangered nene, the native goose reintro-duced to Kauai in 1982, often stroll close to visitors, but please don’t feed them. Telescopes and loaner binoculars may bring into view the area’s marine life, from spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, and green sea turtles year-round to humpback whales in winter. Still, the primary draw for many of the half-million annual visitors is the 52-foot-tall, red-capped Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse (www.kilauealpoint.org), built in 1913 and renamed in memory of the state’s late senator. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the beacon boasts a 7,000-pound Fresnel lens, whose beam could be seen from 20 miles away before it was deactivated in 1976. When available, docents offer free tours hourly from 10:30am to 2:30pm Wednesday and Saturday.
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge & Lighthouse
End of Kilauea Rd., Kilauea, HI
Our Rating Neighborhood North Shore Hours Tues–Sat 10am–4pm Phone 808/828-1413 Prices $5 ages 16 and up (cash or traveler’s checks only); free for ages 15 and under. Web site Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge & Lighthouse
MapEnd of Kilauea Rd. Kilauea HI Kauai
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.