The Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1913 and for a time had the largest lens of its kind in the world. Guiding ships from the Orient it demarked the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands. It was decommissioned in the 1970s and its lamp was turned off and replaced with a low-maintenance beacon. The lighthouse and adjacent visitor's center are one of Kauai's most popular and most photographed attractions.
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is also located here. The refuge was established in 1985 to preserve and enhance seabird nesting colonies after the property was transferred from the United States Coast Guard. In 1988, the refuge was expanded to include Crater Hill and Mo-ko-lea Point. A volunteer corps of 150 helps in all facets of refuge operations.
Kilauea Lighthouse Birds: A large number of birds can be seen here at various times during the year and include:
In addition, migratory shorebirds, such as the ko-lea, can be seen August through May. A small population of endangered ne-ne were reintroduced on the refuge in the 1990s.
- Hawaiian Goose
- Black-footed Albatross
- The Red-footed Booby
- Laysan Albatrosses
- Brown Boobies
- Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds
- Great Frigatebirds
- Wedge-tailed Shearwater.
More information about the preserve can be found at www.fws.gov/kilaueapoint/.
Directions to Kilauea Lighthouse: Traveling north from Kapa'a, turn right off Kuhio Highway (Highway 56) just after mile marker #23 onto Kolo Road. Drive 489 feet (just past the rock church on the right) and then left onto Kilauea Road. Follow Kilauea Road to the end. A lookout at the top of the road provides a good view of the lighthouse. Beyond this point, there is a nominal fee to visit the lighthouse and visitor center.
Vacation Rentals Nearby include many condos and homes in Princeville.
Pictures and Comments By Doug Porter