This famous 160-acre coastal refuge sits 200 feet above the ocean on a striking peninsula at Kauai’s northernmost point. Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most visited in the United States. Although the lighthouse isn’t open to the public, the grounds are, and a self-guided path to the point offers interpretive information. The Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary also has a presence with large interpretive signs about Hawaii’s marine mammals and sea turtles.
Although a fully automated electronic beacon has replaced the Fresnel lens (once the largest glass lens of its kind), the 1913 lighthouse still stands intact. Aviation history credits the Kilauea Lighthouse with preventing a tragedy on the first trans-Pacific flight in 1927 by reorienting the two pilots of the Bird of Paradise. The lighthouse was retired from service in 1970, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In 1985, Kilauea Point and its lighthouse became part of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
Tours of Kilauea Lighthouse are offered Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., pending availability of staff or volunteers. Sign-up for tours on site, no earlier than one hour in advance and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Admission: Adults $5; kids under 16 are free. To get there, turn off Highway 53 near mile marker 23, then take Kolo Road to Kilauea Road.