Kilauea Lighthouse / Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Phone (808) 828-1413
4.5 stars from 12 reviews
Address 3580 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
Restored lighthouse and bird sanctuary with amazing views.

• General: Cost: Paid • General: Photo Opportunity
• Hiking: Nature Walk • Sightseeing: Great Views
• Sightseeing: Wildlife • Tours: Self Guided
• Cultural & Historical: Historic / Landmarks • Cultural & Historical: Museum / Art Center

About Kilauea Lighthouse / Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
The 199-acre Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1985 and is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.The focus of the refuge is to expand and enhance existing habitat for migratory and resident seabirds, nene (Hwn goose), kolea (Pacific golden plover), ope'ape'a (Hwn hoary bat), and pueo (Hwn owl), while combating the primary threats of invasive species and allowing for public uses that are compatible with Refuge purposes and the National Wildlife Refuge System mission.

The Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point lighthouse and Light Station, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as easy access to wildlife viewing and dramatic ocean and cliff views, makes this Refuge a top attraction on the island. Visitors can also browse through the Visitor Center bookstore/gift shop, which is run by a non-profit cooperating association, the Kilauea Point Natural History Association. Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and closed on federal holidays. There is a $5.00 entrance fee, 15 and under are free, and a number of Federal land passes are sold and honored onsite.
Full Description
The Kilauea Lighthouse is located in the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge area on Kauai's north shore. Getting here is very easy, see our map pinpoint for exact location of the lighthouse and main lookout area. Entry is $5 per person, children 15 and under are free.

As you drive towards the lighthouse you'll find a lookout point before entering the gates to the refuge area and this lookout is completely free and has a small area to park. The views here are amazing, though the views from the lighthouse area are much better.

If you don't mind paying the $5 fee and you are here when they are open then drive through the gated area and follow the road up to the next parking area you find. Park, pay, and enter. The walkway from the parking lot to the lighthouse is paved and wheelchair accessible and a short walk overall. There is also a golf cart you can request at the booth where you paid admission if you need a ride up.

The refuge opened to visitors in 1985 with the idea of educating the public on the various seabirds that live here, the native plants, and on the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse itself. Plan around 30 minutes of time to look around and take some photos. There is a bathroom and drinking fountain here as well but you cannot bring any food or drink (except water) with you. The lighthouse was originally built in 1913 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. You'll also find a gift shop right next to the lighthouse.

You'll be able to roam around the property, look through their stationary binoculars, and generally see some unbelievable views of the surrounding ocean, scenery, and birds. A note on the birds: Look at the ground before you stand in a spot too long. See a bunch of white splatters? Move on a bit because you're in a hot zone!

Dorothy A
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 35
Likes Received: 1
An amazing place to see and the staff here are very knowledgeable about the history of the lighthouse and even the birds that live here.
Monti C
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 22
Likes Received: 0
The lighthouse itself isn't all that interesting because it's just a lighthouse but the views from this area are the best on the entire island.
Antonio V
Joined: Oct 2017
Reviews: 19
Likes Received: 0
Didn't even know about this place until we found it here and then checked it out. The views here are amazing, some of the best on the entire island.
Vickey W
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 123
Likes Received: 46
Kilauea Lighthouse / Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is a good stop for photos and to see the amazing views. There are many little birds flying around to see and the island Albatross is neat to see and watch them. They do offer binoculars for your use and will gladly answer any questions you might have. The cost is not much and well worth it.
Ward D
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 12
Likes Received: 0
A must see trip. Amazing views!
Ellen R
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 90
Likes Received: 119
Volunteers are on site to answer questions, hand out binoculars, point out the different species of birds and if it's whale season (November to March) help you spot whales. On your way to the lighthouse you'll pass the bookstore. It's worth a stop. Nice selection of books and clothing for adults and children.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
The birds are pretty interesting to see and it's amazing to watch them just hover in the strong winds here. The lighthouse is certainly neat and a fun place for some photo opportunities, but the real payoff are the incredible ocean views. This is the kind of raw ocean power that's mesmerizing to watch.

Massive waves crash against the rocks far below. Small caves show themselves for a bit, only to be swallowed whole by an big wave that then spits water out. It's a lot of fun to watch.
Sue E
Joined: Oct 2016
Reviews: 27
Likes Received: 3
Very serene to look over the ocean and at the red footed boobies cliffside!
Sue K
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 196
Likes Received: 9
We rolled up on a Monday, only to find the lighthouse closed (it is open Tue-Sat). We did, however, spend some time enjoying the view of the cliffs below and the lighthouse from the overlook. We saw some red-footed boobies nesting and a baby albatross. It is worth the small detour even if you don't pay to go to the lighthouse (or if it isn't open!)
rachel m
Joined: Aug 2014
Reviews: 229
Likes Received: 19
I really enjoyed my trip to visit Kilauea Lighthouse and wildlife refuge. I have been to the lookout at the top of the road a few times but this was my first visit down to the lighthouse. It is a national park, so you to have to pay to get in but it's not a lot, $5 a person and under 15 are free. They are cash only, so be sure to bring small bills. Also, no food or drink are allowed with the exception of water.
They have a cute visitors center that has some great information and sells lots of cute items from stuffed animals to magnets to books.

The amount of birds here is awesome! They really are a sight to see, and the views of the Kauai coast are amazing as well. If for nothing else it is worth it just for the views. They have lots of info on the birds, native plants and the roll the lighthouse plays today and in history. There are binocular viewers (not sure exactly what they are called) they do not require a coin to work. Also they lend out actual binoculars to use for the public to use for free.

There are restrooms by the visitors center. And my biggest piece of advice is wear sunscreen and bring a hat. There is not much shade, and it gets hot!
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Operating hours Today 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM Closed Now
  • Show / Hide Operating Hours
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Sunday: Closed