- Plan Your Visit

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii, was established on February 15, 1985, to become the 425th Refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The land is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and managed to:

  1) protect and enhance migratory seabirds and endangered native nene (Hawaiian goose) populations and their habitats;
2) preserve and maintain the historical integrity of the area, including the lighthouse and support facilities, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979;
3) conduct interpretation and environmental education activities on Hawaiian wildlife, site history, and the refuge system; and
4) protect and enhance native coastal plant communities.
The land is owned in fee title by the Federal Government. The lighthouse and adjacent facilities were transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1985. The Crater Hill parcel was donated in March 1988 by the Pali Moana Corporation. Mokolea Point was purchased in March 1988 with Land and Water Conservation Funds. Lots 1, 2, and 9 were purchased from private landowners in 1993 and 1994. A Kauai County Communications Facility is operated on Crater Hill by Special Use Permit.
The Refuge is located approximately 2 miles north of Kilauea town on the northern-most point of Kauai. The point itself is the remnant of the former Kilauea volcanic vent that last erupted about 250,000 years ago. Today, only a small U-shaped portion remains, including a spectacular 568-foot ocean bluff.

Each year, thousands of migratory seabirds use Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge for nesting, foraging, or resting. Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, brown boobies, red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds, great frigatebirds, and wedge-tailed shearwaters all visit the Refuge. In addition, migratory shorebirds, such as the Pacific golden plover, stop by. A small colony of endangered nene have been established on Kilauea Point, and the Hawaiian short-eared owl or pueo may also be sighted. Off shore, endangered humpback whales and Hawaiian monk seals may be spotted in the water, or the monk seals may be resting on one of the beaches below the cliffs.


An active volunteer group at Kilauea Point spends thousands of hours each year interpreting wildlife resources and the historical significance of the lighthouse and the historic site. On the premise there is the Visitor Center containing the classroom and displays portraying the Hawaiian Islands and wildlife of the refuge. Out at the point, by the lighthouse, there is a small museum and Volunteer Center. Volunteers interpret the light as an aid-to-navigation for the first transpacific flight from the mainland

and the landfall beacon on the orient run, as well as, 80 years of other fascinating events. The personal contacts provided by these volunteers to the visiting public provide an outstanding educational experience for visitors.