Kilauea Point Lighthouse (Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse)
Poised like a fort, the 52-foot Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse, named for US Senator and WWII veteran Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea is perched at the northern most tip of Kauai on scenic peninsula, 200-feet above sea level.
The lighthouse was built in 1913 and served as an important beacon for ships. For over 100 years, the lighthouse has been a beacon for the island of Kauai and the community of Kilauea. Today, it’s one of the island’s most frequented attractions.
In 1976, the lighthouse was deactivated by the Coast Guard and replaced by an automatic beacon. Notably, the lighthouse’s beam could reach 90 miles out to sea, and its lens was the largest of its type ever made. Three years after the lighting was replaced, Kilauea Lighthouse was designated a National Historical Landmark.
The visitors are treated to panoramic views of the rugged northern coastline and the deep-blue Pacific. The vantage makes a great sport for amateur and professional photographers to get some good shots of Northern Kauia. It also offers breathtaking views of the ocean as well as the rocky island Mokuaeae and the Kauai coastline.
Watch out for sightings of:
- Humpback Whales (December through April)
- Spinner dolphins
- Sea Turtles
- Laysan albatross
- Wedge tailed shearwaters
- Red footed boobies
- Hawaiian monk seals
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
Sanctuary for Seabirds.
One of the few wildlife refuges in Hawaii, the lighthouse sits within the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a protected refuge that is open to the public.
The refuge offers sights of exotic seabird species including Hawaii’s state bird, the nene (Hawaiian goose), frigates, boobies, shearwaters and Laysan albatrosses nesting on the property. You may even spot a migratory bird species, especially the Pacific golden plover. Various species are identified by signage through the property.
If you go during the whale watching season (typically December to May), you can even spot Hawaiian monk seals, spinner dolphins and even humpback whales strolling by.
How To Get There?
The lighthouse is about 45 minute drive north of Lihue. From Lihue, drive north on Kūhiō Highway for approximately 23 miles towards Hanalei, to the town of Kilauea, turn right on Kolo Road.
After one block take an immediate left onto Kilauea Road and drive 2 miles till you reach the end of the road, to the refuge entrance. Do not park in the overlook parking at this spot. Turn left into the wildlife refuge and drive to the parking lot.
Please note that passenger vehicles are restricted to vans transporting no more than 15 people. Buses are not permitted without prior permission.
An entry fee of $5 is required for individuals 16 years and older. Children under 16 are free. Additionally, all Federal Recreational Lands Passes are honored here.
Passes are available for purchase at the refuge. A yearly kamaʻāina pass can be purchased for $20.00. The kamaʻāina pass allows visits to Kīlauea Point throughout the year for the holder and up to 3 guests.
The following amenities are located on the grounds:
- A drinking fountain
- A water refilling station.
Additional Information and Requirements for Lighthouse Tours:
Tours are offered Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30, 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Since reservations are pending the availability of staff or volunteers, please call 808-828-1413 in advance to ensure tours are being conducted prior to your visit.