Skip to Content

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Though the Kilauea Lighthouse gets most of the attention, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places on Kauai to view the island’s wildlife. The refuge is home to a variety of nesting seabirds (including laysan albatrosses, great frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, wedge-tailed shearwaters and red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds), and Hawaii’s state bird the nene (Hawaiian goose). Native plants abound at the refuge, including plumeria, bougainvillea, and antherium. In addition, visitors to the refuge have a chance to see whales (in season), dolphins and Hawaiian monk seals. Located at the northernmost tip of Kauai, the refuge provides dramatic views of seascapes, coastlines, steep cliffs and crashing waves. The refuge is open Tuesday through Saturday (CLOSED SUNDAYS AND MONDAYS), 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $5 and children under 16 are admitted free.

Location at Google Maps

Kilauea Wildlife Refuge Photos

Above: The Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse was built in 1913 at the northernmost point on Kauai.

Above: Hawaii’s state bird the nene. Listen for honking and you may see groups of nene flying overhead.

Above and below: Great Frigatebirds can be seen year-round at the refuge. Females are black with a white throat patch, while males are all black with a red throat patch that they inflate during courtship.

Above: Laysan albatrosses (nicknamed gooney birds) spend most of their lives at sea. They can be seen at the refuge during their nesting season from November to July.

The small island seen just offshore from the refuge is Moku ‘Ae’ae Island. Birds mentioned in this article, along with Hawaiian monk seals, can often be seen on or around this island. Legend has it that the island was once connected to the coast by a land bridge built by the mythical Menehune people.

Above: Looking west towards Secret Beach.