When Is the Best Time
The National Wildlife Refuge which is the area around the Lighthouse is open from Tuesday until Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Sundays and Mondays and major official holidays. If you miss the opening hours, you can get a good but more distant view of the lighthouse from the parking in front of the Wildlife Refuge gate.
To avoid the crowds come late afternoon around 3 pm. This allows enough time to walk around, observe the seabirds flying around and get a closer look at the lighthouse. Pretty busy before midday and especially on Tuesdays. Cars are queuing and the gate will be closed if the two parking areas are full.
If you like to get a view inside the lighthouse, tours are offered only on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm every 30 minutes. If you like to take part come at 10 am and inscribe for the first tour. Places are limited. The guided tour is for free.
The humpbacks migrate to Hawaii and arrive in December, heading back late April. Best months to spot them are February and March just in front of the lighthouse.
The Laysan Albatross colony can be observed from November to July. You can use the provided monocular to see them closer. The nest in an area west to the lighthouse. The nesting birds and chicks can be seen only from the lighthouse area.
Where to stay in the north of Kauai
Princeville is a perfect location where the popular Queen's Bath is located. The St. Regis Princeville is one of the best-rated hotels with private beach access.
Where and Tips
The lighthouse is located on the north shore of Kauai at Kilauea Point. This northmost point in the main Hawaiian Islands was the perfect choice to serve them as the first landfall for ships coming from the east. Construction began in 1912 and the lighthouse was committed on May 1st, 1913. In the early years before 1927, no road exists and all supplies for the lighthouse had to be brought by sea. After the second world war new technologies made the use of lighthouses obsolete and in 1976 the original light was replaced by an automated rotating beacon. In 2014 a solar-powered LED light was installed and replaced the previous beacon.
The lighthouse became famous even from the air as it saved the historic flight "Bird of Paradise" from the US mainland to Hawaii to overshot the island in 1927. Luckily the pilots spotted the lighthouse and corrected the course to O'hau.
The Kilauea Lighthouse is situated in the area of Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. This place is one of the best to view wildlife on the main Hawaii Islands. It is home to the largest populations of nesting seabirds like the Red-footed Booby and the Laysan Albatross. On the ocean, you may have the chance to spot spinner dolphins, humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, and around the Lighthouse the Hawaiian State bird, the Néné or endangered Hawaiian goose.
You have a spectacular view over the sea where you are able to spot migrating humpback whales. They migrate from summer feeding grounds in Alaska to Hawaii for mating. At the mating season, they are more active.
Entrance fee 5 $ p.p. children under 16 years are free. Parking for free