Kīlauea Point Fact Sheet


The 199-acre Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1985 and is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to:

1) Protect and enhance migratory seabirds and threatened and endangered species, including the nēnē (Hawaiian goose) and ‘a‘o (Newell’s shearwater) populations and their habitats;
2) Preserve and maintain the historical integrity of the area, including the 1913 Kīlauea Lighthouse and lighthouse keepers’ homes, which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979;
3) Conduct interpretation and environmental education activities on Hawaiian wildlife, site history, and the National Wildlife Refuge System;
4) Promote fish and wildlife-oriented recreational opportunities and the overall protection of natural resources; and
5) Conserve native coastal strand, riparian, and aquatic biological diversity.

The original 31 acres, on which the lighthouse stands, were transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard when the refuge was originally established in 1985. In 1988, the refuge was expanded to include the Crater Hill parcel (primarily donated by the Pali Moana Corporation) and Mōkōlea Point.

The refuge is located on the northern-most point of Kaua‘i and the Main Hawaiian Islands and on a portion of the former Kīlauea volcanic vent and includes a spectacular 568-foot ocean bluff. Kīlauea Point is home to thousands of migratory and resident seabirds. The refuge is used by Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, red- and white-tailed tropicbirds, great frigatebirds, wedge-tailed shearwaters, Pacific golden plover, endangered nēnē, threatened ‘a‘o, and pueo (Hawaiian short-eared owl).

In the National Marine Sanctuary waters offshore, humpback whales, threatened green sea turtles, and endangered Hawaiian Monk seals may be spotted. Native plants are grown in an on-site nursery in an ongoing effort to eliminate alien species and restore native coastal communities. Cultural and natural resources are interpreted by staff, volunteers, Visitor Center and Contact Station displays, and trail signs.

Visitors can also browse through the Visitor Center bookstore/gift shop, which is run by a non-profit cooperating association, the Kīlauea Point Natural History Association. The association assists the refuge in providing environmental education and Hawaiian wildlife and cultural programs.

The focus of Refuge management is to expand and enhance existing habitat for those species the refuge protects, 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 lighthouse, as well as easy access to wildlife viewing and dramatic ocean and cliff views, makes this Refuge a top attraction on the island. Kīlauea Point NWR is the 19th most visited refuge within the entire System with up to 400,000 people visiting annually.

Kīlauea Point is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and closed on federal holidays. There is a $10.00 entrance fee and a number of Federal land passes are sold and accepted onsite.


Kīlauea Point Fact Sheet (976 KB PDF)

If you are experiencing technical issues when trying to view or print a PDF, right-click the link to the PDF file, and then click "Save Link As" (Chrome or Firefox) or "Save Target As" (IE) from the sub-menu to save a PDF file to your computer's hard drive and view it.