The next stop for us as we conquered Kauai was the famous Kilauea Lighthouse at Kilauea Point.
Kilauea Lighthouse is located on the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands. Kilauea Lighthouse has been lighting the way for sailors since 1913. The 52-foot Kilauea Lighthouse served as a crucial navigation aid for ships sailing on the Orient run. It is one of the nation’s most intact historic light stations. Today Kilauea Point is one of Kauai‘s most visited sites with over 500,00 visitors a year. The lighthouse is a symbol of the nearby sugar plantation town of Kilauea.
We enjoyed the breathtaking views of the sweeping cliff and ocean vistas.
May 1, 1913 – Kilauea Lighthouse was dedicated with a Kauai Luau to which everyone in Kilauea town was invited.
1920 – The Light Keeper’s Log describes life at Kilauea Lighthouse. Samuel Amalu, the head lightkeeper, and 2 assistants broke the monotony of the isolated, lonesome job of maintaining the lighthouse, building and grounds with off hour fishing trips and baseball games.
June 29, 1927 – Kilauea Lighthouse Save Aviators – The first flight to Hawaii from the Mainland almost ended in disaster when the pilots of the Birds of Paradise overshot the islands. Just before dawn with the plane low on fuel they recognized the double flash of the Kilauea Lighthouse and turned back to safety.
1930 – A 200 watt radio beacon was installed and the oil vapor lamp was replaced with an electric one doubling the illumination to half a million candlepower.
1939 – Kilauea Lighthouse’s original clock was replaced with an electric drive eliminating the need to rewind the cable every 3 1/2 hours.
December 7, 1941 – World War II interrupts the operation of Kilauea Lighthouse. Kilauea Lighthouse and radio beacon were turned off for the duration of the war. With the help of Kilauea Lighthouse staff, a top secret radar site was operated on Crater Hill. The bunkers can still be seen today.
1976 – The Coast Guard decommissioned the Kilauea Point Lighthouse and installed an automated electronic beacon.
1979 – The Kilauea Point Lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
1985 – Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge was established
Check out this video of Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
The light was decommissioned in 1976. In 1985 the US Fish and Wildlife Service acquired it and manages the 31 acre site as part of a 203 acre wildlife refuge. It is a popular location for Kauai bird watching. The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is home to a diverse population of nesting seabirds. It is the only such sanctuary in the islands. Residents include the Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, and the great frigate bird with its eight foot wingspan.
Moku’ae’ae Islet, pictured below, is a bird sanctuary. Twenty different species of seabirds make this tiny island home. It is also home to Hawaiian monk seals. Moku’ae’ae Islet is located off Kilauea Point and can easily be seen from Kilauea Lighthouse.
From December to May Kilauea Point is also a location for Hawaii Whale Watching.
Kilauea Lighthouse a must see location for all visitors to Hawaii. Experience spectacular views and photo opportunities. We had a great time walking around, taking in the sights and watching the wildlife. We would have stayed longer but we were on our way to Princeville Heliport for a Kauai Helicopter Tour. Stayed tuned!
Have you been to Kilauea Point? What did you like about it?