Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge - November 2013

This is (finally!) my last post from our honeymoon on Kauai. It has been nice reliving the experiences by writing about them here. I hope you've enjoyed it too.

My last post is about the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. We got turned onto this from someone on our flight to Maui who said the lighthouse was "very romantic". It also turns out to be a wildlife refuge so win-win I guess.

We stopped here on our drive from the southeast part of the island (Poipu area) north to Hanalei Bay and the Na Pali coast.

Here's where we were:

View Larger Map

The Kilauea Point Lighthouse was built in 1913 and is the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian islands. 

The refuge is home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds - some very large birds like Laysan Albatross, Red-footed Boobies, and Brown Boobies as well as Great Frigatebirds, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, and the endangered Nēnē (or Hawaiian Goose).

We saw most of these during our short visit.

Hawaiian Goose - Nēnē (Branta sandvicensis)  - You can even see a chick on the left side.
Hawaiian Goose - Nēnē (Branta sandvicensis)
All those little white dots on the cliffside are Red-footed Boobies (Sula sula)
The Red-footed Boobies are beautiful birds and I wish I could have seen them more closely. Here's a nice image from the refuge's website:

Red-footed Booby

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)
Adolescent Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)
Female Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) - their wingspan can be 6 feet across!
Of course, my camera died at this point so I didn't get to take as many photos as I would have liked, but here are a few more from the refuge and our drive around the island.

In this case, those white dots are what the birds left behind and not the birds themselves!
Kīlauea Lighthouse
Wailua Falls

Opaeka'a Falls
Kauai is such a beautiful island and, even though it is small, there is a lot to see. We'd love to go back and hike the Na Pali coast (a part of the island you can only see by boat, from the air or on foot because it is too treacherous to drive), kayak a river and enjoy more delicious food and relaxation.

You can see more photos from our trip in my Flickr set. Aloha!