Visit Kauai’s national wildlife refuges during National Wildlife Refuge Week, today through Saturday, to celebrate America’s wildlife heritage.
The National Wildlife Refuge System is made up of more than 548 refuges throughout the United States. From Alaska to Puerto Rico, from Maine to the Big Island, refuges protect more than 92 million acres set aside to conserve habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Kaua‘i’s three national wildlife refuges, Kilauea Point, Hanalei, and Hule‘ia, share a mystical beauty and important role in the island’s rich cultural and natural history. Kilauea Point, with its backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean, is one of the best places in the main Hawaiian Islands to view seabirds.
Encircled by waterfall-draped mountains, the picturesque Hanalei Valley on the North Shore harbors the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. Located on the Eastside, Hule‘ia National Wildlife Refuge lies adjacent to the famous Alekoko Fish Pond, and includes wooded slopes and bottomlands along the Hule‘ia River.
Schedule of events at the refuges
Keiki fun at Kilauea Point NWR — National Wildlife Refuge Week will kick off with activities for the keiki. Help park rangers track down the elusive “Blue Goose,” symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge system. Kilauea Point offers a rare opportunity to see seabirds up close, check out native coastal plants and observe the Hawaiian goose in its native habitat. Enjoy coastal views while looking for spinner dolphins, sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals. Children under 16 are free. The refuge entrance fee for adults is $5.
Kilauea Point closed — The refuge will be closed in observance of Discoverer’s Day.
Crater Hill hike — Join a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ranger for a moderately strenuous hike to a remote portion of the Kilauea Point refuge where wildlife and coastal views abound. This free hike will start at 9 a.m. and lasts approximately 2 hours. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 639-1388.
Hanalei NWR kayak paddle — Paddle the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge located on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. Join acting refuge manager Mike Mitchell as he unlocks the story of the spectacular Hanalei River valley from 8 a.m. to noon. This event is sponsored by Kayak Kauai in Hanalei. The cost is $10. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 639-1388.
Crater Hill hike — Join a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ranger for a moderately strenuous hike to a remote portion of the Kilauea Point refuge where wildlife and breathtaking coastal views abound. This free hike will start at 9 a.m. and lasts approximately 2 hours. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 639-1388.
Seabirds of Hawai‘i hike — An estimated 15 million seabirds are either flying over Hawaiian waters or breeding on Hawaiian islands at any one time. Join seabird biologist Beth Flint for an informative hike up Crater Hill to learn more about these truly amazing creatures. This free hike starts at 9 a.m. and is moderately strenuous. Reservations are required. Please call 639-1388.
Movie night at the Kilauea Theater — An evening at the Kilauea Theater is planned to celebrate the 100th birthday of Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the International Year of the Reef. Jean Michel Cousteau’s ocean adventure film, “Voyage to Kure” will show at 7 p.m. This film helped inspire the establishment of Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument, which is one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. Reservations are not required, however seating is limited.
Kilauea Point free day — All are invited to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kilauea Point, at no charge. The $5 per adult fee will be waived. The refuge will also be open extended hours from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Learn to draw wildlife with Patrick Ching at Kilauea Point NWR — Children of all ages are invited to create wildlife art throughout the day with renowned artist and former Kilauea Point employee Patrick Ching. Materials are provided and the event is free. Reservations are not required.
Crater Hill/Mokolea Point hike — Join local historian Gary Smith from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a vigorous 6 mile hike to a vantage point on the refuge, accessible only to guided visitors. This free hike will illuminate a rich history of the refuge and bright past of Kilauea Town. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 639-1388.