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Lonesome lighthouse at Kauai's tip.

On the northernmost point of Hawaii's "garden island," the stout Kilauea Lighthouse stands sentinel over the kind of seascape no postcard can capture. Deserted beaches scallop the lush, jungled coastline. Just offshore, a sea turtle or porpoise or humpback whale takes an occasional bow amid swells that merge into classic combers. And overhead, streamlined frigate birds chase red-footed boobies laden with their seafood catch.

Since the mid-'70s, this scene has been protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the benefit of eight species of sea birds. One of three wildlife refuges established on Kauai in the last 10 years, it's the only one with public access.

From the parking area, a short path leads past panels that explain Kilauea Point's natural history. As you walk to the lighthouse, buffeting gusts make it clear this is the windward--and often rainy--side of the island. A clifftop visitor center offers welcome shelter as well as wildlife displays; for details on interpretive programs, call (808) 828-1431.

Kilauea Point is open noon to 4 Sundays through Fridays. From State Highway 56 at the town of Kilauea, go north and follow the road 1-1/2 miles to its end.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1984
Words:196
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