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When many people hear the name of this old plantation town, a common misconception is to associate it with the volcano by the same name. However, this very active volcano can actually be found some 300 miles to the east on the big island of Hawaii. Kilauea, the town, is generally
considered the gateway to the north shore of Kauai and is a stopping point to some of the most intriguing scenery along this fabulous coast.

The village was built on sugar, and though that industry melted away years ago, it still holds on and offers several very interesting sights.

Christ Memorial Episcopal Church

The shrubbery and flowers immediately catch your eye because their vibrant colors match the stained-glass windows imported from England. Cut from lava stone, the
present church was built in 1941. Inside is a hand-hewn altar and surrounding the church is a cemetery with some very old tombstones.

Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge

Encompassing Kilauea Point, the northern most tip of the main Hawaiian islands, the cliffs are a giant rockery for seabirds. Point’s Crater Hill, where you can look 568 feet straight down to the Pacific Ocean, is also located here.

From this point, the Pacific Ocean is virtually unobstructed until it reaches Asia. The sea cliff looks like a giant stack of pancakes, layered and jagged, with the edges eaten by age, and covered with a green syrup of lichen and mosses.

Kilauea Lighthouse

This national historical landmark was originally built in 1913 and was at one time, manned by the Coast Guard. It is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interiors Fish and Wildlife Service. The lighthouse has the largest "clamshell lens" in the world, capable of sending a beacon 90 miles out to sea. The lens has not been used since the mid 70's and now only a small high-intensity light shines as a reference for mariners.

There are a number of other sights, such as the many resident and migrating birds. If you watch closely, you may spot the great frigate bird kiting on its eight foot wing span or the red-footed booby, a white bird with black wing-tips wearing red dancing shoes. At certain times of the year, Hawaiian monk seals and green turtles can be seen along the shore. Dolphins and whales can also be spotted.

Kilauea has it all, intriguing churches, an "everything" general store, fabulous beaches, and a coastline with bold promontories pummeled by the sea.