Ninini Point Lighthouse

Ninini Point Lighthouse – Offering Spectacular Views of Nawiliwili Bay and Beyond
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

For a view of Nawiliwili Bay unlike any other, plan a trip over to Ninini Point Lighthouse. Although you cannot go up to the top of the lighthouse, the views are plenty spectacular from ground level. Want to catch sight of the rarest birds in South Shore Kauai? Bring your binoculars and bird identification book along for the ride. 

- The Local Expert Team

If you’d like to take in breathtaking views of Nawiliwili Bay and beyond, you’ll need to zip on over to the Ninini Point Lighthouse. From there, you can take in serene ocean views without any crowds getting in the way. Once you manage to finally turn your attention away from the picturesque ocean views, you can marvel at the 86 foot tall lighthouse itself.

Built way back in 1906, this iconic piece of history has long served as the guiding light for ships out on the ocean. While it still works to this day, the process has been automated since the early 50s, so there’s no one manning the light anymore. As a result, you cannot go inside the lighthouse and see how everything works. Instead, it stands locked up tight at all times.  

In order to get a glimpse of the lighthouse and the spectacular views all around, you’ll need to travel around the perimeter of the airport. After that, you’ll end up on a long dirt road that leads right to the base of the lighthouse.

The access road leaves much to be desired, especially after periods of heavy rainfall. So, bring a vehicle with a high ground clearance to keep the ruts from ruining your good time. Most rental cars will make the trip if you take it rather slow, but it’s wise to remember that you’re responsible for any damage that occurs.

Once you arrive, you can just park off the main path and walk over to the lighthouse. Don’t be surprised to see graffiti on the outside of the lighthouse and on the nearby structures. Although the groundskeepers paint over the marks as often as they can, it’s not always possible to keep the lighthouse completely clean at all times. Despite the graffiti, the lighthouse looks amazing against the ocean beyond, serving as the perfect backdrop for all your photos.

After spending time looking over the historic concrete and wood structure, park yourself on the rocks beyond for a chance to see rare birds all around. The property serves as an important bird sanctuary, after all, giving endangered species a safe place to grow and thrive.

As you gaze through your binoculars, you’re likely to see Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, and everything in between. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot the glorious frigatebirds soaring across the sky with their glorious eight-foot wingspans. With the airport nearby, you’re sure to see even bigger mechanical birds flying by as they zoom on and off the island. They’re pretty loud though, so be ready to hear their engines buzzing overhead as you enjoy the scenic views.

Insider Tips:
-Houseless individuals often camp nearby, although they’re not known to bother any lighthouse visitors.
-Big rocks stand between the lighthouse and the water’s edge, so you’ll need to simply view the ocean from afar rather than walk along its lapping waves.
-Most visitors spend about 20 to 30 minutes here, but you could extend your stay by bringing along a picnic lunch.
-Since it’s off the beaten path, car thieves occasionally abandon cars near the lighthouse. If you see any partially stripped cars, just let the authorities know, so they can tow them away.