Perched on a point high above the sea, the Kilauea Lighthouse, which was built in 1913, once had the capacity to send a shaft of light 90 miles into the night. It celebrated its 100th birthday this May and is still an important symbol of Kilauea's rich past.
These days, its original "clamshell" lens has been replaced by a smaller, less powerful light that local sailors on the North Shore still find quite useful. The age of the lighthouse is evident in the former lens, also known as a bivalve lens. It floated on a huge tub of mercury that the maintenance crew would have to drain out and run through a cheesecloth to clean every couple of years.
100 years old
Views from the point are stunning, and a large contingent of native fauna delights visitors with its presence. Wildlife sanctuaries are located nearby, providing a measure of safety for birds, seals and other creatures, including Laysan albatrosses.
A visitors center is open where photos of the lighthouse and property through the years can be viewed. Just minutes away in the Kong Lung Historic Market Center is a collection of unique shops selling locally made crafts, clothing and an array of jewelry and home decor. In the same shopping center are lovely eateries and a bakery.