Ninini Point Lighthouse
The 86-foot Ninini Point Lighthouse, built in 1932, is a navigational aid for Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor. Today, the concrete structure is rather plain (and missing its “top”), having lost the lantern room and Fresnel lenses to an automated beacon in 1984. The lighthouse is not a tourist attraction like the famous Kilauea Lighthouse, but it is a point of interest for those who seek it out. Moreover, the lighthouse is not exactly easy to find as it requires some back roads navigating behind the Kauai Marriott area.
Location at Google Maps
The lighthouse sits directly in line with one of the runways at the Lihue Airport. Incoming flights fly directly over the lighthouse on approach.
The rugged coastline at Ninini Point.
The area of the lighthouse has its problems, including graffiti, abandoned cars and people “parking” in cars.
See the map link above for the route to the lighthouse. The route includes driving through the Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons area and a dirt road that borders the airport.
The ocean has different hues of blue off different parts of the island. Here, the hue is often cobalt.
Ninini Point Lighthouse History
Prior to 1900, Kauai did not have a navigable deep water harbor, so Nawiliwili Bay was dredged and a breakwater added to make Nawiliwili Harbor. A lighthouse was needed for the area, and several makeshift light structures were constructed during the early 1900s at the present day site. By the 1920s the harbor was receiving substantial traffic and a new lighthouse was in order. The Lighthouse Service requested $22,000 from Congress in 1929, and by 1932 the lighthouse and a three bedroom house for the lighthouse keeper were constructed. During World War 2 the lighthouse went dark. A Japanese submarine briefly shelled the harbor area on December 31st, 1941 but there was little damage to the harbor and none to the lighthouse. Nawiliwili Lighthouse, as it was known at the time, was automated in 1953.
A photo from June 15th, 1915 shows a house and a makeshift light structure at the site.
The three bedroom house for the lighthouse keeper and family.
The Ninini Point Lighthouse in 1934.
Although it is known today as the Ninini Point Lighthouse, it was officially called the Nawiliwili Lighthouse Station, Hawaii.
In addition to the house, aerial photos also show a garage and shed at the site. The structures are no longer present.