- The refuge was established to protect the endangered Koloa (Hawaiian duck), Hawaiian gallinule, Hawaiian coot and the Hawaiian stilt. It also provides habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. The site incorporates 917 acres of river bottom land, taro farms and wooded slopes in the Hanalei River Valley on the northern coast of Kauai.
Recreation - The site is closed to public use but overlooks from Highway 56 provide opportunity for wildlife observation and photography. Fishing is permitted from the banks of the Hanalei River.
Climate - The climate on Kauai varies more with the terrain than the seasons. Generally, the coastal temperature changes little throughout the year with an annual average of 74 degrees F. The higher elevations of the interior of the island includes the wettest place on earth, Mt. Waialeale. This region averages higher than 4,000 feet and receives nearly 500 inches of rain. If your planning to camp in the higher elevations of Kauai, I recommend layers and rain gear. Temperatures drop four degrees F with every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.
The refuge is visible from an overlook one mile east of Hanalei or six and a half miles west of Kilauea on Highway 56. Visitors can also observe wildlife from their vehicles along Ohiki Road, which begins at the west end of Hanalei River Bridge. The site is closed to public use.