Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Hawaii

(808) 954-4818

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Situated midway across the world's largest ocean, 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is a place of astonishing beauty. From the air, one sees the surrounding cobalt sea breaking white over the barrier reef into an aquamarine lagoon holding the atoll's three low-lying islands. The refuge provides nesting habitat for over 2 million sea birds, including 2 species of albatross- the Laysan and the black-footed. The waters surrounding Midway have been closed to commercial fishing for over 60 years, thus protecting over 260 species of coral, fish, and other marine life. Other marine species include the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, threatened green sea turtle, and spinner dolphins.

Midway, discovered in 1859, has a rich history. On July 4, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt sent the first around-the-world telegraph message with Midway as the vital link. He recognized Midway's strategic importance both as a wildlife sanctuary and a military outpost. The refuge's history includes serving as a base for the Pacific Cable Company and later the trans-Pacific Pan American Clipper Ships. Because of its pivotal role in naval history during World War II at the Battle of Midway, the atoll is also recognized as the National Memorial to the Battle of Midway.

While visitation to the refuge is limited, several companies offer permitted tours of the refuge. Contact the refuge for more information.

Map of Midway Atoll NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 28.200952, -177.341309

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Bird Watching

    The refuge provides nesting habitat for over 2 million sea birds, including 2 species of albatross- the Laysan and the black-footed.

    Seventeen species of seabirds use Midway Atoll for resting or nesting, offering one of the world's premier wildlife spectacles. No matter what the time of year, visitors can marvel at the aerial grace (and sometimes earthly clumsiness) exhibited by these birds.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is prohibited in the Refuge.

  • Hiking

    A self-guided historical walking tour of Sand Island is available.

  • Historic Sites

    Because of its pivotal role in naval history during World War II at the Battle of Midway, the atoll is also recognized as the National Memorial to the Battle of Midway.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The refuge provides nesting habitat for over 2 million sea birds, including 2 species of albatross- the Laysan and the black-footed. The waters surrounding Midway have been closed to commercial fishing for over 60 years, thus protecting over 260 species of coral, fish, and other marine life. Other marine species include the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, threatened green sea turtle, and spinner dolphins.

Directions

Driving

Because of Midway Atoll's remote location in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, it can only be reached by air, or by sailboats under a special use permit system. For further information please contact the refuge.

Flying

Because of Midway Atoll's remote location in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, it can only be reached by air, or by sailboats under a special use permit system. For further information please contact the refuge.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(808) 954-4818

Links