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Mauna Kea Observatories

Island of Hawaii, HI
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Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
7 visitor photos
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

This was hands down the highlight of my stay at Kona. We took our own car up (easy drive no matter what all the scary signs say). If you've ever driven the ski fields in NZ this is a walk in the park. One road up and one road down. Given the lack of oxygen in the air you do... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Family fun driving through the cloud and fog and narrow, rough roads at times. Will we make it! Vegetation changes and land becomes barren. Then suddenly you break through the cloud and are at the top of the mountain where the sky is clear and blue and you're surrounded by the huge observatories. Fresh, clean, cool air and amazing view.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

Took a trip up to watch sunset and star gaze The observatories are amazing when they open ready for the night sky . With no pollution you stare upwards in amazement at the night spectacle. The Milky Way is visible , Saturn and it's rings then viewed through the telescope it was breath taking. Returned part way down mountain and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Winnipeg, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Must see if visiting Big Island. Arrive just before sunset to enjoy all the stars. Drive up to the top is a bit scary but not bad - just need to use different gear when going downhill. Many telescopes were set up by professors and students of University. We saw Saturn so clearly - it was amazing. It was very... More

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
25 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

If you are a serious photographer and/or star gazer..AVOID the visitors center or be prepared for a lot of inconsiderate tourists taking FLASH photos with their iPhones. I have never encountered a more inconsiderate group of individuals in my travels. Add to that the very LOUD Star Gazer lady who insists that everyone yell ALOHA!!!!! at the top of their... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

Drive to visitors center: Go around sunset so you can hike up a hill to see an amazing vista and see Mona Loa while standing on Mona Kea! After that hang around for the students to set up some very expensive telescopes to view the moon, nebulas and the specific planets. Bring a picnic dinner - the visitors center doesn't... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 10
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
24 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

I loved seeing these telescopes! I loved loved loved it! Recommend going with a 4X4 and they dont recommend anyone with a heart problem or anyone over the age of 65, or under 16 as it is almost 14 thousand feet above sea level. At around 10 thousand feet there is a little shop and visitor center, they recommend you... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
Berkeley, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Second visit to this remarkable place. Some of the world's largest telescopes with access to much of the sky. One of the few land locations where both the Southern Cross and North Star are visible. We drove our rented car to the very top, and I really didn't think we would make it. The atmosphere is so rarefied that the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Hanover, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
65 attraction reviews
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Drive was not bad on the Saddle Road We did go on a full moon night so it was brighter than normal Sunset was great and worth seeing Star gazing not as good due to the moon Still enjoyed doing it

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Key West, Florida
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
15 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

You don't need me to tell you that the folks at the visitors center know their stuf but you do need me to tell you to plan a day around this trip. Get there about 5 at the observatory just to get failure with it. Then drive to the top for the sunset. WOW! Second only to watching the sun... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 7

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