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Onizuka Center for International Astronomy

Mauna Kea Access Road, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Ranked #18 of 39 Attractions in Hilo
Type: Tourist/ Visitor Centers
15 visitor photos
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46 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Dacula, Georgia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
31 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

The staff are very friendly and helpful. They go out of their way to make sure you appreciate the views through the telescopes. Lots of educational opportunities to learn about how Mauna Kea has helped change astronomy.

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Olympia, Washington
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
36 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

It takes some effort to get here, but worth it. You don't realize how much light pollution has taken away the night sky but it is on display here. The sky is so full of stars that the familiar constellations are hard to pick out in the crowd. The Center has presentations on the sky followed by viewing through telescopes... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Pleasant Grove, UT
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
15 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Saddle Road is excellent, the road from there to the Onizuka Center not so much, but it was worth the drive in near total darkness. Several telescopes were set up and the volunteers were delightful and knowledgeable. It was a new moon, so we had a great view of the sky and milky way galaxy. My teenage daughter declared it... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
28 attraction reviews
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

This is also listed and reviewed under: "Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station" on TripAdvisor. So, I have a review there as well. But, just to add... don't miss this if you're on the Big Island! Starting at the "vis" to acclimate for at least 30 minutes is essential before heading up to the Summit. After sunset, this is where everyone... More

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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
43 attraction reviews
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

The biggest distraction of the evening was no one's fault. We had a pretty bright moon out and it made it impossible to just look up and see the magnificent sky I remember from 60 years ago out on the farm. Very disappointing. They had a particularly good DVD on the universe but there were a few problems. First of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Spiez, Switzerland
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

The center's exhibition is small but gives a good view into astronomy, but most part of the room was the souvenirshop... in the evening you can watch the stars trough telescopes outside and drink hot chocolate, but it gets really cold up there and like the doors are always open you can't warm you up inside. So warm clothes are... More

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Lincoln, California
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

If you plan on heading up to the summit of Mauna Kea, this is a good place to get out and acclimate to the elevation. Also, on the way back down stop in for some hot cocoa or coffee and watch the presentation of the sky. They have telescopes set up so you can view certain planets or distant galaxies(Andromeda),... More

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Leonardo, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

We drove Saddle Road to see the sights and ended up here. What a great place! You can cross the road and hike a small hill and the views are just amazing. We came back at night to climb it again and watch the sunset. Then they set up telescopes so we could see the surface of the moon and... More

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Trinity, North Carolina, United States
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

My husband and I visited the Onizuka Astronomy Center just after sunset and stayed until about 9:30pm. The sunset from Mauna Kea was beautiful. The center's staff bring out very powerful telescopes every night once it gets dark and assist you with the telescopes. The night sky at the visitor center has so many more stars than most of us... More

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Margate, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
5 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

if you drive up from kona or hilo it is essential to stop here for at least half an hour to semi acclimatise to the altitude. they are very helpful and informative and the centre is usually just above cloud layer level making the view surreal. the old saddle road which used to be banned for hire cars is being... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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