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Mauna Kea Observatory

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Address: Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, 9,200 foot level of Mauna Kea, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Phone Number: 808-961-2180
Website
Visit Mauna Kea Observatory like an insider
Small Group
$207*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

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Great info at the visitors area

an easy drive up to the visitors area 9200ft (2800mtrs) after this 4WD is recommended due to steep unpaved sections most hire car cos do not allow vehicles past this point. but... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 20, 2015
rob k
,
adelaide
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388 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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adelaide
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015 NEW

an easy drive up to the visitors area 9200ft (2800mtrs) after this 4WD is recommended due to steep unpaved sections most hire car cos do not allow vehicles past this point. but many tour cos available use this as a precurser to visiting the Uni of Hawaii display in Hilo

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Columbia, Maryland, USA
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015 NEW

Snow, freezing temperatures, 30-40 mph winds...cold even with long pants, sweater, rain jacket and heavy coat supplied by Arnott's. What a surprise in Hawaii.

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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

Learnt a lot about volcanoes and the international space observatories. Fantastic views from the top of the mountain and lovely sunset!

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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
18 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2015

Before my trip, I've read a lot about the options to visit Mauna Kea... * The most obvious is taking a tour * The second is to rent a 4x4 car from Harper (which is the only rental company that allow you to drive up to the summit) * The third is to ignore the risks, the rental contract restrictions... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
19 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

I don't know what I was expecting - but it wasn't this grandiose. It's amazing and comparable with Yellowstone and Yosemite in the tropics.

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Phoenix, Arizona
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

A visit to the Big Island would not be complete without making a trip up to the Mauna Kea visitors station. Be sure to check the weather forecast in advance, likely will be chilly. Several telescopes are set up and the views are awe inspiring. We have never seen the sky lit up like that anywhere else in the world.

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Paris, France
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2015

Mauna Kea is wonderful. We drove up to the visitor center for sundown and hiked 15 minutes to the top of a nearby hill to take in the sight. We then hiked back to the center and stayed for the excellent talk on astronomy and took advantage of the telescopes that the center put out for public use. It was... More 

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Richmond, British Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2015

Weren't sure what to expect. Got up to the visitors centre (plenty of parking and no fees at the visitor centre) and realized that there was no way to the summit to see the observatory in the rental car. We didn't book a tour prior to embarking to Mauna Kea, however, we found Edmond from C Big Island Tours at... More 

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

It's a nice uphill drive and great view when you reach the observatory. It was chilly up there on a December afternoon.

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Pace, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2015

Wow-it was a once in a lifetime experience with Maka--he goes above and beyond any quide one will ever come across. You will see and learn about the stars and universe even if you were not initially interested as I. Got to the the craters on the Moon! How unbelievable is that-wow. Thank you Expedia and Hawaii Trails.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?