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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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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one of the best experiences!

Bring warm clothes! Best place to look at the rest of the galaxy on earth. Every night they have a "commentator" to explain what is what up there.

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 15, 2015
Jesse j
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406 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

Bring warm clothes! Best place to look at the rest of the galaxy on earth. Every night they have a "commentator" to explain what is what up there.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fullerton, California
Top Contributor
507 reviews 507 reviews
205 attraction reviews
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

First pay a visit to Madame Pele...then come here! We are so glad we came to see this once in a lifetime experience. We drove all the way to the top in our rental Jeep. Yes, I know they tell you not too but I didn't see any rental car police around and the road was very easy. The view... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Pebble Beach, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2015

Driving around Volcanoe's Nt'l Park, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and visiting the museum is a reminder of how the Hawaiian Islands were formed, and the incredible fores of nature.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Beijing, China
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2015

Awesome view when I standing at the top of Mauna Kea. Actually, I was in the middle of two layers of cloud and saw the most beautiful sunset. It's unforgetable.

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Lake Winnebago, MO
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
13 attraction reviews
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015

Made it to the Visitors Center and found several small telescopes focused on popular planets and constellations. The observatory was out of reach for non 4-wheel drives. Recommend taking 4-wheel drive or tour. Very knowledgeable workers, and this was on our must see list while in Hawaii.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Beavercreek, Ohio
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

This was a fun time and best of all it was free. We were at 11000 feet at the visitors center. At dusk out came the telescopes and a one of the professors used a laser to point out the different stars, planets and constellations. There was a quater moon which gave off some light pollution but still the sky... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Glendora, California
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
63 attraction reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2015

This is a great stop after driving up to the summit to see the sunset. Also, stop for a bit before so that you can attempt to grow accustomed to the elevation change. There are astronomers that volunteer their time here and set out telescopes an offer a "sky tour" from about 6-9pm-ish? We loved this informative session and it's... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
61 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

We had a little Nissan compact rental car that struggled up to the visitor's center at the observatory at 9,000 ft. You need a verified & approved 4 wheeler to go any further. You travel up pass the wall of clouds, fog & rain to emerge above it and then freeze while waiting for darkness. Graduate students give short talks... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2015

The views were really amazing. The staff was very informed especially if you knew about astronomy, but it was late for the younger children.

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
29 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2015

About 2 hours away from Kona airport, once you reach Mauna Kea in the evening (around 5:30-6), one finds ample of parking space. It keeps getting colder and windier as the night sets in, so wear warm clothes + wind cheaters, I saw everyone wearing caps, gloves that night. There is a toasty visitor center about a few steps from... More 

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  • 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?