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“Starry night” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Observatories

Mauna Kea Observatories
Island of Hawaii, HI
Website
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Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Cultural
Attraction details
stafford
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Starry night”
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 spent several hours being taught the constellations and stars. From shooting stars to Orion's Belt the guide was superb and knowledgeable laser pointer enabled clear views and the two telescopes set up allowed you to look at old and young stars -fabulous . Different tours offer different things check out what they do to make your choice- some offer hot food and drink on the way .it is a bumpy ride so people with back problems consider it carefully. Make sure you have warm coats it's 13,000 ft . Watch for altitude sickness. But what a reward!!!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Winnipeg, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Above clouds!”
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 windy and cold after sunset. Bring some snacks and sandwiches. There is a small food counter but they run out of sandwiches. Elevation makes you hungry.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Lots of tourists taking Facebook Photos”
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 lungs when everyone else at the center is trying to become one with the stars and you are in for a very huge disappointment. The traffic is terrible and there are cars everywhere. Try taking a photo of the stars when some yahoo from Texas turns on his high beams on his rental Ford so he can locate his family who might have got lost in the wilds of Mauna Kea.
If you are over 16, do yourself a favor and bypass the visitors center and go straight to the top.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mackenbach
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Bucket list: see the sunset and Milky Way”
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 have food. DRESS WARM! It was 50F, but the wind easily dropped it to less than 40. Rental cars cannot go past this point.

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“So amazing”
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 staying there for around a half hour to get climitized which I did and every thankful since you do feel very strange! We went to watch the sunset, then headed back down to the visitor center where they had telescopes set up for everyone to look through, some were faced at certain things, some you could move around yourself. They had people pointing out certain stars and told you the history of it. It was absolutely amazing! It is free to go up. I highly recommend bringing lots of close, it's very very cold! There is snow, and it
S very windy up there!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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