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Highlights
    What to Expect
    Tours depart at 6:00 AM from pick up locations along the Kona/Kohala Coast. Departure times can vary.
    The Hakalau Birdwatching adventure travels mauka (inland) from the West coast of the island making our way towards the Saddle road area. Along the way your guide will introduce you to habitats past and present and you’ll learn how the island was formed and has changed since western contact.
    The old Saddle road area is home to many different birds including Pueo, Pheasants, and Francolins which are fun to spot as the tour winds its way up into the Saddle area between Maunaloa and Maunakea. Around 8:00 AM we arrive to the Maunakea recreation area that sits at the base of Maunakea and offers a beautiful view of Mauna Loa across the saddle area.
    After our rest stop, the tour continues on Saddle road until the Maunakea access road where you begin to climb before turning onto Keanakolu road. This is an almost 50 mile unimproved road that circles Maunakea at around 6000’ of elevation offering amazing views of the island's East side and volcanoes areas.
    After only 10 miles you will find yourself at the beautiful Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. Once gear has been passed out and an introduction to Hakalau been completed you will begin your descent on foot into the refuge. As soon as you step out of the vehicle you will begin to hear a chorus of beautiful voices from our native birds who call Hakalau home.
    Although the walk is along a service road and not much more than a mile one way, it is downslope and somewhat uneven at times which requires participants to be comfortable with this kind of environment.
    The time spent in the refuge is usually around 5 hours and guests will carry their lunches in and picnic along the way enjoying the beautiful sounds of the birds while they eat.
    When our time in the refuge comes to an end the birding and fun doesn’t stop there. After some refreshments back at the vehicle, guests relax in comfort as they car-bird on the way home.
    An additional stop is made at the Mauna Kea Recreation Area on the way home to stretch, chat and have a rest stop before continuing back the Kona/Kohala Coast area.
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    Reviews (14)
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    Show reviews that mention
    All reviews national wildlife refuge endangered birds complete list birding tour incredible guide wealth of knowledge small group great tour the big island jon birders flora binoculars endemic geology culture adventure
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    1 - 5 of 14 reviews
    Reviewed July 4, 2019

    Hakalau is simply one of the most naturally beautiful places on the Big Island and taking this tour makes it that much more special. Jon caters to small groups and ensures everyone on the tour is comfortable and feels included. Whether you're a first-time birder...More

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank LavaShark
    KonaAdToursJon, Owner at Kona Adventure Tours, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2019

    You’re very welcome and Mahalo nui loa for booking. It was good having you on tour again. What a great day in the forest. Aloha.

    Reviewed June 23, 2019

    We had an incredible time birding during the Hakalau Bird Watching tour. Jon Knight (owner/guide) was very personable and knowledgeable about birds, trees/plants, and the island history. The highlight of the tour was the endemic ʻAkiapolaʻau whom we got to watch dig worms out of...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    1  Thank Justin L
    KonaAdToursJon, Owner at Kona Adventure Tours, responded to this reviewResponded June 25, 2019

    Mahalo. I’m glad you had such a good visit. Keep in touch. Aloha.

    Reviewed April 27, 2019

    This is the way to see the birds of Hawaii. Jon Knight, the owner/operator, was a top notch guide. He easily identified birds by both sight and sound, and spotted several rarely seen birds the minute we entered the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. I...More

    Date of experience: April 2019
    1  Thank Basia_2010
    Reviewed April 19, 2019

    This was my first time birding,I think I’m hooked. Travelling with my sister, a very experienced birder, exposes me to all sorts of experiences. Jon, the owner/guide was marvellous. He was very knowledgeable and very encouraging. I was so excited when I saw a young...More

    Date of experience: April 2019
    1  Thank Geri P
    KonaAdToursJon, Owner at Kona Adventure Tours, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2019

    I'm so glad we got you hooked and Mahalo for sharing. Hope to see you again sometime. Aloha.

    Reviewed March 11, 2019

    Whether you are an experienced birder or a beginner, I can not imagine a better way to see the native birds of Hawaii than the the day we spent in the Hakalau Bird Watching and Nature Walk Tour. This tour is one of the only...More

    Date of experience: February 2019
    Thank Janet B
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