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Address: 65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy, opened from 10AM to 2PM, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-8431
Phone Number: 808-885-7887
7:30 am - 5:00 pm
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Mon - Fri 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 24 reviews
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    Very good
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Enjoyable experience

If you're interested in learning a lot about NASA, telescopes, and satellites then you'll be getting a treat. However if you don't like any of those then that place isn't for you... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 5, 2016
Darnell G
via mobile
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24 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 23: English reviews
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2016 via mobile

If you're interested in learning a lot about NASA, telescopes, and satellites then you'll be getting a treat. However if you don't like any of those then that place isn't for you, sorry.

1 Thank Darnell G
Abbeville, Louisiana
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2016

It was truly an experience. We met and talked to one of the astronomers who worked at the observatory and he told us about the largest telescope in the world that is being built to join the other telescopes at Mauna Kea. You will get a view of Mauna Kea from the observatory and first hand explanation about the size... More 

1 Thank lcomeaux
Dover, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
125 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2016

We stopped in here on a whim with hopes of getting some insight into the operations of the telescope on Mauna Kea. We stood in the entrance area for about 45 minutes listening to some interesting background about the telescope, its history and operations. Afterwards, the guide was helpful in answering all of our questions. Unfortunately, this was the extent... More 

1 Thank NHAnimator
Hillsboro, OR
Level Contributor
125 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2015

If you go to Mauna Kea, AND have a 4 wheel drive unit and lots of warm clothing you can drive to the top of the mountain--but you still can't see the telescopes. If you want to see how those pieces of technology work you need to drive to Waimea, and just off the city center there is an official... More 

2 Thank oldpo
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
340 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2015

was excellent. We did not have a four wheel drive vehicle nor the time to visit the observatory on top of the volcano. But the Visitor Centre in Waimea, where the astronomers work on the data from the mountain top observatory was fascinating. A knowledgeable and helpful guide called Ed told us so much about the work done there. There... More 

2 Thank Irwi
Ventura, California, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2015 via mobile

It's not Disneyland, it a real observatory, and deserves both more funding, and respect for what it is, a great experience that is volunteer based. It's worth the drive, as the views are amazing!

1 Thank Jim N
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015 via mobile

If you are interested in the telescopes this is a great stop. The visitor center isn't large but the lady at the desk took us around and explained the telescopes and other astronomical devices they are using. She was great with my 12 year old too. Asked him questions and got him thinking. She also gave us some take away... More 

Thank Ann B
Level Contributor
378 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

Takes a bit of effort to get to the top of the mountain, every afternoon the park rangers take folks with 4-wheel drive vehicles (only those are permitted to drive to the 14,000-foot summit of Mauna Kea) if the weather allows-up tot he top. Its a bit safer that way in a caravan as the roads are dirt and can... More 

Thank Cardiotron
Stockton, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

We were lucky enough to get a private tour of Keck #1's telescope. This is an incredible facility with extremely devoted scientists and support personnel. The trip to the almost 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) was very fast and with incredible scenery along the way. The 8+ meter telescope was nothing short of amazing! Although it is not easy to get... More 

5 Thank LatinOnTheGo
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
296 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

The visitor center in Waimea is separate from the mountain top observatory tour. The Visitor Center is an embarrassment to such a prestigious enterprise. I was in and out in five minutes after reading every photo cation and staring at the static displays. Souvenirs were limited to coffee mugs, postcards, and a couple of t-shirts. Clearly some new direction and... More 

3 Thank charlesodonnell

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?