Big Island of Hawaii ATTRACTIONS See all

Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory

Whether you’re a budding astrophysicist or just a fan of Big Bang Theory, take the opportunity while you’re on the Big Island to visit the Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory. At a lofty height of 13,796 ft (4,138 m) Mauna Kea is Hawaii's tallest ... 

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3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2015

The helicopter trip over the volcano was great. The coach trip was good but the coffee tour seemed lacking and out of place. The second part of the helicopter tour did not happen as the helicopter had mechanical issues but the company made good and gave us a second helicopter tour which was fantastic. Made the best of a bad situation

Doing what: Experience Volcanoes National Park: Helicopter, Coach, and Walking Tour from Kona

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

The tour company called us to let us know there was a chance we would not be able to go to the summit due to icy roads. They offered us a discount if we continued with the tour. They said we would be able to get to the observatory. Our tour guide Makisp? was very good. He gave a lot of great information and was very patient with the know-it-alls. Dinner was tasty. We viewed the sunset from a area just above the observatory. It was beautiful!! Would it have been better at the summit, possibly but it was still very nice. The star show was awesome!! I have never seen so many stars. Maki did a great job pointing out stars and constellations.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

This 3 part Adventures tour of the Big Island (Viator is the tour aggregator) was worth every $ and every minute. Jeff picked us up at our condo complex in Waikoloa before daylight. He provided detailed knowledge of the geology, geography, and culture of the island as he drove us 2 hours to the main office in Hilo before our group of 11 loaded the van to the ziplines. The drive up to the ziplines is quite bumpy (we were warned), but not bad. A new zipline company, according to our guide was exactly that. Our guides Alex, Matt H, and Mike, were focused on our safety and making our experience fun (and funny) for even the oldest and most out of shape (me). We started with a brief "bunny" line to acclimate and zipped from tower to tower, with short walks, often across bridges, between lines. We stopped for a quick lunch (ordered in advance, wraps were pretty good, especially the veggie!) after Line 4, a trip over a stunning waterfall. At nearly 1/2 mile long, Line 8 is spectacular.

The helicopter tour was mostly over the lava fields and vents, with the friendly pilot pointing out the hot spots then making sure passengers on both sides of the aircraft had wide views. We've taken these helicoper tours on Kauai and Maui and this group on the Big Island is as consistently professional and safety-centered as on all the islands. Definitely the best of all of the helicopter tour companies.

We ended the day with a walking tour through a lava tube led by Jeff, who has a bottomless depth of knowledge and easy delivery to the group, then a large group dinner of all of the tour members at Volcano Inn (food was competent, but the view of the Kilauea volcano is SPECTACULAR), then a trip to the Jagger Museum where we watched the erupting volcano as the sun set. Utterly majestic.

A fabulous day we will never forget! Special Mahalo to Jeff, Alex, Matt H and Mike for making this the highlight of our stay on the Big Island!

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

great ride, got to see lava and snow! which was crazy. plus we saw lots of whales while flying up the coast line. the only con was that you get a little bit sick because the helicopter is always dipping and turning.

Doing what: 2-Hour Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2015

I had asked for grilled chicken as my entree, instead it received BBQ chicken which at best was mediocre. My husband had the BBQ chicken and did not like it.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
January 2015

i did pay extra and i hadthe worst seat back way all the way i did not like that at all going back way
the pilot explain something yu dont see at all or try to turn arround i had pain in the neck when i did finish
no never again i made a trip to Kone expecialy for that
the volcano lava was very small but view is nice

Doing what: 2-Hour Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2015

The ride up to the summit was long and cramped...the seats were in odd numbers so some couples did not get to sit together... The meal was subpar, a piece of flat, dry chicken with BBQ sauce poured on top and a few pieces of cabbage. The guide was very knowledgeable, but easily frustrated. He couldn't figure out how turn the overhead light off in the cab of the van and repeatedly pushed buttons and then slammed the drivers door...harder and harder and harder then resorted to cussing at the light.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

Excellent trip. The weather was perfect so the view of the sunset and the stars was amazing.

The journey up isn't long at all, it's a little bumpy but really not a problem.

The guide was really knowledgeable and showed us the star formations and a nebula and the Milky Way.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

When we first booked and heard it was a 14-hour day, we second guessed ourselves because it seemed so daunting. But our tour guide Kelsey made it so seamless and easy that it seemed like it was was just another day at the beach, only a lot more informative and valuable, Kelsey was very well informed and provided great customer service. The overall day was indeed five stars.

Doing what: Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline and Lava Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

Had a wonderful time and saw a beautiful star filled sky. The parkas were perfect. Nate was a wonderful guide, and Hawaii Forest and Trails was excellent. The veggie roll was a little bland but other than that it was a highlight on our trip!

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was an amazing experience!

Doing what: 2-Hour Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

A great tour. Knowledgable and friendly guide. He'd got a tough crowd - Aussies and Canadians. Despite that, we really enjoyed it.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

Nate was a very informative guide, giving both the geographic and cultural history of the island. The dinner was excellent and the viewing (star show) was great too.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This tour was the highlight of my trip. Nate was my guide. He was so informative. The whole ride up he shared incredible knowledge of the evolution of the big island. He asked if the guests would like to share aliitle bit about themselves, which I thought was great. You did not feel like we 12 strangers, but we were 12 people sharing an experience. Nate did an incredible job sharing the celestial sky with us. He gave the history as he showed us through telescope. That you for a great experience.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

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