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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Esmeralda B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

it was above expectations, the pilot was great very informative and answered any and all questions. OMG the views were amazing. Thank you for a wonderful birthday. I would go again !!!!!

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Denise H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

This helicopter tour was a once in a lifetime event! Fabulous scenery, smooth helicopter flying and friendly staff. Wonderful experience! Thank you!

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

SHEILA M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Exhilarating!! One of the BEST things we've ever done by far! We were well prepared for this by Hawaii Forest and Trail and they even called the day before. Our tour guide Maka, was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. The drive up was fun as he invited each of us to ask him a question. We stopped half-way for a decent dinner so we could acclimate to the elevation too. He even stopped again at 10,000 ft -- above the clouds -- so we could take photos! The Summit was amazing with all the telescopes. Freezing - 28 degrees!! We were dressed right and they gave us parkas and gloves too. After we watched the sunset, Maka took us back down to a private place along the road not the crowded observation level where he gave us an amazing astronomy lesson and viewing with his telescope as we enjoyed hot chocolate and brownies. The road was very rough going up and very dark coming down, so I would NOT recommend trying this yourself unless you're experienced and have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Overall an experience I will remember forever! I cannot recommend this tour enough -- do it! You'll never regret it! :

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

loribalmer

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

We all enjoyed this day and it was worth the price!! Our guide Aaron was extremely helpful and provided so much history and information. This is a fun was to see a lot of the island in one day. The staff at the zip line course were friendly and fun and we felt safe at all times. Great adventure but a very long day!!

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

Reema Q

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

This tour was absolutely AMAZING! From all the activities to the dinner at the volcano winery to the guides was just amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Each person we had for each activity was awesome! Our tourguide Ken was awesome, he spent most of the day with us sharing great stories and history of Hawaii. I am not one to enjoy guided tours but Ken was one of the best guides I've had. I honestly wouldn't have been able to see everything I was able to see with this tour. One of the most memorable days. Would recommend this tour to anyone headed to the big island.

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

travel

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2016

The trip itself was worth doing, but I would recommend going on your own!! The price is too high for what you get... There is no admission fee so the price is all transportation, driver, and your cheap $1 soup for dinner. Save your money, drive yourself (4 wheel drive recommended but not required

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

Eric G USA

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
June 2016

We had very high expectations for this trip based on recommendations from others and it was somewhat of a let down. It was very cloudy the evening we went and the view wasn't great. For the time and money it wasn't worth it.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Craig V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Fantastic tour, great sunset and the stars just unbelievable
Great tour guide

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

Renae T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Really interesting! Amazing views even though it had been raining all day. in the end you're above the clouds. Love to do it again.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo

Erin B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Long but exciting day. From taking the Saddle Road to Hilo and zip lining over waterfalls, to glimpses of lava from the helicopter and the walk through the lava tubes, this tour is really a great was to see and enjoy the Big Island!

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

Graham C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Took a two hour helicopter ride with Paradise Helicopters. They operate out of Kona airport. If you contact them when in your resort you may be able to persuade them to send a complimentary cab for you - we found this out when we spoke to our hotel staff and this saved us about 100 dollars - so worth a phone call. The trip was excellent - the pilot was amusing and I felt safe at all times. The scenery was stunning and I would recommend this trip to anyone. It may seem expensive but it is worthwhile. definitely worth upgrading to a guaranteed window seat - and wear dark clothing as the windows can pick up reflections which can hamper photography.

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Graham C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

This was a great tour and we were blessed with a fabulous sunset. We were picked up from the hotel by the guide and the tour had 4 other guests. Our tour guide was Edmund, who was informative. We drove up to the Mauna kea visitor centre where we had to stay for an hour to acclimatise to the altitude. We spent the time in the visitor centre watching a video and browsing the shop. We then drove up to the summit. This is above the clouds and is spectacular. You don't access the observatories but you do get an awesome view. if the weather is good you will also get a great sunset. it is however quite cold up there so take some warm clothes. The tour guide provides a jacket - but you need other layers too. Following the sunset you drive back down to the Visitor Centre to do some star gazing - which is highly dependent on weather and what is in the sky that night. The moon is critical - if its full that blots out other things - but is good to observe in its own right. if its not full then you will see many other stars - so it varies. we say a half moon, Jupiter and four of its moons, and Saturn. the visitor centre has telescopes there which you can look through. Apparently the altitude at the summit effects your vision - so you get a better experience from the visitor centre location 9which is lower. Great trip - would highly recommend it.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

chris

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Beautiful views and a fantastic flight. Organisation was efficient from pick up to drop off and we really enjoyed the pilots attempts to chase the lava down so we could get the best photographs.

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Kim S

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2016

The actual sunset and star gazing was wonderful. I would recommend that you eat before you go, as the dinner was a cup of noodles sorry, not my idea of dinner and be sure to dress warm. The parka was a hoodie and it was freezing that evening. A little pricey, but it was worth the trip...

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

Viswaram N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

The perfect package with complete value of money. My wife and I had an awesome time performing each and every activity making it the perfect honeymoon for us. The helicopter experience was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. For someone who is in the Big Island for a short span, this would be the best way to cover the best that the island has to offer. Jason, the driver that drove us around on the tour was very friendly and incredibly helpful. The food served and the wine tasting at the Volcano Winery were incredible. Overall a complete sense of satisfaction. Thank you!!

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

Ashanta Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Edmund was a thoughtful guide with a lot of local Hawaiian perspective on the island. Mauna Kea was amazing. Solid comfortable tour.

Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour

John M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Enjoyed the views on this tour while the tour guide did the driving!

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

Jean Luc M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Very impressive! fantastic guide, highly redommended!

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

GRAMMIE

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

EVERYONE REALLY ENJOYED THE TOUR..FOR WHAT IT WAS...THE GUIDE DID A SUPER JOB EXPLAINING EVERYTHING....
.I WAS VERY, VERY, DISAPPOINTED THAT THEY NEVER GOT TO ENTER THE BUILDINGS TO SEE THROUGH THE TELESCOPES...THAT IS THE IMPRESSION I WAS GIVEN WHEN I SPENT 1,300.00 ON A GREAT TOUR THAT INCLUDED THE OBSERVATORY BUILDING BEING ENTERED and THEN GETTING TO LOOK THROUGH THEIR HUGH TELESCOPES....JANET HILL

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

bthead

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

The tour guide was awesome and had a lot of information to share. There were delays getting started, but for the most part was a great tour.

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

Stefan Z

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

The helicopter tour was very enjoyable -- the pilot was knowledgable and offered a lot of information about the island as part of the tour, and getting to see the island from the helicopter was a unique perspective that I would not have had the opportunity to experience, otherwise.

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Jerry W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2016

Amazing trip! I'm so happy we decided on the 2-hour ride as I feel this was the perfect amount of time to explore the island.

Doing what: Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

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