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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geychner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

A true once-in-a-lifetime experience that exceeded our expectations. Great helicopter, great pilot, great ride!!

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

Cassandra L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

Not only was the view from the summit spectacular, our guide, Nate, was so knowledgeable about the night sky that we had an amazing time with his explanation of space. My husband had a hard time with the high altitude, but Nate was prepared to accommodate him with oxygen readily available, which allowed him to enjoy the experience. This tour was not only a must do, we also felt safe and was well taken care of throughout.

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

Louis S Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

Our pilot was ex military and flew the aircraft brilliantly. The 2 hour flight was fantastic and we spent a good time over the volcanos, turning around so that all passengers got a good view and able to take some good photos whatever side of the aircraft you were sitting. Seeing the lava entering the sea was good as was the flight up the coast and into the valleys. The entire flight was smooth and the weather on the day was very clear and fine. We flew back to Kona down the coast and you could see all the major resorts from the air. The driver who collected me arrived on time and drove very well and was very knowledgeable about the area and could answer any questions you had. I had the same driver on the return journey and was able to continue our conversations. A great time was had and I would highly recommend this trip. Great was to see the Big Island.

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

Jim R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. It is timed just right so that you have enough time to have a good look around the summit before sunset but not too long that you get really cold.

Our guide Brett was excellent. He was very safety conscious whilst we were up at the summit checking that no one was feeling the effects of the high altitude. Also he was very knowledgable about Mauna Kea and the Stars. He made it all very interesting and we learnt a lot.

We highly recommend this tour.

Annette and Jim, Australia

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

Anthony P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

What a brilliant day if but long. The zippling was fantastic as was the helicopter.

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

Jennifer N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

It was a long day but well worth it! Jon, our tour guide was nice, and super knowledgeable. He shared a lot of history with us, especially during the car ride, which made the trips between each of the excursions feel less mundane. He was also a wonderful storyteller and introduced us to many of the historic storylines of the Hawaiian gods.

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

Andy L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Edmund was our friendly tour guide, and we couldn't have been more pleased with anyone else! He thoroughly made our trip to summit worth every penny! Edmund picked us up at our condo rental and drove us to another location to pick up other guests. While in the vehicle, he gave us a snapshot of what we'd be doing in the evening. He shared many stories, and ensured we were safely driven to summit. We stopped at the Visitors Centre to acclimate our bodies to the high altitudes, and he also gave use some hot chocolate packets and a cup of instant noodles for dinner. Be warned: dinner is exactly what is advertised in the tour description, so don't expect anything more fancy. Bring snacks if you feel hungry. We were happy with dinner because it started to get pretty chilly going up to summit, so the hot coco and cup of noodles warmed us up. When we got to summit, the sunset was beautiful! We were provided with thin fleece sweaters, so I would recommend that guests bring their own jackets, hats, and gloves, as it does get very chilly at the top. If you need to use the bathroom, ensure you go at the Visitors Centre before heading to summit. Edmund was helpful with another guest who felt altitude sickness, and stayed close to the car to provide assistance. After the sunset, we headed back to the Visitors Centre to stargaze. I must say, this was a wonderful experience! You will never see the sky so beautiful and so clear in your entire lifetime! There were also telescopes set up, so we were able to see Saturn and Mars too! Overall, without Edmund this tour wouldn't have been the same! He provided a personal touch, and I would highly recommend him and this tour to other guests!

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

Anne Marie L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Wonderful trip. We have done helicopter tours several times in various places, but this one ranks on top, on par with Grand Canyon. The weather was rainy on the Volcanoes, so we followed the coast. The lava flowing into the sea and the flight over the cascades in the valleys were awesome.

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

greatdayinhawaii

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

My big island trip was fantastic! Edmond who guided us came to hotel to pick up and explained about the island in detail so that I could be well awared of the island. He was so kind and friendly that he cared about our condition and told. I would like to recommend him to other travelers.

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

Florence R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

The weather wasn't the best, too many clouds but there was a great sunset. Edmond was an excellent tour guide.

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

Michael H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Totally awesome tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable and a sure and confident driver going up the mountain. He got us to the very best spot for the sunset and helped us get the best photos possible. This was a great value and I highly recommend it to others.

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

Theresa Z

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

The helicopter ride was amazing,our pilot was so informative and passionate about his job, this is a must!
The Zip-Line was OK, but I have been on better. The tour guide that drove us there gave us some
great info about what we saw on the way.
The vineyard was so beautiful, the wine and tour of vineyard was great and the meal,delicious.
Seeing the red hot lava of the Volcano at night at the Jaggar Museum was well worth it.

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

Elise H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

It was amazing. I decided to go on this tour primarily because of the sunset yet the stargazing was mind blowing. Nate knew so much and showed us so many constellations, big and Little Dipper, southern cross and actually we saw three planets. I definitely recommend this tour.

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

Melissa B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

This tour was awesome. Our tour guide was Carl, who was so on top of everything. We actually wound up running a little behind after the helicopter tour, but he made sure we saw everything. The zip line is a lot of fun - the last zip really is the best and you take a break in the middle where you get to try local fruits. The helicopter was so cool. You get really close to the volcano and our helicopter pilot made me feel really safe. You see lava oozing down the mountain. Then you go to Volcanos National Park and walk through a lava tube, which is really neat, and check out some other cool sites. Carl took us to a steam vent that was a little off the beaten path, so it wasn't surrounded by other tourists. Then volcano glow at night is just incredible. The dinner at the winery and their tour is pretty cool too. It's really worth every penny!

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

Brian K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

This tour is awesome. Our guide Brett was friendly and so knowledgeable. The sunset was beautiful. The food was very good. Brett set up a telescope after sunset and showed amazing night sky objects including the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, Mars, binary stars. Awesome trip. Thanks Brett.

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

Tuyet Yen T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

fantasic tour and organizations by the company. Just a small group of people in the tour so eveything was well on time.

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

James C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

Our tour guide was very knowledgable about the Island flora and fauna as well as Astronomy. The Bus was clean and comfortable. The meal, ok. A very nice group of people and an amazingly star filled night. I highly suggest going on the new moon. An experience to remember!

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

Carrie U

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2016

The view at the top was amazing. The stargazing afterwards was very cool as well. The ride to and from could have been better. It was a nice van, however, I was under the impression that there would only be 12 in the group. There were 14 so we were packed in like sardines which resulted in an unpleasant ride. The food was just ok, nothing spectacular. The guide was great, as well as the brownies. Overall it was a good trip, but just wasnt happy with the ride.

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

Bobr

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2016

Being able to see so many stars at night it was a new moon meaning ZERO moon light, and Mars, the stripes on Jupiter and its moons as well as the rings of Saturn made the trip amazing. For the price it cost, I would have expected more than a driver and Ramen noodle cup-o-soup. Our driver stayed in the car at the summit and when visiting the visitor center on the way up and the way down. She was friendly but customer service was minimal. This is an incredible experience and I am glad I did it, but it might be worth comparison shopping and seeing what is included. Or, if you are experienced with steep grade driving, taking a truck up there yourself.

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

aldrich

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

not impress by the tour. quite lousy food provided. it is better you bring your own food. they only provide instant cup noodle. caught sun set but didn't manage to see the stars maybe is why it was rather disappointing. better to check the weather before booking for the trip. overall is ok. view is great but it could be better in the food department.

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

Robyn W

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2016

We were very disappointed with this tour. The tour guide was a very inexperience driver and struggled driving up the mountain on the treacherous road. She used a paying passenger to assist navigating the steep road and sheer edges. At times she said she couldn't see the road due to the sun setting and at other times drove on the wrong side of the road. She asked us to google what time the sunset was as it was already setting en route. Dinner was a loaf of uncut bread handed around and a packed of dried soup. The jackets provided were just hooded jumpers and not arctic quality in any way. After viewing the sunset we returned to the Information Centre. She didn't get out of the car as she told us she hated the cold and left us to line up at the free telescopes provided by the Information Centre not by the tour. We got to have one viewing only and saw one planet only before returning down the mountain again with a very inexperienced driver struggling to again make the trip. We had expected a tour guide - but when asking her questions - she handed us a travel book on the mountain. We paid a lot of money for a taxi drive up the mountain - we had wanted an informative tour guide. We would not recommend using this company when there are so many other companies offering a similar trip. We felt extremely unsafe on the drive up/down the mountain. Our thanks go to the paying customer who continually reassured our driver she would be ok.

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

Hannah K

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2016

One star for the ride to the summit..!?!!
Not worth the money at all and it was just very expensive ride to the summit, inedible and #34;dinner and #34; that was given an hour after picking us up in a very disgusting haunted place. This was a total rip-off. Drive up there yourself.

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

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

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