More about this activity
The Mauna Kea stargazing tour adventure begins with a unique solar viewing experience. Accompanied by a trained guide, peer through a solar telescope to observe our sun in a fashion few get to see. Depending on the weather, guests will have the chance to see solar flares, sunspots, and more. This tour is the only stargazing experience on the Big Island that boasts daytime solar viewing!
Post solar viewing, this tour travels between the monstrous peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa via Saddle Road before reaching the stargazing site on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Using a large aperture Dobsonian telescope, you’ll view the deep sky and planetary objects, as well as the moon, galaxies, nebula, planets, and much more (weather permitting).
The tour guides and staff aboard this tour are some of the most experienced in the state in the astronomical field, one of which developed the Mauna Kea Visitor Center and operated it for ten years. Other staff members have worked at astronomy centers and written articles and reviews for astronomy magazines. A National Park Service-trained guide is also aboard every tour to detail the fascinating history, geology, and volcanology of Hawaii’s volcanos, as well as explain the flora and fauna found in this otherworldly area.
Mauna Kea reaches nearly 14,000 feet, and while this tour doesn’t visit the summit, the temperature on the slopes can still be frigid. Warm jackets are provided, as well as hot chocolate and 100% Kona coffee. A deli-style picnic dinner and a tasty dessert from a local baker are also included.
Kona • Waikoloa • Kohala
Mauna Kea Stargazing Photos
So, you don’t actually see stars. You see entire GALAXIES! I’ve never seen the night sky so clear in my life. Not even close, and I’ve been to forests and natural areas to camp. This was particularly impressive because of the broad and fascinating knowledge shared by our guide. Even if they hadn’t had telescope it would be amazing, but seeing everything close up brought us closer to the heavens!