Head to the Mauna Kea Observatory, nestled high in the mountains of the Big Island, and experience an intriguing and provocative journey through space and time. Discover Hawaii from the top of the island's tallest peak, Mauna Kea, also known as 'White Mountain,' located 13,796 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level. Limited to 28 people, this small-group star-watching tour ensures a personalized and unique experience at the enchanting Mauna Kea summit.
View a spectacular sunset from the top of Mauna Kea and enjoy a unique stargazing experience on this Big Island adventure tour. After departing from Hawaii Forest & Trail's Kona Headquarters and a brief pickup from the Queens' MarketPlace in Waikoloa, you'll travel to a Hawaiian historical ranch in a 4x4 luxury van at the base of Mauna Kea.
Enjoy a hot, picnic-style dinner (see sample menu in the Itinerary section below) at a former Hawaiian ranch site where you're provided with a warm, hooded parka. Then prepare to make the climb to the summit area of Mauna Kea, learning about the Big Island's cultural, natural and ecological history from your naturalist guide.
From the summit, enjoy views of Mauna Loa and see Maui's volcano, Haleakala, along with other special points of interest. Stand among some of the earth's most powerful telescopes as you enjoy the sunset view.
After sunset, travel to the Mauna Kea Visitor Station at 9,000 feet (2,743 meters), where your guide sets up a telescope for a personal, entertaining and educational star party. Learn how Mauna Kea's unique geography draws scientists from all over the world to study the heavens, and also allows for incredible nighttime views of the stars.
Enjoy hot beverages and dessert as your guide gives a personal astronomy lesson before your return to Kona.