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Maunakea Summit & Stars Adventure

Your journey from sea level to the nearly 14,000 foot summit of Maunakea reveals the wonders and world-class clarity of the Hawaiian night sky. It is no surprise that eight different nations choose to base their primary astronomical observation programmes on the incredible mountain of Mauna Kea.

Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain, rising over 32,000 feet in total from the ocean floor to its summit, and is considered by many Hawaiians to be the most sacred place on all of the islands.

One thing for sure, you will never forget the drive to the top of Mauna Kea and it’s hard to believe you’re still in Hawaii as you climb to 13,796 feet above sea level!

Starting out from the tour organisers headquarters in Kona, you will travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea.

Turning onto the Saddle Road that traverses the island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, you’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub-alpine dryforest and rainforest (with striking features such as cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes and kipuka).

You'll arrive at a private dinner location in Humuula approximately 2 hours before sunset for a hot, picnic dinner served family style, after which, with a winter-style warm parka in hand, you’ll make the 45 minute drive to the summit. As your make your way up, you’ll be fascinated by your guide’s interpretation of Hawaii’s remarkable natural, cultural, and geologic history.

Once at the summit you are afforded spectacular views of the horizon, Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Loa and Hualalai, and Mauna Kea’s world-class array of telescopes. You’ll stand in awe at both nature’s sublime creation and man’s astonishing technological achievements.

After sunset you descend to the Visitor’s Information Station at 9,000 foot elevation and will get chance to try some star gazing through a telescope. Marvel at the brilliance of the Hawaiian night sky and enjoy hot beverages and cookies, as your guide shares stories of the observable universe.

Experience Includes

  • Unforgettable visit to the summit of Mauna Kea.
  • Enjoy a private stargazing show through telescope
  • Experienced guide throughout.
  • Picnic-style dinner
  • Use of a hooded parka and warm gloves.
  • Small group tour - groups are a maximum of 14 persons for a more personalised experience.

Experience Excludes

  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Optional gratuities

Departs

Daily, weather permitting.

Departure location

Kona and Waikoloa.

Start times

Varies depending on the time for year from 1.30pm to 4.00pm. The exact time will be confirmed on your documentation.

Duration

Approximately 8 hours.

Terms & Conditions

  • Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions.
  • Because of high altitude this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy or poor health.
  • Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers.
  • The access road to Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. The custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort.
  • Snow is seasonal at Mauna Kea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months.
  • We recommend that guests wear closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots, long pants and bring a light sweatshirt or jacket.
  • No children under 16.
  • Itinerary subject to change.