Day trip

MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

4.3 / 5

21 reviews

MaunaKea Stellar Explorer From Kona

From US$ 239.79 per person

For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer. This thrilling adventure features nighttime astronomical observing as well as safe daytime solar viewing, with all ages welcome.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 6 hours
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Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Small group
Limited to 13 participants


  • Enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Experience daytime solar viewing
  • Look through telescopes that are incredible for viewing the night sky
Full description

For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Maunakea Stellar Explorer. The in-house stellar explorers are the best and most experienced in Hawaii, with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade.

Staff have written noted articles and reviews for well-known astronomy magazines and have worked at world-class observatories. Next, you’ll travel across Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the tallest and most massive volcanoes on Earth.

Your National Park Service trained guide will discuss the volcanology, geology, and history of these monstrous wonders, as well as providing in-depth narration on the various lava flows and flora and fauna that you’ll be passing by.

While you’re taking in the breathtaking terrestrial views, your guide will prepare some heavenly views just as stunning.

Setting up a state of the art solar telescope for your viewing pleasure, your specially trained guide will let you safely watch the sun come alive in true color with vibrant solar flares, sunspots, prominences, and any other current activity, weather permitting. Lastly, your guide will take you to one of the preferred locations on Mauna Kea for nighttime stargazing. You’ll observe deep sky and planetary objects through a large aperture Dobsonian telescope under one of the darkest and most pristine skies on planet Earth.

The Dobsonian telescopes are a true purist’s experience to view the night sky. Their fast focal ratio enables you to see sprawling wide field views of objects that simply aren’t possible with the types of telescopes used by other tours.

Depending on what is visible in the current sky and weather permitting, you’ll observe galaxies, nebula, star clusters, planets, double star systems, the moon, and much more; all the highlights and showpiece objects like you’ve never seen before. 

  • All entrance fees
  • Dinner
  • All telescope equipment
    Covid-19 precautions
    Safety measures in place
    • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
    • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
    Traveler requirements
    • You are required to bring and wear a mask
    • You will receive a mandatory temperature check

    Select participants and date



    Prepare for the activity

    Important information

    Not allowed

    • Open-toed shoes

    Know before you go

    • Must wear closed toe shoes
    • Wear long pants and a jacket
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.3 /5

    based on 21 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Transportation
    • Value for money
    • Safety

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    It was a really nice excursion. We drove past the military training grounds and ate some delicious sandwiches. Then we went searching for a spot to see some good stars. Unfortunately we had a lot of cloud cover and was not able to see any galaxies, but Crystal was such a lovely tour guide and we had a wonderful time.

    May 24, 2021

    We loved our stargazing experience! Rich was an excellent guide and picked us up at our AirBnB in Kona. On the drive to Mauna Kea we learned so much about Hawaiian culture and about life on the big island. There were just two of us on the tour so we got a very personal experience! Once at the site, Rich set up the telescope and was able to point out so many constellations... up to 6,500 stars are visible and this was most I've seen in my life by far. It truly was a magical tour! Highly recommended!!

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    February 13, 2021

    Our guide was professional, friendly and knowledgeable. He did everything he could to make star gazing on a full moon night interesting. However I definitely wouldn’t recommend going on any night near a full moon. It would be nice to offer a small discount for the altered viewing location because of the observatory protests. Another suggestion: list your “star gazing” activity as a “full moon viewing” on nights on and around a full moon so your customers are aware when they book weeks or months in advance. Especially while the protesters are keeping you from taking people to your normal location.

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    November 13, 2019

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    Product ID: 206439