Stargazing Tours (Outdoor Adventures), Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com
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Stargazing Tours
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If you enjoy looking at the stars, a visit to the Big Island is not complete without stargazing at Mauna Kea through a powerful telescope. Stargazing is one of the top things to do on the Big Island and it should be on everyone’s Hawaii bucket list. Big Island is home to some of the best stargazing conditions in the world. The elevation and isolated location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean allow you to see the starry night sky more clearly than you have ever seen.

From the slopes of Mauna Kea to the summit, there are incredible sites for viewing the night sky that is sure to leave you in awe. Hawaii Activities has a selection of Hawaii’s most popular stargazing tours on Big Island. Find great deals and discounts on the best Hawaii stargazing experiences departing from Kona, Waikoloa, and Hilo. Book early as they sell out quickly!


Frequently Asked Questions


Where can you stargaze in Hawaii?

Mauna Kea is a premier location to view the stars. The high altitude, the geographic location, and the lack of light pollution create perfect conditions for astronomical observation. There are several different types of stargazing tours in Hawaii, and all the options provide excellent opportunities to observe the Milky Way, planets, galaxies, nebula, and the moon.

The most popular tours are operated by Hawaii Forest & Trail and Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. They are the only tours licensed to take guests to watch the sunset at the summit of Mauna Kea and do stargazing at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. We recommend making reservations at least 2-3 weeks in advance since they sell out quickly.


What are the advantages of doing a stargazing tour on the slopes of Mauna Kea compared to at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center?

Here are some advantages of stargazing from the slopes of Mauna Kea compared to the visitor center near the summit:

• Family Friendly - Due to lower altitude, kids younger than 16 years old can join the tour.

• More Affordable & Easier to Find Last Minute Availability.

• Premier Location - Secluded spots on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

• Small Group Tours - Skip the crowds of Mauna Kea Visitor Center.


Wasabi Tours, Kapohokine Adventures, and Epic Tours have the best tours to stargazing on the Big Island:

Kapohokine Mauna Kea Stellar Explorer combines both daytime solar viewing and nighttime astronomical observing. It is also the most family friendly stargazing tour in regards to age restrictions.

Epic Tours Mauna Kea - A Mars and Stars Photo Experience and Wasabi Tours Sunset & Astro Photo Tour specializes in night photography and the guides are also astro-photographer experts. You can learn how to take memorable pictures of the Milky Way.


Do you have any tours that combine a Volcano Sightseeing and Stargazing on the same day?

Kailani Tours Deluxe Volcano Tour & Stargazing and Wasabi Tours Twilight Volcano & Stargazing Tour are two great options that will take you to explore Volcanoes National Park top attractions and the recent 2018 eruptions sights. At the end of the tour, they stop along Saddle Road for a 20 - 30 minute stargazing experience with telescopes.


When is the best time to go on a stargazing tour?

Stargazing is great year-round in Hawaii, although weather can be unpredictable. For the most superb conditions, try and book your tour for a New Moon night (moonless night). Try using a lunar calendar to select your tour date and book as early in advance as possible to get the best tour.


Can we go into the observatories at the Mauna Kea summit?

The Mauna Kea observatories are used exclusively for Astro scientific research, especially at night, and are rarely open to the general public. However, if you choose to go on one of the summit sunset or sunrise tours, you’ll have some free time to walk around and see the massive observatories from the outside. Just after the sunset you can also watch the domes of the observatories open and rotate as the astronomers inside are setting the telescopes for their research.

Top-Rated Activities for Big Island

Latest reviews of Stargazing Tours

Sunset and Stargazing Tour

2021/07/13 Families ElizD318

My husband and I, our 4 adult children, and their significant others had a wonderful time on the Mauna Kea Stargazing and Summit Tour. Everyone even liked the dinner.
Maka was a great guide. He picked us up promptly a... more

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Amazing night!

2021/07/12 Families Monica

This was by far one of the best things I’ve ever done. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I was given the chance.

Amazing!

2021/07/08 Friends Shalini Banerjee

This was the perfect ending to our Hawaii trip. It was awesome and the trip exceeded all our expectations. New even got to see Saturn and the entire thing was on time and perfect.

Great way to see the sunset atop Mauna Kea and stargaze next to the welcome center!

2021/06/13 Couples Nicole W

Gabe, our tour guide, was funny, patient and very knowledgeable! It’s a long drive there picking up all attendees and up the mountain. He did a great job sharing interesting facts and keeping us engaged throughout the to... more

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Kids Loved It and Adults Too!

2021/06/09 Families Tom P.

This was such an awe-inspiring tour! My kids ages 10,12, 15, and 17 were super excited after seeing this and after our entire Hawaii trip thought this was the best event we did. The guide, James, was so knowledgeable an... more

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Unique and wonderful experience!!

2021/05/24 Couples Debbie

The Mauna Kea summit tour was a definite highlight of our trip to Hawaii. The ride up the mountain in the van was beautiful and rugged. Our guide was very thorough and attentive to the needs of the group. He was exceptio... more

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Stargazing Tours (Outdoor Adventures), Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com
If you enjoy looking at the stars, a visit to the Big Island is not complete without stargazing at Mauna Kea through a powerful telescope. Stargazing is one of the top things to do on the Big Island and it should be on everyone’s Hawaii bucket list. Big Island is home to some of the best stargazing conditions in the world. The elevation and isolated location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean allow you to see the starry night sky more clearly than you have ever seen.