Stargazing Tours (Outdoor Adventures), Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com

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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.

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    Availability varies by date for all activities.

  1. No.1
    Journey to the highest peak in Hawaii for a spectacular sunset and stargazing tour with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. Watch a Mauna Kea sunset from the summit then marvel at the stars and planets through professional telescopes!
    Pick-up Provided
    Meal Provided

    From USD226.00

    Daily
    4.5 - 8.5 hour(s) (afternoon)
  2. No.2
    Embark on the only stargazing tour in Hawaii that features nighttime astronomical observing on the slopes of Mauna Kea & daytime solar viewing. The most family-friendly stargazing tour, all ages are welcome! Tour departs from Kona and Hilo.
    Pick-up Provided
    Meal Provided

    From USD218.84

    Sun, Tue, Thu, Sat
    6 - 7.5 hour(s) (afternoon, evening)
  3. No.3
    On this Mauna Kea sunset and stargazing tour you’ll get to view the stars and sunset from above the clouds, at the summit of a volcano! After a beautiful sunset, prepare to be amazed as the night sky lights up with thousands of glittering stars.
    Pick-up Provided
    Meal Provided

    USD235.60

    Daily
    5 - 9 hour(s) (afternoon)
  4. Witness the beauty of a land transformed on this luxury Volcano Tour! Enjoy exclusive access of Fissure 8 & Leilani Estates, the most active site of the 2018 Kilauea eruption before exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park! Catered lunch included
    Pick-up Provided
    Meal Provided
    Accessible

    From USD260.73

    Daily
    9.5 - 12.5 hour(s) (morning)
  5. Visit one of the best stargazing locations in Hawaii to enjoy a unique star show with free photos taken of you and the brilliant night sky. This Mauna Kea stargazing tour takes you to an exclusive location right next to a NASA observatory!

    USD220.00

    Daily
    2 hour(s) (evening)
  6. Volcanoes National Park is now open! Stop at a local coffee farm, visit a black sand beach and explore the new features of the park. Heading back, enjoy for a mesmerizing stargazing experience.
    Pick-up Provided
    Meal Provided

    USD208.38

    Daily
    11 - 13.5 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)
  7. Discover the best hidden spots for sunset and astrophotography in Hawaii! Visit Pololu Valley, Hawi & Lapakahi State Park. Capture a spectacular sunset on the scenic Kohala mountains & stargaze at a secluded location for stunning night sky photos.
    Pick-up Provided

    USD197.91

    Tue, Thu
    7 - 9 hour(s) (afternoon)
  8. Departing from the wee hours of the evening, see views of Mauna Kea that have rarely been witnessed as you look up into the sky for the best stargazing tour on the Big Island, and then watch as the sky comes alive with a beautiful Hawaiian sunrise.
    Pick-up Provided
    Accessible

    USD200.00

    Mon, Wed, Fri
    6.5 - 9.5 hour(s) (night)
  9. Witness the majesty of the active Kilauea Volcano and the sparkling wonder of stargazing high atop Mauna Kea, all in one exciting tour where you will experience the best that the Big Island has to offer. Includes stops at Rainbow Falls, and more!
    Pick-up Provided
    Meal Provided
    Accessible

    USD170.00

    Daily
    9.5 - 14 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)

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