For an out-of-this-world experience, check out this Maunakea Stellar Explorer. This thrilling adventure is the only Big Island star tour to feature nighttime astronomical observing AND safe daytime solar viewing with all ages welcome!
Our expert tour guides are the best and most experienced in Hawaii with one having created the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center and operated it for a decade.
Kona Transportation is available for this tour!
The adventure starts with 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.
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.
Lastly, your guide will take you to one of our 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! Our 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!
Afterwards, warm up with 100% Kona coffee, hot chocolate, and a delicious dessert from our local artisan baker before returning to your resort. Warm jackets provided. This tour does not visit Maunakea’s summit out of deference to Native Hawaiian concerns.
Deli Style picnic dinner also included.
We use the best astronomical equipment available on all of our Maunakea Stellar Explorer tours. See the night sky like never before with a large aperture 10 inch Dobsonian mounted telescope, ultra-wide field Televue and Explore Scientific brand eyepieces, and premium narrowband nebula filters. These high quality astronomical equipment is perfect for viewing the night sky. We also provide a state of the art Coronado SolarMax 60 hydrogen-alpha solar telescope for safe views of the sun and its surface detail which may include sunspots, solar flares, and prominences.
- Waikoloa and Kona Transportation Included
Guests must cancel tour no less than 24 hours before tour departure for a full refund less 10% of the total booked amount. Molten lava will not be seen. Volcanic activity changes constantly and cannot be guaranteed. Comfortable walking shoes required. We’re happy to accommodate special dietary needs and restrictions, including children’s meals, with advance notice. Order of itinerary may change. Tour runs rain or shine.