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Mauna Kea tour?

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by DaveNW, May 15, 2018.

  1. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I'm exploring options for a ride up Mauna Kea during our trip to the Big Island. A quick Google search found a company (https://maunakea.com) that claims to be the best, longest history, and so forth. They take you up the mountain, feed you dinner, provide a big coat, sunset, stargazing, then drive you back down. Looks to be a nice way to spend eight or so hours. A bit spendy, but if no trouble for the guests, might be fun.

    Has anybody done this sort of thing? Can you recommend a specific company for it? I don't want to drive this time, so I can relax and enjoy the scenery. What can you tell me about the experience?

    Dave
     
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  2. slip

    slip TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I’ll be watching this for our next trip to the Big Island.
     
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  3. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Anybody?
     
  4. canesfan

    canesfan TUG Member

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    Let me research my records. We used someone who does private tours in 2016. I highly recommend him. I’m out of town right now, I’ll be back the weekend.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks. I checked the website for the company I linked above, and they only have a few dates left for the week we'll be there. Do you think it might have been these folks? We leave for Maui on Saturday, and will be on the Big Island the week after.

    Dave
     
  6. djyamyam

    djyamyam TUG Member

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    I've used this company a couple times in the past for the times when I didn't drive up myself. They do a good job. They pick up in Kona and make a stop in Waikoloa to pick up there as well. The jackets and cold weather gear works well. Food's ok. They do a good job of explaining and giving you time to acclimatize at the visitor center before heading up to the top. You get there with plenty of time to get a good spot. When they come back down, the avoid the masses at the observatory and set up their telescopes in a private spot away so you get your own explanations, etc. If I remember correctly, you get a slight discount booking online but they do book up quite a bit in advance.

    I'd recommend this company

    I've driven up in good weather and bad weather. I'd say that in bad weather or if they've had snow recently, go with the tour. The rental vehicles are hit and miss with their condition. We had an SUV last year, had good weather and our vehicle still overheated just as we got to the visitor center parking lot (actually had a small fire in the motor and had to take a cab back down). I always take a look at the tread on the tires and wonder what shape the brakes are in because you don't know if the people driving it previously have just ridden the brakes all the way down or actually geared down
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  7. Xan

    Xan TUG Member

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    My hubby and I did this several years ago. I would go back in a heartbeat! Loved it. Hubby had a little issue with the altitude on the way back down, but the driver carries oxygen.
    Even though they supply the parka and gloves, I came prepared with earmuffs, gloves and a scarf, since we stayed a few nights in Volcanoes National Park at the military recreation cabins, and it gets very cold and windy when the sun goes down. (Don’t know when they are going to reopen the park.)
    The tour guide we had was very informative. I recommend the tour to everyone. Be prepared for that to take up your whole day & night.
    My camera became real slow at the summit, and it only went down to 32 degrees.
    Go for it and enjoy!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks. I don’t want the hassle of driving up, so the tour idea seems better. We’ll actually have our own coats, because we’ll be on Maui the week before, and we’re going to Haleakala for the sunrise. Since we’ll have cold weather gear, it seems like a good time to do Mauna Kea too. :)

    Dave
     
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  9. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Mauna Kea in the mid day th3n swimming at the beach.
     
  10. Deb from NC

    Deb from NC TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We also did this in December of 2016. We thoroughly enjoyed it as well.
    The tour guide was excellent, and we stopped for photos several times on the way up. It did take up our whole day, but it was time and money well spent...a once in a lifetime adventure! I would definitely do it!


     
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  11. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We changed our plans and are not going to the Big Island this trip. We’ll do Mauna Kea another time.

    Dave
     
  12. slip

    slip TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Maui for two weeks?
     
  13. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Nope. I snagged a rental at Kauai Beach Villas for a week instead. Switched a few things around, and now we fly from Maui to Kauai, then back to Seattle. We’ll save the Big Island for a quieter time.

    Dave
     
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  14. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    I wish we could be in the Waikoloa area of the BI. But then I can be a bit weird at times.
     
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  15. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I'm hearing from people who live on the Big Island that the VOG is very bad, even up in Kona, and people are being advised to stay indoors with windows closed. Considering that much of the south/east parts of the island are basically closed, it just didn't sound like a lot of fun. It means the crowds that would be dispersed around the island are going to be concentrated on the west/north sides. Not a good situation for a peaceful vacation. So this time around, Kauai makes better sense. We've been to the Big Island before, so it's all good. :thumbup:

    Dave
     
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