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Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Melbourne, Australia
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Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

What is the best way to go to the MKO without a 4WD. Hiring a car whilst on the Big Island (Dodge Avenger) and just see now that it's not possible to go to the observatory without a 4WD.

Any suggestions?

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Do you mean the summit? The observatories at the summit are not open to the public and it closes at sunset. If you want to drive to the summit you need a 4wd and only Harpers allows their rentals to go up. If you just want to go to the visitors center you don't need a 4wd.

Canada
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2. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Best practice would be an organized tour. Warm outerwear is provided , snacks, pick-up/drop-off....leave the driving to them, plus a rather informative commentary.

http://www.maunakea.com/details.htm

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Thanks Shea. I guess I'll settle for the visitors centre then.

Have 4 days in Hilo, just trying to work out what to see on that side of the island.

Canada
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4. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Mauna Kea VIS is best accessed when staying on the West side.

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Vanessa,

The Top Questions on the right side have one for Mauna Kea (two really), full of information on all this. Hope you will take time to read up and follow the link to "Visiting Mauna Kea" page by Univ. of Hawaiʻi.

Agree, go from the west side, dangerous drive from east side.

focus on true east side sights while in Hilo.

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

Right, visit the VIS or take a tour but from the west side.

Four days on the east side, I'd devote approximately one full day to VNP, one day to the rest of Puna including the Kalapana lava hike, a day to Hilo, and one day to the Hamakua coast.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

That's the plan Shea, thanks :)

Will look into the aforementioned links.

Mahalo.

8. Re: Mauna Kea Observatory...without a 4WD?

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