Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive Hawaii Forest and Trail

Hawaii Forest & Trail - Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive

The English translation of Hakalau is “many perches.” The Hakalau Wildlife Refuge was established in 1985 to manage and protect Hawaii’s endangered wildlife and their rainforest habitats. Hakalau Forest encompasses 32,733 acres and is located on the windward slope of Mauna Kea supporting a variety of endemic species of plants and birds. Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Adventure Hawaii Forest and Trail is a tour full of fascinating culture, nature, and geology history. Buzz Hawaii will reserve this Big Island Eco-Tour and Big Island Activities with discounted prices.

The drive to the Hakalau Wildlife Refuge consists of heading to Mamalahoa Highway and then driving north towards Waimea and Saddle Road. Have your camera ready for some car-birding opportunities. Look for the Pueo, the Hawaiian Short-eared Owl, and game birds. Our first stop will be on Saddle Road for a continental breakfast of bread, fresh fruit, pound cake, Kona coffee, juice, or a choice of tea. After breakfast we will follow the unpaved Keanakolu Road for eleven miles to the Akala Pua tract of the refuge. The two and a half hour drive will go quickly with beautiful scenery to view and the guided tour by your naturalist pointing out splendid sites, and sharing natural and geologic history. You will not be disappointed on this Big Island Tour.

Ride along in comfort in brand new,  9 passenger Mercedes Sprinter vans with leather captain seats and usb ports.

The refuge was once part of a large cattle ranch and evolved to become the first National Wildlife Refuge in the United States. You will find some of the rarest plants and animals living in the Hakalau Wildlife Refuge. The lower vegetation terrain of the Hawaii Mountains contains some of the rarest remaining native montane rainforest on the Big Island. This Big Island Eco-Tour through the fascinating Hakalau Wildlife Refuge is a fine example of conservation in action. In the late 1700’s following the Polynesians’ arrival in Hawaii the lowland habitat was degraded by the release of grazing cattle, goats, and wild pigs into the forests. Hundreds of competitive alien plants, animals, grasses, and insects were also introduced resulting in the replacement of Hawaiian plants. With hard work, those that have contributed to the Hakalau Wildlife have watched their efforts pay off. It is great to see endemic plants sprouting through the old cattle pasture grass. The Big Island Eco-Tour guide will take you to see ferns, giant Koa trees, thousands of year old Ohia-lehua trees, and rare Lobeliads are just some of the fascinating foliage you will encounter. Listen for the sounds of rare birds as you walk along the Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Trail. Hikes of varying lengths will be offered by our biologists and staff members who are very knowledgeable with Hawaii’s native flora and fauna. Weed control projects, cultural resource protection, and tree-planting efforts will be pointed out to you.

Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Adventure Hawaii Forest and Trail is a twelve hour roundtrip tour. Ages 12 and up are suitable for these Big Island Activities. The tour includes: Mid-morning snack with fresh fruit, Kona coffee, Tazo Teas, pastries, deli lunch, beverages, bottled water, binoculars, daypacks, warm wear, raingear, and a walking stick. Here is a map of the Big Island of Hawaii for you to view where the different Hawaii Forest and Trail guided tours are offered as well as directions to meeting places.

Lunch Menu: Choice of  Turkey, Ham, Tuna OR Garden Fresh Veggie Sandwich, Sweet Potato Chips and Dessert.

Tour Highlights:

  • Entry into a restricted-access National Wildlife Refuge
  • Birdwatching in the Hakalau forest led by one of their most experienced bird guides – a critical bird habitat that is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species on earth
  • Special permit to access the Pua Akala tract is included
  • Travel in comfort in brand new Mercedes Sprinters that seat 9 passengers with leather captains chairs and usb ports.
Tour Inclusions:
  • Breakfast snack
  • Deli-style lunch (choice of turkey, ham, pastrami or veggie sandwich)
  • Assorted beverages
  • Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs and rain ponchos are provided
 Big Island AttractionsHakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching
 Big Island ToursNative Birds
 Hawaii ActivitiesBirdwatching Adventure
 Buzz Hawaii Hakalau Forest
Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive Hawaii Forest and TrailMap
Where and When:
Departure time usually at 6:30 am. Sometimes the departure time is slightly different based on the restricted-access permits gained for the tour. Exact time for your tour will be emailed to you.

Departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters
73-5593A Olowalu St.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 (View Map)

Please bring your own water bottle for use on tour. Water bottles are available for purchase at Hawaii Forest and Trail and a jug will be available for refills.
Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet, or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply. Must be 8+ years old.
Special Notes:
Operation Days:
Approx. 11-12 hours roundtrip
Hawaii Forest and Trail
Big Island
Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs and rain ponchos are provided.
Total : $0.00

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