There’s no lie-in today as the sunrise waits for no one. It’s time to literally ‘carpe diem’ and meet your private driver-guide at your resort, before the drive to Mauna Kea which will take about an hour. When you arrive here, you’ll be dropped off at the visitor’s centre for a warming cup of Kona coffee. Make the most of it and start putting on your layers. You’re leaving your vehicle behind here and entering a dark, much colder environment where snow is common, and a chilly breeze is inevitable – though the treasure at the end is well worth it.
Quite unexpectedly as you concentrate on your hike, the pitch black of the night breaks. There is a hint of horizon off to the east. This is where your rewards begin. The revered Polynesian god rises from the sea, bringing with it a constant kaleidoscope of colour. This is an ideal first photo stop.
Make your way to the Onizuka visitor’s centre for breakfast and a short sit down. You’ll then have time to visit the nearby Mauna Kea silversword enclosure. Silversword is a highly endangered flowering plant native to the island of Hawaii. Years ago, Mauna Kea was covered in silversword, like a scattering of millions of little pearls.
After you’ve taken as many photos as you want, head back to your car and driver and hear traditional Hawaiian stories on the journey back to your resort. When you arrive, you’ll have some leisure time to relax and reflect.
This is a morning experience and requires a very early start. Please ensure to dress appropriately.