Saltwater Soul
Kailua Kona

T: 808.493.9310

75-5707 Ali'i Drive Suite B
Kailua Kona HI 96740

T: 808.493.9310

Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive

Hakalau is home to some of the world’s rarest plants and animals. We focus on Hawaii’s endemic flora, fauna, and search for rare birds.

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Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive

Nestled high above the island’s shoreline, the dense rainforest of Hakalau is home to some of the world’s rarest plants and animals. Join us as we focus on the incredible history of Hawaii’s endemic flora and fauna, and search for rare birds. Great for birdwatchers and nature lovers.


Gain entry into a restricted-access National Wildlife Refuge. Discover rare native plants and animals, including carnivorous caterpillars and happy-faced spiders.

Search for native & endangered birds including Amakihi, Apapane, Elepaio, Akepa, Akiapolaau, and Iiwi. Our interpretive guides are expert bird trackers.

Around 11 to 12 hours.


Group Size
Max 10

Departures are dependent on the availability of restricted-access permits. Departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Kona Headquarters, Queen’s Marketplace at Waikoloa Beach Resort, and the Waikoloa Plaza.

What’s Included
Deli-style lunch with assorted beverages.

Gear Provided
Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, and rain jackets.

What to Bring & Wear
Sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, a light rain jacket, and a reusable water bottle.

Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet, or muddy conditions. Please note the Refuge access road can be rough & bumpy, and requires 4WD. Due to the possible rough road conditions, this tour may not be suitable for those guests who have neck or back issues or those who are prone to motion sickness. Other tour restrictions may apply.


How much hiking do we do?

Expect to cover approximately 2 to 4 miles in 4 hours

Is there elevation gain?

Over the course of the hike the elevation change is approximately 650’

Is it possible to use a spotting scope?

Due to the behavior of Hawaii’s endemic birds, the use of a spotting scope can be challenging. If you feel up to the test, we do encourage you to bring your own birdwatching gear. We do provide binoculars on the tour for guest use

Is it possible to get photos of the birds?

Typically, there are many opportunities for a determined photographer to photograph birds along the way

How is the drive to Refuge?

The first part of the drive is on paved roadways. However, the second half of the drive on the Wildlife Access road takes place on a dirt road that is rough, muddy, and can be very bumpy.

Cancellation Policy

  • Guests will receive a full refund with 24 hours’ notice of cancellation.
  • Private tours: Customers will receive a full refund with 72 hours notice of cancellation.

Cancellations within the cancellation period and “no-shows” will be charged the FULL AMOUNT of the tour.