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Address: 73-4485 Kahilihili St., Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
Phone Number: +1 808-329-8073
09:00 - 13:00
Closed now
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Mon - Fri 09:00 - 13:00

See the future now with Friends of NELHA and experience a fascinating tour...

See the future now with Friends of NELHA and experience a fascinating tour of Hawaii Ocean Science Technology Park near Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. FON tours showcase the development of renewable energy resources and uses of cold deep seawater and warm surface seawater in innovative aquaculture and mariculture activities and much more. This is a one-of-kind science and technology site in the world, an exciting learning experience and a must-see stop on the Big Island. FON offers public presentations and tours of selected NELHA energy and aquaculture projects Monday through Friday at 10 am, excluding holidays. Reservations are required for Friday's Grand Tour. Friends of NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority) is a nonprofit organization providing education and outreach in support of sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 73 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 41
  • 13
    Very good
  • 5
  • 6
  • 3
Very educational and interesting

We took a deluxe tour which included the fish farm, the abalone farm and a lecture and tour on energy production using the temperature differential between the cold and warm... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 22 July 2016
San Diego, California
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73 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 68: English reviews
Fife, Washington
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went on the Sustainable Aquaculture Tour. Very educational and interesting. Have recommended as a must do when visiting Big Island.

Thank maripoulin
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
88 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

This facility is so advanced and educational ,this place needs to be visited by everyone, The tour consisted of a lecture first by the talented and knowlegable Excecutive Director Candee Ellsworth, she truly has a passion for the research that is going on here. The building that we were in during the lecture was totally Solar Energy, as she explained... More 

Allen, Texas
Level Contributor
242 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

The Hawaii government is funding this research facility. The executive director of the Friends of Nelha is Candee Ellsworth. This is a non-profit organization that has been set up to tell the story of how conservation in the 21st century is going to happen. The tour takes a little over 2.5 hours and is time well spent. The research facility... More 

Thank plschilt
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2016

We took a deluxe tour which included the fish farm, the abalone farm and a lecture and tour on energy production using the temperature differential between the cold and warm waters off the coast. I was fascinated by the fish farming particualy, how you build and tests farms, benefits and drawbacks of various techniques and specifics for sustainable farming. We... More 

Thank SoccerplayingMDmom
Southern California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2016

Our tour began with a lecture by our well informed docent Martha. The research taking place at NELHA is exciting and promising. We visited three sites after the time at the center. We saw the abalone farm that is raising and selling abalone. We also visited a fish hatchery. The rate of growth and excellence in quality is amazing. They... More 

Thank Rileymydog
Haymarket, Virginia
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2016 via mobile

We went on the Friends of NEHLA tour today and learned so much! The visitor's center is LEED Platinum certified and an amazing example of how to harness natural energy. The Guide is clearly passionate about the facility and the tenets on the property. Her enthusiasm helped keep my teenager (and the other younger children there) engaged. Although she is... More 

Thank seifert12
Level Contributor
91 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2016 via mobile

A couple of years ago we did the basic tour. This year we added the octopus and abalone farm portions. The price at first seemed a bit high, until we realized that our fee helped to support the various ventures. The technology is amazing. The lecture room itself is an example of what can be done without consuming fossil fuels.... More 

Thank Mark672
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2016

Computer inadvertently let me book tour on a day closed for a middle school tour group. Candee accomodated me on tour with option to cancel and get refund. Missed part of lecture portion because started earlier than normal tour, but covered all aspects of center. Do not know if this was part of normal tour; Toured ocean energy technology being... More 

Thank Carl F
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2016

Comfortable auditorium with an excellent opportunity to view monk seals being rehabilitated and an opportunity to mingle with ocean scientists.

Thank pam892
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2016 via mobile

Candee Ellsworth gave us a great presentation and tour of the NELHA facility and then a tour of the Octopus farm. She's so knowledgeable and the tour is a real bargain. We learned a lot and are impressed by the scientists working to make us energy independent and our seafood sustainable. Probably not for young children but school age children... More 

Thank Jill M

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Friends of NELHA and other visitors
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over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?