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Address: 73-4485 Kahilihili St., Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
Phone Number:
+1 808-329-8073
See all hours
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 81 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 45
  • 17
    Very good
  • 5
  • 6
  • 3
Informative and interesting tour

This turned out to be way more than I expected. I thought it would be all science and particles. Nope, way more. Friends of NELHA is a small nonprofit that will take you on the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Kristine C
Chicago, Illinois
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81 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 76: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
182 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This turned out to be way more than I expected. I thought it would be all science and particles. Nope, way more. Friends of NELHA is a small nonprofit that will take you on the tour of the Natural Energy Lab. Book early and on-line. It is a little pricey but worth it. We took the Ocean Conservation Tour. You... More 

Thank Kristine C
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Driven by the Natural Energy Labs many times while visiting in Hawaii and this time signed up for a tour. We took the OTEC Tower tour. The preliminary presentation at the Visitor Center was most interesting, giving a detailed overview of what goes on there and how this technology evolved. Jules Verne wrote of this technology in his 20,000 Leagues... More 

Thank TNAllison
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We took the NELHA tour again... did it a few years ago... many new things going on in this fascinating energy lab.... besides the overall view of what these folks are up to (nicely presented) we also visited the monk seal facility and the octopus facility... even came away with a free liliquoy (sp?) which we used in our smoothie...all... More 

Thank marzek
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
103 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

NELHA is a very interesting center trying to solve a number of environmental problems and be an incubator for ocean related businesses. The lecture covers the science of the technology and how many of the incubator companies on the larger property. Hawaii has extremely high electricity prices and some of what the incubator is doing is trying to change this... More 

1 Thank PeripatetiPat
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Super interesting for my husband. Some of it was over my head, but I was impressed by the passion of the speaker. We weren't expecting a visit to the seal monk rescue, so that was a real treat. The visit to the octopus farm was also delightful, it was fun to play with the octopuses!

Thank Jan646
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2016

We loved our visit and it was so much more enjoyable than many of the typical tourist activities. The entire complex is a hotbed of innovation. Don't miss this tour!

1 Thank chambermusiclady
Sechelt, Canada
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2016

The orientation was extremely informative, led by a very educated biologist, Candee. The innovative, forward vision and research done by all the residents of the 872 acres of the NELHA are fascinating. we toured the aquaculture interests of the abalone farm and octopus /seahorse research centres. Amazing personal contact availability. The power plant is better explained within the orientation however... More 

Thank irisrich2016
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2016

a little boring, but actually pretty interesting. they've come up with a bunch a ways to power things, its pretty cool.

Fife, Washington
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2016

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 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 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 


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Questions & Answers

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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?