Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui’s Aquarium

The Maui Ocean Center Aquarium is the only aquarium on Maui, yet it is the largest aquarium in the western United States. Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm the Maui Ocean Center offers insight into the challenges that Maui is facing today in protecting marine environmental systems in Maui. As one of Maui’s best attractions, the Maui Ocean Center aquarium charges a modest entry fee. Your entry fee includes viewing all exhibits within the aquarium. If you’re not going to go snorkel somewhere like Molokini or Lanai, it’s a great idea to come to see the aquarium and experience the beauty of Maui’s underwater paradise.

Maui Ocean Center Highlights

From the fascinating shark tank to the tide pools outside, you will marvel at marine life only found in Hawaii. Throughout the day the Maui Aquarium offers lectures on a variety of subjects that pertain to climate change, reef endangerment and actions taken to correct the damage to our national resources – the ocean. For families, the Maui Ocean Center aquarium is a great option for entertainment for your children. The logo store is filled with affordable souvenirs that your family and friends would love to receive. Our talented team of Maui concierges is ready to assist you with any questions about the Maui Ocean Center aquarium.

Protect Our Oceans

By now, most people understand the significant risks our planet and our oceans face over the next 100 years. Not only does climate change present a serious threat with rising sea temperatures, but also the problems caused by rapid industrialization and the proliferation of plastics. Taking your children to the aquarium or snorkeling is a great way to inspire a love for these beautiful creatures and hopefully, we can inspire a generation of ocean lovers to help defend and protect for future generations.

If you love the marine life and want to see Maui underwater, your options are not just restricted to scuba diving. With the Maui Ocean Center, you can get up-close and personal with the aquatic life, intertwined with prevalent Hawaiian culture.


Located in the scenic little town of Maalaea, Maui, Hawaii, the Maui Ocean Center is one of the main attractions of the area. In addition to the Center, Maalaea is also host to a boat harbor, and thus becomes a point of departure for many people intending to pursue aquatic recreational activities. If you are a fan of surfing, one of the world’s fastest rideable waves graces the ocean at Maalaea. If you are not the surfing type, fret not for the nearby dining areas offer scrumptious food, whilst nightfall can be accompanied by a whale-watching session.

However, Maalaea is primarily famed for being home to the Maui Ocean Center.

History of the Maui Ocean Center

The largest public aquarium in Maui, the Maui Ocean Center opened in 1998. It began as a passionate endeavor by a group of determined individuals who wanted to protect the amazing marine life of Hawaii and uphold it for all to revel in its glory. Hawaii is home to some of the most unique marine animals in the world, and also one of the largest live Pacific coral collections globally. All such elements are collected with the help of experts and by permits from the state.

Maui Ocean Center does not believe in separating marine life from its natural habitat. Rather, it is about the protection of such animals. Hawaiian culture also gives great importance to aquatic life. Thus the Maui Aquarium also adds a cultural touch to itself. By integrating the local culture in all shows, and exhibits, Maui Ocean Center stands out from ordinary marine retreats.

To progress further, the management of the Center believes in sustainability. While animal conservation ranks high on their list of priorities, they have also taken steps to combat the decrease in corals, owing to global warming. Growing artificial coral reefs, they are eventually introduced to their natural ecosystem – promoting a vibrant, sustainable future.

Attractions of Maui Ocean Center

Brimming with a wide array of marine life, and a deep connection with Hawaiian culture, the Maui Ocean Center has activities for individuals of every taste.

  • The Humpback Exhibit and Sphere

If you have ever wondered how a Humpback whale looks up close, your mystery will be solved as soon as you enter this exhibit. Truly a one-of-a-kind attraction, this offers a look at what goes on beneath the water. If you have watched a 3-D movie before, this is somewhat similar, only it is not a movie anymore. As you enter the sphere and put on the 3D glasses, you are transported to the ocean world.

Humpback whales surround you, going about their usual doings of the day. Equipped with 4K imagery and a 7.1 surround system, you will feel a part of the ocean itself. The exhibit not only provides us with the opportunity of observing these beautiful creatures of nature, but it also helps us creating connections surpassing social and environmental barriers. To know and appreciate the Humpback whales for what they represent, and what they truly are; gifts from nature.

  • Turtle Lagoon

Slow and steady wins the race – The sea turtles of Maui surely go well with this phrase.

The Maui Ocean Center Aquarium displays a rare species of turtle i.e. the Green Sea Turtle. Considered as the largest hard-shelled turtle worldwide, for the people of Hawaii, it is their own Honu (turtles). The Turtle Lagoon puts these turtles on display for visitors to witness the diversity of animals at Maui. About 6 sea turtles of Maui are always on display for visitors of the Maui Ocean Center.

  • Open Ocean Exhibit

If you are in search of marine life diversity and a snapshot of what the ocean has in store for you, the Open Ocean Exhibit should be your next stop. As you walk through the dome-shaped corridor, the marine life beyond the glass walls greets you like an old friend. Whether you are intrigued by Stingrays, schools of fish, or the mighty sharks, there is something in store for everyone.

You can put your hand up to the glass wall, and feel the closure the ocean provides. Curious about sharks? Come with your friends and family, for there are not one, but five different species of sharks waiting to welcome you. Another special activity in store for certified guests, is a staff-assisted shark dive, in the Maui Aquarium.

  • Live Pacific Corals

As established, Maui Ocean Center especially works for the protection and upbringing of Pacific corals. Displaying over 40 different species of corals, ranging from the shallow to deep reef surroundings, the exhibit truly is a sight for sore eyes.

The Center has continued to get its water intake from the Ma‘alaea Bay, to ensure the corals do not feel any difference from their natural environment. The corals and marine life, both feel at home – whilst the visitors feel overwhelmed by the enchanting life under the ocean.

  • Kaho’olawe Exhibit

To revisit the connection between the ocean and the Hawaiian people, the Kaho’olawe Exhibit at the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium is a story of history and healing. Discussing the past, the navigation of Kaho’olawe and the role of the marine life, the exhibit represents the deep culture and history of the region.

Carefully explaining the difference between the good and bad, the exhibit is in hopes to display the Kaho’olawe in a newer light, for a change in the right direction.

With attractions bound to excite people of many tastes, Maui Ocean Center also hosts an Ocean-friendly restaurant (because what is fun without food?). With Island-inspired cuisines and a variety of local delicacies, the food is bound to tantalize your taste buds.

Visit the Maui Ocean Center, for an unforgettable experience; one which you will wish to revisit always.

Have questions about any of our activities? Contact us today!

Questions? Call Maui Tickets for Less (Toll Free) 855-268-0387