Maui Ocean Center Aquarium
$29.95 BOOK NOW
“The Hawaiian Aquarium” Maui Ocean Center Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world dedicated to foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life. Located in Maalaea, this 3-acre marine park is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. The Maui Ocean Center Aquarium provides information, tours by marine naturalists and exhibits on thousands of indigenous fish, sharks, turtles, stingrays and other fascinating marine life.
The Aquarium is one of the few Maui activities that do not require an advance reservation. Sweet, but since you are planning your vacation to Maui, you might as well pencil this in as finding the time after you arrive may prove to be challenging with everything else you have scheduled. Regardless, you should visit the Maui Ocean Center, just because it’s a fascinating experience.
Upon entering the aquarium, like most others, there are smaller tanks which hold some of the more exotic species of marine life. The interesting thing about this exhibit is that most of the fish here are native to Hawaiian Waters. You can’t find them anywhere else in the world, but Hawaii.
The tide pool exhibit is also interesting. This exhibit provides understanding on to how our reefs and tide pools come together to support the life in our oceans. Without either, the marine population would dwindle to nothing. The jellyfish tank is unique. Jelly Fish are transparent. The Maui Ocean Center has installed a black light over the tank which illuminates them.
The main feature of the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium is their one-million-gallon tank that has a tunnel through one side. When you walk into it, the fish swim around you. The tank holds a variety of fish, large and small. There are different types of sharks in the tank also, which is OMG. The tiger sharks are big and scary. I’m glad they are behind the glass.
Schools of different species of marine life swim around the tank and then there are some larger fish that are loners. I have like those before found the exhibit special.
The Maui Ocean Center is big on educating the public about everything to do with our oceans, reefs and marine life. They conduct special tours and lectures sharing the habits, conditions, and challenges that face our ocean environments in Hawaii and throughout the world. Most lectures are held at the main tank inside the building. There are schedules posted all over the aquarium, so maybe you can check one out while visiting.
The Aquarium also has a logo store. It’s basically the way out. There are many unique items available for purchase. The first time I visited the Maui Ocean Center I was surprised at how big the store was. It’s huge. Bigger than most shops in Lahaina and stuffed with toys and souvenirs waiting for you to buy for gifts to take home.
Maui is not known for being friendly to your wallet. In most cases, activities on Maui have children restrictions that tend to make them family unfriendly. The aquarium is one of the few activities on Maui that you can enjoy at your leisure for time and family that has no guidelines or restrictions. Your kids will be happy, and so will you.
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Meet at the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea
GPS: 300 Maalaea Road, Wailuku Hawaii 96793
All issued vouchers will be confirmed with the confirmation “Open Ticket”. You can enjoy the Maui Ocean Center at your leisure.
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Oh My Gosh. A must to visit. Plan on at least 4-5 hours of pure enjoyment. Buy the 3-D Humpback Whale show. The kids will have a scavenger hunt. At the end, the gift store will give them a temp tattoo of the symbol they like the best. I think the reward should be something better.
I was pleasantly surprised. We're from Oregon and have a pretty great aquarium in Newport. The reef section was great, there was a pretty amazing movie on humpback whales (best 3d footage I've seen), and all in all pretty nice. The kids really enjoyed it. We spent about 1.5 hours getting through it all with a 7 and 5 year old who were pretty engaged. We enjoyed the small presentations and videos throughout the aquarium.
Spectacular! We did the behind the scenes tour, which was eye-opening and super fun. The humpback whale 4D experience is a must! The layout of the general aquarium was awesome with lots to see and lots of shade. They said you can stand at their railing and see whales breaching the surface in the ocean (Nov through...March? And many times a day in Jan). The absolute best part was learning how well they take care of the animals they do have; studying, nursing, and releasing them. The ones in the exhibits get sent back to the wild if they show any stress. They cycle through the ones in the shark tank. They ensure green sea turtles survive in the wild by raising them from hatchlings until they're big enough not to get eaten. This ocean center is VERY animal welfare-centric, and they're working on restoring coral life and other habitat all around Maui! I'm a HUGE fan now. Bless them for their work!!
This place was pretty cool! Our kids loved it! It’s an outdoor aquarium, with great exhibits, and awesome presentations. They even have a cool 3D humpback whale show within a big dome! Felt like you were right there swimming with the whales! Really beautiful! If you are a local, or plan to be in Maui for more than a week, I would say it’s worth checking out.
This isn't on the same scale as the Georgia Aquarium, or Monterrey, or Baltimore, all of which are truly world-class. But the Maui Ocean Center is as nice as any other aquarium I've been to in the U.S., and is very well worth a visit. The $5 extra for the 3-D humpback whale movie is also worthwhile, and make sure you make your way through the tunnel in the Open Ocean building for some up close viewing of sharks, giant rays, and countless fish. Like this review if you had a great time here!