- 1 Top Tips For Visiting The Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii
Top Tips For Visiting The Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii
The Maui Ocean Center is an aquarium and oceanography center located on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.
The Maui Ocean Center mission is to foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life with local residents and visitors from around the world. The center is home to many of Hawaii’s unique marine life, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
Take the behind the scenes tour
The one-hour guided tour takes you into the Aquarium Lab to learn about sharks and turtles and how the centre cares for marine life. We touched coral, jelly fish and learned about how the centre will be evolving in the future to become a turtle rescue facility. The highlights were assisting in turtle feedings both behind the scenes and at Turtle Lagoon in the aquarium, plus feeding the fish at Nursery Bay.
Appropriate for ages 5 and up. Space is limited to 12 guests, advance reservations recommended.https://mauioceancenter.com/product/behind-the-scenes-tour/
Meet the barracuda
This fish who loves shiny things can be found in Nursery Bay. He really does love shiny objects and loves to stalk visitors observing him.
Visit the Turtle Lagoon
Our favourite part of the aquarium! This is the spot to meet Hawaiian green sea turtles, with a top and underwater view. Native to Hawaii, the green sea turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world. Up to six sea turtles on display at all times. The centre is part of a breeding program and receives turtles as babies to grow in the aquarium until they are old enough and big enough to be released into the wild.
Learn about Hawaiians and the sea
We really enjoyed this educational area. The “Hawaiians and the Sea” exhibit celebrates the culture and traditions of early Hawaiians and teaches visitors about the history, culture, and unique traditions of the early Hawaiian villages.
Immerse yourself under water
We were mesmerised by the “Open Ocean” exhibit, a 750,000-gallon exhibit with 240-degree view acrylic tunnel. The exhibit features up to six species of sharks, numerous stingrays, and hundreds of fish.
Go into the reef
The “Living Reef” exhibit is home to one of the world’s largest display of live rare and endemic Pacific corals, with over 40 Hawaiian coral species that range from the shallow to deep reef environments.
Get educated about Kaho‘olawe
The smallest of the Hawaiian islands, Kaho‘olawe is a sacred place to Native Hawaiians. The “Kaho‘olawe: A Story of History and Healing” exhibit gives insight into the island’s history, its role in navigation and the marine life that inhabit its waters.
Encounter Humpback whales
An immersive new exhibit, “Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit & Sphere: An underwater encounter” takes visitors under the sea to explore the their world, learn their secrets, and discover the dynamic life, journeys and social bonds of these intelligent and spiritual creatures.
Collect a Kids Passport
The free passport was a lot of fun! It takes families on a scavenger hunt around the aquarium to find the various Hawaiian symbols and rub them into passport. Upon completion kids can collect a small prize, but honestly the collection of the symbols and learning what each meant was so much fun the prize wasn’t necessary.
Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii
192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku
Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm
We were hosted at the Maui Ocean Centre. All opinions are my own.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!