Discover Hawaiian Marine Life at the Maui Ocean Center

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.

My family and I are big Hawaii lovers. We travel to Hawaii often and love exploring the islands.

One of the things I like most about going to Hawaii is snorkeling. Seeing beautiful tropical fish in their natural environment is quite the experience. My children haven’t mastered the art of snorkeling but still have a great admiration for marine life. This is why we decided to visit the Maui Ocean Center during our last trip to Maui.

About the Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is situated in Maalaea on Maui. It is centrally located and offers ample free parking.

The Maui Ocean Center is an indoor-outdoor aquarium that showcases marine animals only found in Hawaii. Exhibits include the Shallow Reef, The Living Reef, Turtle Lagoon, and the Open Ocean.

Maui Ocean Center outdoor directions

The aquarium is very well laid out. Informative signs are present at every display and audio guides are available to rent for $3.00.

Kids have the option of completing a Keiki passport which is a petroglyph activity booklet. There are 12 stones located throughout the park. Each station has a rubbing tool to rub the image on the passport.

What We Saw

My family really enjoyed walking through all the exhibits at the Maui Ocean Center. Our kids really enjoyed the huge tank in the Living Reef and spotting tropical fish, sharks, and stingrays. 

Some of the sea life we saw included:

  • Unicorn Fish
  • Lauwiliwili fish
  • Moorish Idol
  • Hawaiian Flatfish
  • White Tip Reef Shark
  • Tiger shark
  • Sting Rays

….and many more!

Maui Ocean Center tropical fish

Maui Ocean Center Hawaiian shrimp

The turtle lagoon offered great up-close views of many Hawaiian green sea turtles and the tide pool allowed us to touch many sea stars and sea urchins.

Maui Ocean Center Turtle Lagoon

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Maui Ocean Center

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

A huge highlight was walking through the 240-degree view tunnel in the Open Ocean exhibit. We stood around a long time to see sharks and stingrays swim above our head. It was fun to see fish of all types swim so close to us.

Maui Ocean Center Open Ocean Tunnel

Open Ocean tunnel Maui Ocean Center

On-site Presentations

The Maui Ocean Center has marine naturalist presentations several times per day. These presentations are held throughout the aquarium and offer really great information.

We listened to a few minutes of the presentation at the Open Ocean exhibit and learned a lot. Fun Fact: the White Tip Reef Shark is the only shark in Hawaii that can stay still under water.

You’ll find the schedule on the Maui Ocean Center website and in the map, you receive upon arrival.

Overall

We really enjoyed our visit to the Maui Ocean Center. It gave us a deeper understanding of Hawaiian marine life and let us see beautiful fish and sharks up close. I truly feel that visiting the Maui Ocean Center is a great learning experience for children and teaches them how to respect our ocean.

Maui Ocean Center

I’d recommend allocating about 1 1/2 hours for a quick visit. If you plan on listening to a few presentations I’d suggest planning to stay for about 3 hours.

Maui Ocean Center Shark

To learn more about the Maui Ocean Center you can:

.What to see at the Maui Ocean center

I’d love to know, do you visit aquariums when you travel? What sea life do you most like seeing?

12 Comments

  1. SO COOL! I love places like this. we went somewhere similar in Toronto (Ripley’s Aquarium) so fun and I can’t wait to go back there. love the tunnel aquarium and faced my fear of sharks when going through that (shivers down the spine)

  2. I am pretty sure I am the only person I know who has not visited Hawaii. 🙁 I would definitely be into checking out this aquarium if I ever get the chance. The tunnel looks super cool.

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