Subscribe!Get all the best of On Walkabout by subscribing.

Places In Maui: The Maui Ocean Center

Basic Information

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Narrative

My family and I like visiting aquariums so it was only natural that while visiting Maui that we would stop by and see the Maui Ocean Center located in Maalaea in Western Maui:

Unlike the Waikiki Aquarium where parking is difficult to find, the Maui Ocean Center we were happy to see had plentiful parking.  After parking we made the short walk over to the ticket counter.  The prices at the Maui Ocean Center we found to be more expensive than the Waikiki Aquarium, however we would find that this aquarium is worth the extra cost.  We started our visit by walking around and viewing the outdoor sea life displays such as my kids’ favorite fish the humuhumunukunukuapua’a:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Another favorite with my kids was the sea turtle exhibit:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

The exhibit allows visitors to see the sea turtles from both above and below the water:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center also has a viewing platform that provides views of the surrounding scenery.  The 10,023 foot Mt. Haleakala was unfortunately covered in clouds so we could not see it:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Across from the aquarium we could see the uninhabited island of Kahoolawe:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

We could also see out in the distance the volcanic island crater of Molokini that has become a famed snorkeling site on Maui:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Further out in the distance we could see another volcanic crater still attached to the main island, Pu’u Ola’i:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

After checking out the outside displays, we then went to see the various indoor exhibits:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

The indoor exhibits featured a huge variety of different fish and ocean critters:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

For example the Maui Ocean Center had an entire coral reef eco-system on display:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

The coral reef and its various fish was quite stunning to see:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is a picture of an extremely poisonous sea snake which we learned is actually very difficult to get bitten by despite its lethality:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is a little crustacean that was on display:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is a picture of one of the large eels:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is a picture of a frogfish that has projections that allow it to walk on the bottom of the ocean:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is a picture of some small garden eels:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is another picture of an octopus that was very active and moving around the tank during the time of our visit:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Next we saw a very large tank filled with jellyfish:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Here is an old research submarine named the Makalii that was on display:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Definitely the highlight of our visit to the Maui Ocean Center was walking through the tunnel that passes through a large aquarium tank:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

The tank was absolutely enormous and filled with sea life:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

The tank included some very large sea life such as sting rays and various sharks:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

After viewing all the indoor attractions my kids and I then went around outside to hunt for the different Hawaiian petroglyphs scattered around the Maui Ocean Center:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

My kids had a blast trying to find these petroglyphs.  The park gives children a large piece of paper that they use a charcoal stone to copy the petroglyphs on which makes for a great souvenir for young kids:

Picture from Maui Ocean Center

Overall

I definitely recommend the Maui Ocean Center to anyone interested in getting an up close look at sea life without the need of a scuba tank.  Even for people who have visited the Waikiki Aquarium I recommend visiting the Maui Ocean Center because of how much more expansive and different experience it is.  For those coming from the mainland who have been to an expansive aquarium before the Maui Ocean Center may not be that impressive.  If that is the case the limited time visitors have on Maui may be better served seeing other attractions.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *