Nov 08

Maui Ocean Center: Aloha Fishes

Surge Pool FishMaui Ocean Center is an aquarium located on the island of Maui.  Like most aquariums the price of admission is rather steep and being in Hawaii you should expect nothing less.  You might ask yourself why in the world anybody would pay money to go to an aquarium when they can go out in the ocean and see pretty much the same exact thing.  I know I was asking that when I handed over fifty dollars for my wife and I to go in.  Now it is more expansive then the other three aquariums that Karen and I have been too, but everything is more expensive in Maui so arguing that it cost more than other aquariums is a moot point.  Was it worth going to? I would say yes because it was pretty neat to see the fish in the aquarium and then the next day go and see the same types of fish when Karen and I were snorkeling.
Aquarium TunnelThe Maui aquarium does have some nice exhibits that are worth your time.  The 750,000 gallon large fish tank with a tunnel walkway was pretty nice.  Of course, almost every aquarium worth their salt has a walk through tunnel.  The smaller aquariums were also very well done.  The information provided at each aquarium was interesting and well laid out, especially the surge pool with artificial wave tank that was home to several of the species of fish that Karen and I got to see out in the ocean as well done.  I would say this is a middle size aquarium that would take the average visitor anywhere from one and half to two hours to visit.
Shallow ReefOther than the large tank the other two exhibits worth seeing are the juvenile hammerhead tank.  I think this is the first aquarium that Karen and I have ever been to that had hammerheads.  So, that was a pretty awesome experience seeing them.  The other was a green sea turtle exhibit.  They had four small juvenile sea turtles that eventually they will release into the wild.  Out of all the animals in the ocean sea turtles are probably my favorite, so I was pretty excited to see those little guys.  I was a little disappointed that they had a baby sea turtle tank, but there were no babies in it.  There was a sign that said they would be coming in a few weeks as soon as they hatched.  You might call ahead to see if they have babies during the time of your visit.  That would be the highlight of the aquarium.
Juvenile Green Sea TurtleThe Maui Ocean Center also had several smaller tanks in their Living Reef exhibit that house just about every type of Hawaiian fish.  This area does a great job explaining the types of fish you will see in the shallow reef and then the types of fish one would see in the middle reef which is in deeper water.  There is a restaurant that smelled very good, but Karen and I did not eat there so we cannot tell you about the quality of the food.  There is a small tide pool that had several things that could be touched, and a small museum that housed information on Hawaii’s mammals and legends and wisdom of native Hawaiians and their relationship to the sea.
Surge PoolKaren and I believe those that are not wanting to snorkel or scuba, but do want to see what the waters around Hawaii are like, then this is great place to go.  If you are constantly in the water around Maui then you might think this is a complete waste of time.  However, as one who tried to spend as much time as possible snorkeling the waters around Maui I still found this aquarium to be worth my time because the very next day while I was out snorkeling I saw a flatfish for the very first time, and I probably would of not have even been looking for it if I had not gone to the Maui Ocean Center.  I also loved how the back of their brochure has a chart that names not only in English but in the Hawaiian language the majority of fish that will be found in the waters around Maui.  It made it much easier to know what I was looking at when I was snorkeling.
to see other aquariums like the Maui Ocean Center click hereFlatfish

Maui Ocean Center
Located at 192 Ma’alaea Rd.
Hours of Operation – 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year in July and August they stay open until 6 p.m.
Cost as of 2011- Adults $25.50 Children 3 to 12 $18.50 and Seniors 65 and over $22.50
For more information you can visit their website at http://www.mauioceancenter.com/
Maui Ocean Center

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  1. freda phillips

    Interesting. The fish are very pretty.

    1. Kenny and Karen

      It was a lot of fun, did not care to much for the price, but all aquariums are pretty expensive. I just wish they would of had the baby sea turtles on display. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

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