Maui Ocean Center

Phone (808) 270-7000
4 stars from 11 reviews
Address 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793
The largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere.

• General: Cost: Paid • General: Discount: Kama'aina
• General: Discount: Military • General: Discount: Senior
• General: Educational • General: Has Gift Shop
• General: Kid Activities • General: Photo Opportunity
• General: Restrooms • Sightseeing: Wildlife
• Tours: Self Guided

About Maui Ocean Center
Coral World International opened Maui Ocean Center, the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere, in 1998. Since then, Maui Ocean Center has drawn thousands of visitors of all ages from around the globe to discover Hawaii’s undersea world in a captivating and educational setting. Aptly termed “The Aquarium of Hawai'i”, this 3-acre marine park faithfully replicates the natural ocean ecosystem, where visitors encounter only animals that occur in Hawaii; many of which are found nowhere else in the world! Featuring the largest collection of live corals in the nation, and over 60 exhibits, including interpretive displays, outdoor touch pools and a 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit with 240-degree view acrylic tunnel, the marine park is designed to help visitors develop an understanding and appreciation of Hawaii’s marine environment.

With the mission to foster an understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life, all animals at Maui Ocean Center are meticulously collected and cared for by an expert team of marine biologists, divers and aquarists. Collection is conducted under strict permits with the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources and under the guidance of Hawaiian cultural adviser, Kahu (caretaker) Dane Maxwell.

Maui Ocean Center is respectfully in compliance with a County of Maui ordinance prohibiting the exhibit of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). Discover these fascinating mammals, along with monk seals through interpretive displays in the Marine Mammal Discovery Center.

Dedicated to perpetuating and sharing the island’s host culture, Maui Ocean Center maintains a close relationship with Hawaiian practitioners in the community. With the guidance of Kahu Dane Maxwell, the Aquarium integrates Hawaiian culture in presentations, exhibits, special events, and also in the marine park’s standard of operations and service. Kahu Dane Maxwell presides over blessings of important functions and facilities, as well as blessings of marine animals such as the honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) or mano (shark).
Full Description
The Maui Ocean Center is the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere and has been here since 1998. Their natural ocean ecosystems have a variety of marine life, including many native animals that can't be found anywhere else in the world.

This is a great place to see sharks, rays, and even Honu - The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. They have one of the largest live coral collections in the nations and over 60 exhibits in total.

You'll find indoor exhibits as well as various outdoor attractions, including touch pools, and even a 750,000 gallon open ocean exhibit with a 240 degree tunnel. Walk through or hang out as the fish swim all around you.

The Maui Ocean Center's mission is to help visitors learn about Hawaii's marine life and they do this with an expert team of marine biologists, divers, and aquarists. If you're a love of fish and other marine life then make sure the Maui Ocean Center is on your to do list!

They're easy to find as they're centrally located in Maalaea, right by the Ma'alaea Harbor.
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Hollie C
Joined: Apr 2017
Reviews: 11
Likes Received: 0
Nicely laid out to spend some time there. Especially if you don't snorkel or go underwater in Hawaii. You can see baby turtles, jellies, and sharks to name a few. Nice gift shop too, there was so much in there I wanted to take home with me!
Consensus Guy
Joined: Jul 2013
Reviews: 11148
Likes Received: 26
The Maui Ocean Center has an overall 4.5 star average rating from over 2,000 reviews online.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
The Maui Ocean Center is a tough place to review. On one hand, I really enjoy it and love seeing all of the marine life they have here. The place is very clean, well maintained, and the staff are friendly and clearly love what they do.

On the other hand, it's pricey. There's no way around that simple fact. Almost $28 per adult and almost $20 per kid (3-12)! So, that's $96 for an average family of four with two adults and two kids. $90 for an aquarium that really isn't all that big and won't require more than an hour of your time if you move slowly.

Kids will certainly love the various fish tanks. If you happen to be around for a feeding that can be fun too because where else can you hand feed a starfish? The non-aquarium exhibits are all really lame. It's all of the usual education packed behind a button that lights up a multiple choice answer that will hold your kids attention for all of 8 seconds, mainly because they like pushing the button.

There are food options here but it's exactly what you'd expect, mediocre food with high price tags. Eat before you come or after you leave. There's also a lot of annoying up sell moments to be had. You'll get your photo taken when you walk in and they'll try to guilt you into buying it on the way out. Then there is the huge gift shop at the exit with tons and tons of toys that your kids will beg you for. After what you just paid for all of these food, photo, and store places should be more fish tanks.

So, I'm torn. The good parts here are really, really good. The bad parts are really, really bad. And it's all wrapped up into really, really pricey tickets. Even the Kama'aina rate is $16 per adult and $9 per child and I still feel like I overpaid for the time we spent here. Is it worth it? That just depends on how much you like seeing fish and how much disposable income you have.
Kandy H
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 47
Likes Received: 2
Maui ocean center is not a large aquarium but has several nice displays of ocean life. Feeding the stingrays was entertaining. If I were to go back it would be on a rainy day when I was looking for something more to do inside. Worth seeing one time but don't know if I would go back.
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 67
Likes Received: 2
For an aquarium, it was very good. It kind of sets itself apart from every other aquarium because it's right on the water and because they fill their tanks with water from the ocean... and they show you their system! I also liked the different spaces they had, turtle lagoon where they had baby turtles... and they release them back into the wild once they hit 2. They had sharks and a walk through water tunnel where the fish swim all around you. As I said, as far as aquariums go, I feel they go above and beyond what I would expect. I feel as though my admission fee actually went into the wildlife and helping the oceans. How true that is I'm unsure.

At $30USD a person, it's quite pricey, but worth the stop in on a rainy day. (take advantage of the military discount if you can!) They had little personal tour machines that they charged you $3 for. I feel for the admission price they should toss those in as an added bonus. Anytime I've had them they're cool for the first 3 stations and then the excitement wears off, needless to say, I didn't splurge the $3 to have one. I listened when their staff when they were around and talked to them if they weren't too busy. The staff really know what they're doing and were lovely to talk to!
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 237
Likes Received: 33
Very cool place to take the family! Not that expensive and for those of us that don't scuba dive, it is a chance to see the underwater life that you would not experience. We stayed right there in the area and not a bad way to spend the afternoon. Many displays and varieties of Hawaii's natural wildlife.
Sue K
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 196
Likes Received: 9
I agree that Maui Ocean Center is overpriced, but apart from that, I was really impressed with my experience there. The staff was so enthusiastic about the marine life and there were some excellent presentations. When we visited, it was particularly quiet, which made it much more enjoyable. The staff still took the time to talk to us and explain about the turtles.
Paul &
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 17
Likes Received: 3
I really enjoyed the Maui Ocean Center. It is well done and the staff appear to really enjoy what they do. The exhibits are clean and appear to be well cared for. But for the price I paid I expected more which makes it hard to review. Do I regret going, no, but I would not go back. As it only takes about an hour to go through, at the price I paid, I left disappointed. This small, but well done, aquarium would likely attract more customers, who would then highly recommend them, if the price was more reasonable.
Rosa S
Joined: Apr 2014
Reviews: 7
Likes Received: 0
This is a pretty small aquarium but still a lot of fun to see the various sea creatures up close. The place seems to be very well maintained and all of the kids we saw here seemed to be having a great time too.
Joined: Aug 2013
Reviews: 13
Likes Received: 2
We loved it. The exhibits are well done, the overhead aquarium with the sharks etc is just magnificent. Will revisit again. Great for kids!
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