When we first moved to Maui over eight years ago, our family held annual passes to the Maui Ocean Center. Over the years we have loved coming here to visit the fish. Our family’s favorites are the octopus, lion fish and the sharks and rays.
As our children got older and life got busier, we stopped coming as often. This past week we had family visiting and decided it was time – time to go visit the fish again!
If you have snorkeled in Hawaii, you will know many fish in our reefs are endemic to Hawaii. Endemic meaning, only found in Hawaiian waters. Most famous of these endemic fish is perhaps the humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apua’a fish, also known as the Hawaiian trigger fish.
The Maui Ocean Center is a small aquarium featuring only fish and sea creatures found in Hawaiian waters. The Living Reef building showcases fish seen while snorkeling our reefs. The Open Ocean with acrylic ‘glass’ tunnel holds a 750,000 gallon tank with a collection of sharks, rays and ulua. Twice a day a naturalist scuba dives in the tank for a question and answer session about the animals in the tank. It is really cool.
There is also a turtle lagoon and most recently a large area focused on native history and Kaho’olawe (the ‘forbidden’ island in the distance past Molokini).
New humpback whale exhibit
Coming soon – maybe in February now! The Maui Ocean Center has been working on its the new humpback whale exhibit. I am very curious about the new white dome which will feature a 3D humpback whale experience.
If you’ve never been to the Maui Ocean Center – check it out. The best deal is to pre-purchase your tickets on the website. If coming as a family, make sure you select the family pass option for best rate.