There’s a colorful underwater world waiting to be discovered in Hawaii. Snap on a snorkel mask, and you can see up to 250 different kinds of tropical fish in places like Maui’s Molokini Crater. But exploring the underwater world of Hawaii forces you to get wet, dawn gear and get active. Fortunately, you can skip all that hardship and get right to the good stuff at Maui’s Ocean Center.
Considered one of the world’s ten best aquariums, the Maui Ocean Center gets you up close and personal with sharks, sting rays and other fascinating creatures of the deep. And this is the largest reef aquarium in the western hemisphere, so there’s plenty to experience. The Maui Ocean Center offers up an entire day of exploration.
Most aquariums have a variety of exhibits that show you the underwater world’s found in different parts of the planet. Not the Maui Ocean Center. This aquarium focuses solely on Hawaii’s unique and beautiful oceans. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience.
You’ll find a coral reef exhibit inside the ocean center that will show you Hawaii’s colorful underwater landscape. You’ll learn how Hawaii’s marine life has adapted to the unique conditions of Hawaii’s tropical reefs.
You’ll be able to visit friendly green sea turtles, and you’ll learn about the stunning odds these cute creatures have overcome to achieve adulthood. You’ll also learn all about their peculiar eating habits. Baby sea turtles are born carnivorous. Then, in their “teenage” years, the turtles begin a transformation that takes them to adult veganism. And you’ll learn how to spot adult turtles by going to nutrient rich parts of the island to watch them feed on underwater greenery.
There’s also a wonderful humpback whale exhibit. These gentle giants swim for weeks on end to escape the cold waters of Alaska for the warm waters of Hawaii. They begin to arrive in January to breed, birth and rear their young, and they can often be seen breaching in the deep. The whales then undertake a mass exodus in March to return to colder waters, and you’ll learn all about their massive migration at the ocean center.
You can also visit with Hawaii’s sharks. You’ll learn how these creatures are misunderstood, and your fear of sharks will fade away. These predators don’t like the taste of the iron in your blood which makes shark bites extremely rare in Hawaii. They don’t want to eat humans. Bites only occur when the animal is confused, and they usually take place in murky water.
A visit to the ocean center will give you a deeper appreciation for Hawaii’s lively oceans, and it will make your Maui vacation even more unforgettable.