Maui Ocean Center Review

Maui's Aquarium

Maui Ocean Center should be on your Top 10 places to visit in Maui. Located in Maalaea and celebrating nearly 20 years of educating both visitors and locals on Hawaii’s marine environment, MOC provides a one-of-kind experience for children and adults.  Get ready to learn about Hawaiian culture too, while being surrounded by the unique creatures of the sea. Through numerous exhibits and live presentations, they bring the magnificence of the sea to you, treating you to experience you’ll never forget!

Walking through the gate, the magic starts and you’ll be immersed in a colorful and exciting ocean world beyond your imagination! The park steers you through both live and imaginative exhibits like the Maui Ocean Center Living Reef, featuring one of the largest collections of live coral in the world, including a touch tide pool where you can feel starfish and other creatures, everyone’s favorite!

At the Maui Ocean Center Turtle Lagoon you’ll view a sea turtle nursery that raises hatchlings until they can be released back into their environment. Each turtle is named, so pick a favorite and watch them eat during feeding time! As your journey through the Maui Aquarium continues you’ll see the awesome Humpback Whale exhibit where you’ll learn all about Maui’s most loved winter visitor – Megaptera novaeangliae.

Another favorite among everyone is the Maui Ocean Center Open Ocean, where you’ll have the opportunity to get up close to sharks, stingrays and hundreds of species of indigenous Hawaiian fish. As you walk through their clear acrylic tunnel, the marine world will literally pass all around you, an experience you definitely don’t want to miss when visiting Maui. At various times throughout the day they have a fascinating scuba presentation where divers swim among sharks and aqua community while providing an audio commentary on sea life.

But MOC’s newest exhibit, Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit and Sphere, truly immerses you up-close and personal with the whales! The first-of-its-kind sphere combines the technology of 4K visual, 7.1 surround sound and 3D glasses to bring you an unforgettable experience of swimming among these majestic creatures in footage filmed in Maui waters. It alone was worth the trip and truly entertains kids of all ages!
Children will especially love the aquarium as they are all given a “treasure hunt” kit to use while exploring the center. They get to search for petroglyphs located throughout the park and recreate their own petroglyphs by rubbing over them with provided pencils and paper. And when they complete the hunt, they can turn it in for a prize. This engages children to explore the entire park while learning about local history and Hawaiian language. My kids love this – it tests their memory each time we go (and we go often because there is always something new to see or to revisit our favorites)!

Maui Ocean Center offers so many other exhibits and opportunities to experience marine life (even the Maui Ocean Center Shark Dive where you can get into the water), but one thing is for sure: after flying all the way to Maui you won’t want to miss out on this experience! If you want a little sample of what to see their, click on the Maui Ocean Center Live Cam.

Oh, and if you find yourself hungry after the aquarium, grab a bite at either their oceanview restaurant Seascape Restaurant & Bar – featuring fresh and delicious cuisine. Before you leave stop by the Maui Ocean Treasures gift shop to take home a unique memento of your trip to the park. Maui Ocean Center is open 365 days a year, 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Check the Maui Ocean Center Daily Schedule to see what’s new on the calendar, and the Maui Ocean Center Admission for more info on admission and rates, and special offers (like a 10% online discount). You can also call them at 808-270-7000.

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