We visited the Maui Ocean Center on 14th June 2013 after having eaten at their Seascape Ma’alaeca Restaurant. The marine life and corals kept at this center are all from the Hawaiian seas. At the entrance are static displays of marine life followed by displays of jelly fishes and a discovery pool. The main display tanks are at the huge Open Ocean enclosure which also houses the Marine Mammal Discovery Center.
What I found impressive was the vast variety of marine life and how healthy these were. The 54-foot acrylic tunnel takes you under water to view at close hand the awesome sharks, majestic manta rays,and hundreds of other fishes swimming all around you. Outside are the turtle lagoon, the hammerhead harbor, and the surge zone where pounding waves provide shelter for the juvenile fishes from the larger predators.
Visitors to Maui could do well to place this amazing Ocean Center on their list of must see attractions! The Center caters for the physically handicapped and is wheel chair friendly. There are lots of restrooms, telephone booths, food and drink booths, and even a drinking water station. Audio guides are available. At the entrance first aid if needed is provided. Photography is permitted for personal enjoyment. Presentations on the marine life are scheduled at certain times for various sections like the Tide Pool, Deep Reef, Open Ocean Turtle lagoon and Living Reef, and it’s story time every Saturday at 11.30 am on Hawaiians and the sea.
To witness changes in shark behaviour from day to night time and observe marine creatures that glow in the dark, sleep overs can be arranged throughout the year for ages 8 to 13, and for organized groups.The Center also caters to special occasions like weddings, receptions, banquets, corporate and birthday parties. There is a small discount for seniors. Maui Ocean Center is located at Highway 30, 192 Ma’alaea Road, Wailuku. Telephone number (808) 270 7000. Their web site is mauiocceancenter.com.
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