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“Well done, but a tad expensive”
Review of Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center
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Maui Value Pass
Ranked #1 of 48 things to do in Wailuku
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Discover, experience, and explore Hawaii's underwater world at Maui Ocean Center. Named Top 25 Best Aquariums in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, the Aquarium features over 60 exhibits with sharks, turtles, stingrays and thousands of vibrant tropical fish. The Aquarium is home to the world's largest collection of live Pacific corals, faithfully replicating thriving marine ecosystems in every exhibit. Journey from the shallow reef to the open ocean and encounter marine life found nowhere else in the world. A mix of indoor-outdoor exhibits, behind-the-scenes tours, and interactive presentations allow guests to conveniently discover Hawaii's marine life in a single day that would otherwise take a lifetime of exploration to see. Explore the diversity of Hawaii's marine world without ever getting wet in breathtaking exhibits like the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit featuring a 54ft walkthrough tunnel. Amply named The Aquarium of Hawaii, Maui Ocean Center is dedicated to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and the relationship that exists between the Hawaiian people and the sea. Enhance your experience with Maui's only shark diving activity, dining at Seascape Restaurant, shopping at Maui Ocean Treasures, or book a special event at Maui's most unique venue. Enjoy a distinctively Maui experience at Hawaii's premier Aquarium. Open daily 9am-5pm (including all holidays) with final admission at 4:30pm.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Hamilton, Montana
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Well done, but a tad expensive”
Reviewed August 12, 2014

If you are about to head home and haven't had any luck with your snorkeling, set your camera on underwater or "through glass" and head for the Maui Ocean Center at Maalea Harbor. It will cost you about $25 a person, but given the prices for everything in Hawaii, I guess that helps pay for the upkeep of the place. The Reef exhibits have the greatest number of colorful fish with very good explanations of the environment and various species. It was nice to finally see some of the fish I'd hoped to see at Molokini.

While you can pay even more for guided tours with a naturalist, the self-guided tour with occasional presentations at various tanks is certainly adequate, assuming you are willing to read. The audio tour (phone) costs $3 and I stopped using it after the first couple of stops.

The underwater tunnel with huge stingrays, sharks, and other large fish varieties swimming next to you, below you, and over your head is quite impressive. You can literally stand nose to nose with a stingray that has decided to settle against the tank side. The turtle exhibit is a tad pathetic, which was strange since they were apparently running a "turtle month" with added expensive "special" tours. Maybe they'd moved all the turtles somewhere else for the month because there were only a couple of small turtles that spent most of their time hiding.

There's also an outdoor tank with "touchable" starfish and other critters and an interesting tower filled with anemones. Another set of rooms is devoted to the interaction between ancient Hawaiians and the sea, and another to plaster models of whales and sharks--not particularly interesting.

The self-guided "tour" ends at a snack bar, gift shop, and restaurant so if you have any money left at all after your vacation, you can manage to spend it before you leave. If you want to show the kids a lot of colorful and interesting fish and sea critters, this is certainly worth the time and money.

Visited August 2014
3 Thank BitterrootTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Greenville, SC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Well maintained, 'compact' aquarium, lots to learn if you take the time”
Reviewed August 9, 2014

If you are willing to read, the oceanography content of this place is very high. A tremendous amount of detail about the Hawaiian oceans and reef, the local fish, the history, etc. A relatively small setup, but several very large tanks and the glass viewing tunnel through the shark tank is great. Like most things on Maui, this is pretty expensive (~$25/person) but it made a great afternoon after we were kicked out of the condo and before the red-eye flight home! Recommend.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank webstuff93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Small but clean and educational”
Reviewed August 8, 2014

$25 per adult is a little steep for such a small facility. It is a great place for the youngsters. Clean with many interactive displays. It was a nice place for two adults to go while waiting out the tropical storm. Best gift shop that even has nice jewelry and local syrups and jams.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank northcoastlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Pacific
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Aquarium is very small... and expensive”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

You'll be hard pressed to spend more than 1.5 hours here. The exhibits are nice, but few, and done so much better elsewhere-- the aquarium at Newport, OR comes to mind. Young kids will enjoy it a lot, older kids will blow right through it. YMMV. IMO, not worth the admission price.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank PrivateMan99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Cool fish!”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

It was cool to get up and personal with the fish. Especially walking through the shark tunnel. I just wish they didn't hound you to buy your picture that they make you take once you buy your ticket

Visited December 2013
1 Thank CDL83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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