On an island surrounded by snorkeling opportunities and vibrant sea life, the Maui Ocean Center offers a deeper look into local marine ecosystems. Surround yourself with colorful fish, stingrays, and sharks in an aquarium tunnel, discover Hawaii’s past in cultural exhibits, and get up-close with creatures you may not spot in the wild.
The Maui Ocean Center, known as the Aquarium of Hawaii, offers an interactive, educational, and cultural experience. Delve into the underwater world of humpback whales at the Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit and Sphere, a 3D viewing experience and one of the aquarium’s top attractions. View sharks, observe coral reef systems, marvel at green sea turtles, and learn about the history and culture of Hawaii in the center’s many exhibits.
For a deeper dive into the aquarium, join a behind-the-scenes tour with a marine naturalist. Or, literally dive below the surface on a scuba diving excursion inside the Open Ocean tank. Sharks and stingrays are just some of the many sea creatures you might encounter on your dive.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The aquarium is a must-visit for marine-life enthusiasts who want to learn about the island and its ecosystems.
- Sphere admission is included in the Aquarium PLUS package.
- The on-site Seascape Restaurant serves Hawaiian fare with views overlooking the ocean. Outside food is not permitted at the center.
- The center is wheelchair accessible and easy to navigate with a stroller.
How to Get There
Maui Ocean Center is located about a 15-minute’s drive from Wailuku. Take HI-30 (Honoapiʻilani Highway) South to Kapoli Street in Maalaea and follow signs for Maui Ocean Center. To avoid the hassle of driving, visit the museum on a guided tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
When to Get There
The Maui Ocean Center is open daily and a great rainy day activity. Arrive early to secure parking and explore the aquarium before the crowds.
Shark Diving in the Open Ocean Tank
While it is rare for scuba divers to encounter sharks while diving in the waters surrounding Maui, shark sightings are central to a diving excursion at the Maui Ocean Center. The center offers scuba diving adventures for certified divers in its vast Open Ocean exhibit. The tank features up to five species of sharks, as well as stingrays and fish. Non-divers can watch the divers and sharks through the exhibit’s observation tunnel.