What if I told you you could come face-to-face with Hawaiian marine life without ever getting in the ocean?

No, it’s not magic. It’s the Maui Ocean Center — one of Maui’s most popular attractions.
The Maui Ocean Center is Hawaii’s largest aquarium — home to countless marine creatures, from sharks and rays to jellyfish and octopus.

But there is so much more to the Maui Ocean Center than just marine life. It’s also an excellent place to learn about Hawaii’s history and culture.

Visiting Maui soon? Here is everything you need to know about the Maui Ocean Center!


The Marine Exhibits

Most people visit the Maui Ocean Center for the marine life.

The Maui Ocean Center showcases Hawaii’s many marine ecosystems. The exhibits highlight tidepools, shallow reef, mid-reef, and open ocean.


You’ll see anything from sea turtles and stingrays to octopuses and eels. And, of course, lots of sharks!

The Maui Ocean Center truly has it all when it comes to Hawaiian marine life. Except for one thing: Mammals. And rightfully so.

You won’t find seals or dolphins at the Maui Ocean Center. However, you will be able to see humpbacks up close — but not in the way you might think.


Humpbacks of Hawaii 3D Sphere

The Humpbacks of Hawaii 3D Sphere is the newest addition to the Maui Ocean Center — and it’s already one of the aquarium’s most talked about exhibits.

hawaii 3d sphere

This unique exhibit brings you eye-to-eye with humpback whales using cutting-edge visual technology. A short film shows every half hour, featuring clips of humpbacks filmed in Maui’s waters.

Thanks to the 3D imagery, the whales appear less than an arm’s length away.


Hawaiian History, Culture, and Ecology

You might think an aquarium is an odd place to learn about history and culture.

But in Hawaii, everything is connected, and the Maui Ocean Center emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between land, sea, and humans.


Take some time to explore the Hawaiians and the Sea exhibit during your next visit. This exhibit features artifacts, traditional tools, and artwork highlighting Hawaiians’ relationship with the sea.

It also showcases traditional fishing practices, navigational techniques, and legends surrounding marine life.

The Maui Ocean Center also offers an immersive Hawaiian Culture and Plant Tour. This tour highlights how the land affects the sea and explores the many native plants growing around the aquarium.


Kaho’olawe Exhibit

In addition to Hawaiians and the Sea, one of the most fascinating non-marine exhibits at the ocean center is the Kahoolawe Exhibit.

Maui ocean life

This exhibit sheds light on the island’s tumultuous history, from its era as an ancient spiritual retreat to when it was used for target practice by the US military.



Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences

The Maui Ocean Center boasts several memorable experiences beyond the exhibits.

Maui aquarium

Want to scuba dive in the deep sea tank with the sharks? No problem. How about a relaxing yoga session amongst the stingrays? The Maui Ocean Center’s Aquari-Om classes have got you covered.

The Maui Ocean Center is always creating more fun events for visitors and the Maui community. Most recently, the aquarium has been hosting “Sharks After Dark,” a monthly 21+ party with live music and great food.


Last But Not Least… Food!

If you get hungry during your undersea exploration, good news. There are plenty of food options at the Maui Ocean Center, including Reef Cafe and the award-winning Seascape Restaurant.

Seascape Maui

The Seascape boasts sustainably caught seafood, delicious cocktails, and an epic view. Whether you visit the aquarium or not, it is a great place for lunch or dinner.

The Maui Ocean Center is located in Maalaea, just a short drive from some of our favorite condos in Kihei. The aquarium is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. Purchasing tickets online in advance is recommended.

shop theatre

We hope to see you here enjoying Maui’s stunning marine life soon! A hui hou!

Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s mission is to protect Hawaii’s unique, natural environment and host culture through the promotion of responsible travel and educational programs.

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is dedicated to advancing the profession of heritage interpretation and facilitating the stories of our natural and cultural resources.