In beautiful Ma‘alaea, Hawaii, the Maui Ocean Center is a must see for all visitors interested in aquatic wild life.

Coral World International opened the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere in 1998.

Since then, Maui Ocean Center has attracted thousands of visitors to Ma‘alaea to learn about Hawaii’s aquatic life.

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Things to do & see at Maui Ocean Center

Exhibits 

Maui Ocean Center holds one of the largest collections of live coral in the USA and has over 60 captivating exhibits.

This includes the outdoor touch pools, interpretive displays, and a 750 000 gallon Open Ocean Exhibit with a 240-degree view acrylic tunnel.

The aquatic life center has a mission “to foster an understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life”.

Seascape Ma‘alaea Restaurant 

Open daily from 11am to 2:30pm.

An award-winning, trans-fat free menu that serves only sustainable fish options will surely make your mouth water, guilt-free!

Shark Dive Maui 

Are you a certified scuba diver?

Take the opportunity to dive into Maui Ocean Center’s 750 000 gallon Open Ocean Exhibit to come face to face with sharks, stingrays, and thousands of Maui’s tropical fish.

If you’re a certified diver age 15 and older, call to reserve your Shark Dive at Maui Ocean Center.

Sleep with the Sharks

Several times throughout the year, Maui Ocean Center offers children ages 6-13 years with an accompanying adult the opportunity to stay overnight.

You’ll be sleeping underneath the center’s 750 000 gallon exhibit to witness the animal’s nighttime behaviours.

The magical experience can be booked privately or you can attend a public sleepover beginning 7pm on Friday nights and ending at 9am the next morning!

Nighttime snacks and a light continental breakfast are provided the next day.

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Tips

Bring your camera 

The amazing ocean life of Hawaii will leave you breathless

Show off your trip to Maui Ocean Center to all your friends and family at home.

Make sure you capture the moment to reflect on for years to come!

Gift shop 

Browse the gift shop and take home a souvenir for your partner or kids. 

There are plenty of cuddly soft toys, books, or clothes to remember the experience at Maui Ocean Center.

Book in Advance Online 

Avoid the lines when you arrive and book in advance. 

Different deals are available packaged with admission to Maui Ocean Center.

There is a deal that includes a behind the scene tour or admission to a 3D Sphere theatre.

You can even do yoga among the fish!

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How to get to Maui Ocean Center

  • Bus – Take the Lahaina Islander (#20) from Kahalui to Maui Ocean Center. Arrive at Ma’alaea Harbor Village in 35 minutes and walk 2 minutes up the road.
  • Drive – 16-15 minutes from Kahalui to Maui Ocean Center via Kuihelani Highway
  • Maui Airport Shuttle – From Kahalui to everywhere on the island starting at $17
  • Maui Taxi – Contact at 808-281-7832
  • Bike – 42 minutes from Kahalui to Maui Ocean Center along Kuihelani Highway or another route of your choice.

Interesting Facts

  • Seascape Ma‘alaea Restaurant is an active participant in Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. They serve only sustainable seafood listed on the program’s Best Choices and Good Alternatives lists.
  • Maui Ocean Treasures Gift Shop features an extensive collection of marine fossils.
  • Maui Ocean Center partnered with Hawaii State’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), and Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). They transport coral from the project site at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor to other sites around the state. This coral recovery was successfully completed to minimize the effects of the project site on coral in and around Lahaina Small Boat Harbor and other areas.
  • Approximately 25% of Hawaii’s marine animals are endemic, meaning they are found only in Hawaii. Maui Ocean Center houses several endemic species, providing guests with the rare opportunity to view marine life found nowhere else in the world.
  • All animals on display at Maui Ocean Center have been collected from water surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

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echo
For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!