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Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center was a pleasant surprise on our trip to Maui. All the sea life is from Hawaii and I was happy there were no "shows" as you normally see in these attractions. We found the naturalists educational presentations that we saw very informative and found they were very helpful in answering any questions. There are also audio tours available for rental for $2.00 per person, or for $5.00 for a family in multiple languages.

One of the more interesting things for me was the information on different types of corals and actually a rehabilitation program for coral that have been broken off by divers. They have the largest collection of live corals in the nation.


Maui Ocean Center

In another section of the center, there are models and numerous educational exhibits in the whale discovery center. This is great for kids (or adults), although my two year old was a little young for that. I was shocked at how much milk a baby whale drinks in a day!!!

Taking advantage of the Maui weather, the displays are a mixture of inside and outside exhibits. One of the outdoor exhibits lets you get close to the sea turtles if you don't want to take the snorkeling tours. These turtles are part of a hatch and release program run by the Maui Ocean Center.

The Maui Ocean Center is located at Ma'alaea harbor, on the middle of the south end of the island. There are a few shops and a fairly good (and inexpensive) place to eat in the shopping center. There is also a restaurant in the ocean center, but when we were there it didn't open until 11:30AM.

A caution to parents with younger children is there is an area that you walk through a tunnel surrounded by sea life. Several youngsters (including mine) became pretty frightened when a large ray swam overhead of the tunnel.

If that isn't close enough for you, they do offer the chance to dive in the open ocean exhibit with sharks, stingrays and tropical reef fish. You need to be a licensed SCUBA diver for this one.

Maui Ocean Center is open every day of the year, from 9am to 5pm, with extended hours (9am to 6pm) in July and August. Admission is $21.00 for adults, $14.00 for children (ages 3-12), and $18.00 for seniors (ages 65 and up). Children under 3 are free.

A good day trip plan is to take in the Maui Ocean Center in the morning and have lunch there, then drive to Iao Valley and hike around a little. After that stop by the pineapple plantation and take the tour and have dinner at the restaurant on the plantation.

Ma'alaea harbor 2005. All Rights Reserved.