In a previous travel blog I mentioned that there were two aquariums in the state of Hawaii. The first is the Waikiki Aquarium, which is part of the University of Hawaii. The second is the Maui Ocean Center. The Maui Ocean Center was another great family destination. This facility was much larger and also had phenomenal exhibits. Most of the live stock focused on the native species in the area and they all appeared well kept with healthy specimens from what I could see. As an aquarist, I tend to focus on details that most observers do not take into account.
A few of the most impressive areas, in my opinion, were the following:
- Large Tang Reef Display – This was a phenomenal collection of native fishes that just kept your eyes entertained with movement and color.
- The Shark and Ray Tunnel – The reef sharks and large rays in a dark deep tank gives you a feeling of being immersed as if scuba diving.
- Natural Water Filtration System Display – Maybe it is the engineer in me that finds this fascinating but I love how well thought out it was. Both the incoming and returning water are filtered to prevent cross contamination. Normally you would not have thought to need to filter the exiting water but it was for pathogen remediation.
- Outdoor Sea Turtle System – This is where you can get up close to see quite a few native sea turtles that you may have a chance to encounter while on one of the local beaches. (This did happen to me while wading waist deep on one of the beaches.)
I have visited many aquariums in my life and this is one of my most memorable ones. It was not over crowded and the facility was immaculate which made my family trip so much more pleasant. Go ahead and add it to your list of places to go while in Maui.