Tiger Sharks, Hammerheads and Eagle Rays in Maui

Exploring the Underwater World at the Maui Ocean Center

We love the underwater world. The colourful fish. The peculiar coral reef. The marine wildlife. The mystery and the unfamiliar.

We love to scuba dive and snorkel, but full day excursions aren’t in the cards right now with an 8 month old infant. Soon, but we’re not quite there yet.

Whenever we visit a tropical environment we get an itch to get under the water, so we were thrilled to see that a visit to the Maui Ocean Center was on our #seeMaui itinerary. It allowed us to get our underwater fix and introduce Baby B to Hawaii’s undersea world (even though he likely won’t remember any of it).

While at the state-of-the-art marine park, we thought it would be fun to try some photo time lapse, to capture the sharks, fish and eagle rays swimming in the giant aquarium. Normally we would just shoot regular video, but the time lapse actually turned out pretty good (we’re still trying to figure out, so your feedback is welcome!).

Click on the image below to watch the time lapse video

Having trouble viewing the video?
Watch directly on our YouTube channel – Shark infested waters in Maui

The marine park doesn’t feel that big, but the facility is actually over 3 acres and showcases over 60 indoor and outdoor exhibits, including the Living Reef, Turtle Lagoon, Hammerhead Harbor, Marine Mammal Discovery Center, Sea Jelly Gallery and the Open Ocean.

Our favourite exhibit was the Open Ocean, it’s worth the price of admission all on its own. The massive 750,000 gallon salt water aquarium is filled with a variety of sharks, rays and large fish. It’s quite disorienting when you wander through the 54-foot-long clear tunnel, especially when a large shark swims right over your head!

Nicole and Baby B travel through the Open Ocean tunnel

The Open Ocean aquarium is a big hit with the kids

It’s not every day you get to snap a photo with both an eagle ray and hammerhead shark in it!

Incredible living coral reef exhibit

Can you spot the two fish in this photo?

Reef sharks and colourful fish in the aquarium

Baby B kept lunging at the glass, trying to catch the big fish. It was quite comical

Interesting tidbits about the Maui Ocean Center

  • It is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, hosting over 400,000 visitors annually
  • It was voted Hawaii’s top rated family attraction by Zagat Survey, US Family Travel Guide
  • It features more than 60 self-paced exhibits
  • All of the animals at Maui Ocean Center are found in Hawaiian waters
  • It offers scuba divers the rare opportunity to swim in the giant aquarium with its Shark Dive Maui program. How cool is that? Not many dive operations can guarantee a hammerhead, tiger shark and eagle ray sighting in one dive!
  • It embraces Hawaii’s rich natural and cultural heritage through a variety of its exhibits and education programs, proudly making it “The Hawaiian Aquarium”

For more info, visit its website: www.MauiOceanCenter.com


Many thanks to the Maui Ocean Center and Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant for the complimentary admission and lunch that was provided to these hungry Canucks (the fish tacos were delicious!).


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About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.