If the recipe for success at Sea Life Park Hawaii sounds rather “fishy,” there’s a good reason: People love the ocean and its fascinating inhabitants. Thus, this popular marine park attraction offers a wide range of sea life, including sharks, dolphins, false killer whales, stingrays, sea lions, reef fish, sea turtles and much more.
Sea Life Park, however, is more than just a visitor attraction displaying Hawaii’s ocean life. Marine education and conservation awareness are both integral parts of each exhibit.
The 300,000-gallon Hawaiian Reef Aquarium provides a unique view of Hawaii’s underwater ecosystem “from top to bottom.” Featured here are more than 2,000 reef animals and organisms, from sharks and rays to all kinds of tropical fish. For an added cost, you can take part in “Sea Trek,” a program that lets visitors actually get into the aquarium and get an up-close close at its inhabitants. Keep an eye out for the humuhumunukunukuapuaa, Hawaii’s unofficial state fish!
Things To Do
Other park offerings include the Stingray Lagoon, Sea Turtle Lagoon and Sea Bird Sanctuary. Don’t miss the Dolphin Cove, an ocean-side lagoon with picturesque views of the windward coastline. Dolphin shows are held here twice a day. Also, the Hawaiian Ocean Theatre showcases dolphins performing in a large glass tank. The trainers share their latest training techniques as well as detail the park’s ongoing conservation efforts.
Sea Life Park is also the home of Kekaimalu, the world’s only wholphin (half whale, half dolphin). When Kekaimalu was born in May 1985, she was noticeably darker than a dolphin and had an uncharacteristically short snout. It was later discovered that her mother, an Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin, had bred with a false killer whale.
For a memorable interactive experience with the park’s dolphins, enroll in “Splash U,” a special program that lets you interact with these friendly mammals. Professional trainers provide hands-on instruction on the positive reinforcement techniques that are used to train the dolphins. The program fee includes a souvenir “certificate of graduation.
Sea Life Park is located near Makapuu Point in East Oahu. The park is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.