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Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu was founded in 1904 and is the oldest aquarium in all of the United State of America.  The Honolulu Aquarium is situated on the Waikiki shore and is part of the University of Hawaii.  The Waikiki Aquarium’s programs, research and exhibits focus on the tropical Pacific’s marine life.

Over 420 species and over 2,500 organisms can be seen at the aquarium’s various exhibits.  The Waikiki Aquarium in Oahu is especially renowned for its coral reef display, which lets visitors get up close and personal with living coral, reef fish, sea jellies, reef sharks, and more! Beginning in the mid- to late-1970s, the Honolulu Aquarium began developing living coral displays.  These structures were dependent on a consistent provision of seawater; therefore, the seawater situation at the Waikiki Aquarium isn’t very different from that of the reef. 

Living corals are multifaceted to maintain in aquarium environments than other marine life.  It’s important for the aquarium to be aware of the natural, chemical and physical needs of corals in order to reach and maintain success.  Water motion, water chemistry, temperature, and lighting are the main factors of concern to those who are attempting to preserve living corals. The aquarium business (especially the live fish gathering section) has a controversial history in Hawaii.  In 1973, the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources handled the community’s worries regarding collecting actions by requiring collection information on a monthly basis.  The increasing public perception of declining fish supply in combination with a growth in fish gathering ultimately led to a harsh disagreement between the dive tour industry and fish collectors.

In reply to declining reef fishes because of aquarium collectors, in the course of Act 306, the Hawaii State Legislature created the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Area in 1998.  This act advanced the management of various fishery resources and received 93% support before receiving the governor’s approval. The Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu was the first aquarium on the globe to maintain and breed the chambered nautilus! Check out the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle exhibit and the Peppermint Angelfish! To reach Waikiki Aquarium in Oahu, follow Kalakaua towards the Honolulu Zoo.  After crossing Kapahulu, get in the right lane.  The Honolulu Aquarium will be on your right.

Facts & Trivia

  • Oldest aquarium in the United States
  • Open 9:00 am-5:00 pm daily, except Christmas Day
  • An audio tour wand is included with each paid admission
Diamond Head Luau
Come experience Hawaii's only Farm to Table luau! Located on a grassy oceanfront lawn at the Waikiki Aquarium, the Diamond Head Luau is within walking distance of all the major Waikiki attractions.
from $118.00
Aha'aina Luau - The Royal Hawaiian
Experience an island luau in grand Royal Hawaiian style! The 'Aha 'Aina Luau takes place at the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as the Pink Palace.
from $157.56
Waikiki Starlight Luau - Hilton Hawaiian Village

The Waikiki Starlight Luau takes place right in the middle of Waikiki, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Rooftop Garden.
from $116.23
Waikiki - Oahu

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