Boasting the world’s largest living collection of sea dragons and seahorses, the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, just north of Kailua-Kona, is part of the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park. Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm is conveniently located just five minutes south of Kona airport at Keahole Point. This educational experience features organized tours that let you experience everything about the life cycle of the beloved seahorse and weedy sea dragons.
The educational and entertaining tours at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm last between one and 1 ½ hours and are all led by a certified and professional Biologist who has been trained in public speaking. Aside from the tours, there is also an aquarium in the facility featuring more than 36 species of seahorses, along with an interactive tide pool with a fish feeding station for children to enjoy.
Near the Seahorse Farm is the Kanaloa Octopus Farm, just half a mile north of that location. Kanaloa is a cephalopod aquaculture research facility. At this location, you can participate in octopus tours and even interact with them in their tanks. Since the octopus farm is located near Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, many people visit both locations while in the area. Make sure to visit the seahorse farm first, though, as doing it in the other order means you won’t be permitted to enter the seahorse farm due to biosecurity concerns from visiting the octopus farm.
Now back to Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and what makes it such a special spot and a great way to spend a few hours in the area: This location has been and remains one of Hawaii’s most popular attractions year after year. As such, it has earned a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. It has also been an acclaimed and recognized organic Hawaiian-based aqua-farm since 1998, meaning it adheres to strict farming practices and inspires ocean awareness by saving endangered species.
Seahorses are one of the most beloved and admired sea creatures in all the ocean. After all, how cool is it that the males carry the babies? When visiting this location, you will learn all about seahorses and see them throughout their life cycle as babies and then adults. You even get to feed the adults and hold one. It is a fun and fascinating experience as seahorses are just naturally friendly and cute. There are only two such farms in the entire world and this is one of the two!
During your tour, your guide will carry a portable amp to ensure that you can hear all the information being given. This is especially helpful when the area is full of people who are interacting with seahorses. Guests claim that the tours, along with the touch tank and aquariums, mean that a visit here is well organized. There are plenty of activities to enjoy while waiting your turn to access certain areas. Guests also say that the staff is friendly, and the gift shop is great, especially if you want to get a t-shirt to take home as a souvenir of your visit.
While Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm is a fun place to visit when in the area, keep in mind that it is a work aqua-farm, meaning it has a more industrial atmosphere when compared to mainstream aquariums. In other words, the main goal of this farm is the conservation and furtherance of seahorses. The tours will explain how the lives of seahorses are being threatened and what can be done to mitigate these risks and restore the seahorse to validity in the wild.
Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm Tour Tickets get you in the building where you can participate in a tour encompassing the three-acre farm and see the world’s only 100% sustainable marine aquarium housing some 20 endangered species who are all bred at ocean rider. Of course, all ticket purchases are used to continue the work of the farm and save more seahorses!
-Kids 4 and under cannot hold a seahorse, but they can explore the tide pool and fish feeding. Kids must be 5 to hold a seahorse.
-Discounts are offered both for military and seniors as well as local residents.
-Due to uneven terrain on the farm, it isn’t ideal for wheelchairs or strollers.
-Don’t visit any other aquatic facility or farm before visiting the Seahorse Farm. This is necessary to keep a biosecure farm.
-Guests must wear shorts, shoes, and shirts to visit the farm. No swimsuits allowed.