Waikiki Aquarium

Waikiki Aquarium - Small Aquarium With Exceptional Indoor & Outdoor Exhibits
The Bottom Line:

The Waikiki Aquarium is a small but dynamic aquarium that's located just south of downtown Honolulu. Go here to see exceptional exhibits that really put the animals first and make a pointed effort to share conservatorship information. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

The Waikiki Aquarium is a small but much-beloved aquarium located in Honolulu, HI on the island of Oahu. Great dedication has been made to ensure the animals at Waikiki Aquarium enjoy a rich environment and visitors walk away well-informed about Hawaii’s marine life.

You will find the Waikiki Aquarium near the oceanfront center of the Kapiolani Regional Park. An expansive green space that includes an amphitheater, a beach, and plenty of walking trails. The Centerpoint building at this aquarium is one story tall. While there have been a lot of improvements since its founding in 1904, the Waiki Aquarium has the unique distinction of being the second-oldest United States public aquarium that is still in operation. Only the New York Aquarium has been operating longer. 

To get into the aquarium, you’ll walk up through the front doors of this primary building. You will then pay for your ticket, and find yourself in a foyer with three ways to choose from. You can choose to go to the gift shop to your left, the inside galleries and exhibits to your right, or continue straight to go first to the outside exhibits. Yes, when it comes to Waikiki Aquarium, a good portion of the team’s exhibits lie out in the open. It offers guests a more natural exploration of the aquarium’s marine life and plants. 

Waikiki Aquarium states that it harbors over 3,500 organisms and 500 unique species of South Pacific marine life. Every exhibit has been crafted using a wide variety of plants as well, both underwater and above water. You’ll find that there is a strong eco-forward focus throughout the aquarium. Educating and illustrating everyday ways visitors can help in keeping the oceans clean and healthy.

The galleries and exhibits at Waikiki Aquarium do sometimes change, but most are instead gradually improved to better meet the needs of the animals and plants within. The following is a look at some of the more popular locations at this dynamic Honolulu institution:

South Pacific Marine Communities
This is actually a gallery area within the main building in which guests can browse five unique exhibits, including the Barrier Reefs exhibit. The Barrier Reefs exhibit contains over 100 unique species of fish, corals, and giant clams, at nearly 200 pounds. They are considered the oldest and largest giant clams kept in captivity in the world. 

Hunters on the Reef
This is another interior gallery, but one that features marine life of a more predatory nature. Within this massive tank, guests can watch zebra sharks prowl the water alongside giant groupers and bluefin trevally, predatory fishes in their own right. The giant groupers 

 Ocean Aquaculture
This outdoor exhibit features the Pacific six-fingered threadfin that was once a primary seasonal staple for ancient Hawaiians. This exhibit details not only the fish themselves but how they were used as a food source back then and what efforts are being made today to continue good stewardship. 

Insider Tips:
-This aquarium features a complimentary self-guided audio tour. All you need is your mobile device or other WIFI-enabled device and a pair of headphones to enjoy an informative and enjoyable audio experience as you meander throughout the Waikiki Aquarium grounds. 
-The Waikiki Aquarium does not have any restaurant or similar concession stand available. Although it does have a few vending machines. If you’re looking to spend a morning or afternoon in this area, we recommend putting the Barefoot Beach Cafe on your itinerary. Located within the same larger park area, this outdoor cafe is a quick walk away from the aquarium. It features delicious Hawaiian and standard American grille fare at a good price.