Maui Ocean Center Unveils New Māʻalaea Whale Lookout

January 14, 2016, 8:33 AM HST · Updated January 14, 8:33 AM
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New Māʻalaea Lookout. Photo credit Maui Ocean Center.

New Māʻalaea Lookout. Photo credit Maui Ocean Center.

The Maui Ocean Center recently unveiled its new Māʻalaea Lookout just in time for the humpback whale season in Hawaiʻi.

The facility’s maintenance team built the observation platform behind the Maui Ocean Center Tide Pool exhibit to provide the public and small groups with an ocean view of Māʻalaea Harbor.

MOC representatives say visitors have already reported whale sightings while at Maui Ocean Center. The viewing station features two free-to-use telescopes for up-close views of activity in Māʻalaea Bay.

Maui Ocean Center representatives note that the waters surrounding Māʻalaea are renowned for whale-watching activities and are a part of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

New Māʻalaea Lookout. Photo credit Maui Ocean Center.

New Māʻalaea Lookout. Photo credit Maui Ocean Center.

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“Māʻalaea was once a prominent fishing village and a place of rest for weary travelers. Today, it’s a central hub for local boaters ranging from snorkel tours, whale-watching groups, to fishing vessels,” Maui Ocean Center representatives said in an announcement.

Māʻalaea is also known for its strong trade winds that are generated between Haleakalā and the West Maui Mountains.

“As a result, Māʻalaea is home to what’s arguably the world’s fastest breaking surfable wave,” often referred to as “Freight Trains,” company representatives said.

Marine naturalist at new Māʻalaea Lookout. Photo credit Maui Ocean Center.

Marine naturalist at new Māʻalaea Lookout. Photo credit Maui Ocean Center.

A marine naturalist will aslo be present at various times throughout the day to answer questions about the nearshore waters and the ocean life it supports.

“They will be there to assist you with spotting whale activity and explaining unique whale behavior including tail slaps, blowing water, breaches, and more,” Maui Ocean Center representatives said.

The Maui Ocean Center also features a Marine Mammal Discovery Center where visitors can learn about Hawaiʻi’s mammals with a variety of interactive displays and games.

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