Spend Time Whale Watching in Maui
Who doesn’t love watching huge humpback whales breaching out of the water? There are several tours associated with whale watching throughout Hawaii, but only one place where you can truly get an educational experience as well. That’s at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Maui. Established in 1992 by Congress to protect humpback whales and their habitat, this sanctuary contains less than 600 feet of shallow, warm water around the main islands of Hawaii.
As one of the most important whale sanctuaries on the planet, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Situated in Kihei, Maui, the Sanctuary Education and Learning Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. offering special hands-on interactive programs, education materials and exhibits. If you’ve always wanted to catch a glimpse of humpback whales in their natural environment, this is the place. Whether you view them from land or sea, you can watch them go about their daily business as they frolic, play, nurture and eat.
In the visitor’s center, you’ll find many exhibits showcasing the history and life of humpback whales in and around Hawaii. From a historic Hawaiian fishpond to conservation efforts, you’ll get the inside scoop on many marine animals and coral reefs in the area. You’ll also find out what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is doing to protect not only the whales, but also monk seals and sea turtles. The visitor’s center has been recently renovated, with some of the following exhibits planned:
• Coral Reefs and Marine Life
• Entangled Whales
• Listening for Humpback Whales
• Maritime Heritage
• Native Hawaiian Plants and Culture
• Sea Turtles
• Volcanoes Under the Sea
• The Hawaiian Archipelago
• Tsunamis and Waves
• Weather and Climate Change
Kida and adults alike will enjoy learning about humpback whales and their typical behaviors. Did you know they migrate to Hawaii every year between November and May? Their peak season is actually January to March. To see them in action, you can take a boat tour or whale watching cruise. You can also view them from land at one of the many suggested shoreline spots, such as Makapu‘u Lighthouse, Halona Blowhole, and Diamond Head Scenic Lookout in Oahu, or Papawai Point and the sanctuary education center in Maui.
According to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary website, whale watching is a big money-making industry in Hawaii, bringing in an estimated $20 million every year.
Be on the lookout for a humpback’s blow, which can burst up to 20 feet into the air. Be aware that adult humpbacks come up for air every 10 to 15 minutes to breathe, with calves coming up every three to five minutes. Bring binoculars with you for the most up close and personal views. Hopefully, you’ll get to see a whale launch itself out of the water right in front of your eyes!
Let Hoku Hawaii Tours show you where the best whale watching tours are for a truly unique experience.