Sea Life Park Hawaii is in a fantastic location on the windward side of Oahu in Waimānalo. Visitors can learn more about marine mammals, fish and reptiles, and birds. The views of Mānana Island and Makapu’u Point lighthouse are worth the visit.
The park was created in 1964 by Tap Pryor and his then-wife Karen Pryor, marine mammal biologists. The park was an extension of the Oceanic Institute. Karen later went on to create clicker training used with dogs and other animals.
It’s exciting as soon as you park, with views of the Ko’olau mountains. The Shark Cave is the first exhibit to enter.
The honu (green sea turtle) area is next. Such magnificent creatures! There is another area with monk seals.
The Dolphin Lagoon has fun shows and great views.
The Hale Manu (house of the birds) has various love birds. We really enjoyed going in and feeding these little brilliant fellows.
I had a good time watching the penguins play and there are gift shops and many choices for food.
If you attend the luau, it’s in the area called Makapu’u Meadows. You can’t beat the sunset views!
Sea Life Park came into my imagination with its location next to TC’s helicopter tour company in Magnum P.I. from the 1980s (see http://magnum-mania.com/Articles/The_Chopper.html) and its starring role in Fifty First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.
Sea Life Park Hawaii is in Waimānalo near the Makapu’u Point lighthouse, Route 72. A nice day for us is to spend the morning in the Kailua and Kaneohe area (drive from Waikiki: take the H1 west to 61 Pali Highway north. After going over the Pali, follow the 61 signs into Kailua town and Lanikai Beach.) From Kailua, take Route 72 south towards Waimānalo. Also, you can get to Sea Life Park Hawaii by taking the H1 east (windward) and stay on it as it becomes Route 72. You can also take The Bus from Waikiki: take number 22 or 23 to Sea Life Park.
Grabbing a bite
Sea Life Park hosts Ka Moana Luau on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30 pm. The ticket to the luau includes a Sea Life Park ticket. If you decide on this option, I recommend giving yourself at least two hours in the park before it closes (open 9:30 – 4). The luau includes some cultural activities, a buffet dinner, and a Polynesian show. The buffet includes salads, vegetables, pork, chicken, and fish, and desserts. No matter how you feel about tourist luaus, the views of sunset are spectacular, and the dancers work hard.
Inside the park there are five different places to get hot dogs, snacks, or Hawaiian favorites.
Nearby Waimānalo and Hawaii Kai have good food choices.
Resource links for Sea Life Park Hawaii
- Sea Life Park Hawaii
- Ka Moana Luau
- About Karen Pryor from Karen Pryor Clicker Training
- Fifty First Dates (2004) from IMDb
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