Mokupapapa Discovery Center

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

The Mokupapapa Discovery Center was established in 2003 in Hilo, Hawaii. It is an educational center to share the science, culture and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the incredible marine environment in the area with the public. The center is located in a beautiful historic building and offers a large saltwater aquarium, many interactive displays and exhibits, artwork and life-sized wildlife statues.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument was established by Presidential Proclamation in 2006. It was created to protect the unique marine environment and the natural and cultural resources present in the area. It is the largest completely protected conservation area under U.S. protection, and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.

A year after establishment, it was given its Hawaiian name, Papahānaumokuākea. The name is the combination of two Hawaiian ancestors – Papahānaumoku (a mother figure) and Wākea (a father figure)– who are said to have created the Hawaiian Archipelago and the Hawaiian people.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument contains 582,578 square miles of the Pacific Ocean and is home to over 7,000 marine species, many of which are only found in this area. There is very limited visitation allowed within the protected area so the Mokupapapa Discovery Center was established to “bring the place to the people” and help bring public awareness to ocean conservation.

The Mokupapapa Discovery Center offers a family friendly experience with fun interactive displays and great opportunities to learn about the fish, bird and mammal species that inhabit this incredible region. Plan for an hour or two to browse the exhibits, enjoy the aquarium and watch the educational films.

Tues – Sat 9am-4pm
*Admission Free

76 Kamehameha Ave
Hilo, HI 96720

(808) 933-8180

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