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“FANTASTIC... and Free!”

Mokupapapa Discovery Center
Ranked #28 of 81 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Mokupapapa Discovery Center allows visitors to learn about the natural science, culture, and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, and the surrounding marine environment. Since most people might not have the opportunity to visit these remote islands, the facility on the bayfront in Hilo, Hawai'i serves to ""bring the place to the people"" and spur greater public awareness of the region and ocean conservation issues. Housed in Hilo's historic, century-old Koehnen Building, Mokupapapa features a 3,500 gallon saltwater aquarium, interactive educational exhibits, lifesize models of wildlife found in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, artwork inspired by those islands and Hawaiian culture, and many interpretive panels in both Hawaiian and English. The beauty of the historic Koehnen building has been preserved and refreshed to show off its majesty, including a koa wood staircase, Hawaiian hardwood floors, and high ceilings.
Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
607 reviews
312 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 395 helpful votes
“FANTASTIC... and Free!”
Reviewed 29 November 2012

The Discovery Center is a fresh, new-looking, well-designed (albeit rather small) museum devoted to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, which are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

The beautiful exhibits and displays describe in an exciting, vibrant, easy-to-read-manner, the biology, ecology, and history of these little known islands.

The hands-on displays are fun and the aquarium is neat, too!

Visited November 2012
3 Thank Keith-B-Robinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
199 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed 20 September 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our brief visit at this center browsing through many informative exhibits on hawaiian coral reefs' and history. There's an aquarium at the back of the exhibit with beautiful reef fishes. A must visit for less than an hour.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank 12Coffee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
284 reviews
197 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Closed on Monday- Bummer!”
Reviewed 9 August 2012

Really wanted to see this aquarium but it was closed on Sunday and Monday, our last day in Hilo.... will have to see it next time. Small store front setting right on the main shopping drag of Hilo. I could have stopped in Saturday but I thought it was further away.

Visited August 2012
Thank ellenkay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Informative for being so small”
Reviewed 29 May 2012

Investigate the Northren Hawaiian island and conservation efforts being undertaken. Watch a movie in there small theater or try your hand operating the submarine robot arm. There is a small aquarium and great exhibits so spend a few minutes or an hour
Donations accepted

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Lopaka S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oahu, Hawaii
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A must see”
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Very educational and lots of information well displayed in a small space. This marine monument informational center is wort stopping by with the family.

Visited March 2012
Thank Kokiaabq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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