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Mokupapapa Discovery Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 76 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2831
Phone Number:
+1 808-933-8180

The Mokupapapa Discovery Center allows visitors to learn about the natural...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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hidden jem of information

I had no idea that this was even here, we stumbled past and went in after lunch. Amazing staff the really care about what they teach. This is kind of the only way to learn about... read more

Reviewed 7 March 2017
Los Angeles, California
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50 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 49: English reviews
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
85 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2017

I had no idea that this was even here, we stumbled past and went in after lunch. Amazing staff the really care about what they teach. This is kind of the only way to learn about the northern island chain and the national monument. I would love to go there after learning so much about the other islands!

Thank Brian0Tindall
Pahoa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
235 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2017

Beautifully and artfully arranged, the entire center invites curiosity and then satisfies it. Its a perfect venue for deepening a sense of wonder about the oceanic realm which surrounds the Hawaiian archipelago. Books for reading and magnet tiles for building keep little minds and hands busy for a good long while. No children to bring along? Go on in anyway... More 

Thank Gabriele S
Vernon, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2017

We stopped in on a rainy day excursion to Hilo and spent at least 3 hrs in here. Watched the half hr video and spent a lot of time on the exhibits. Our 5 year old (there with mom dad and grandparents) spent a lot of time at the colouring table with a new friend he met there. The video... More 

Thank John F
Long Beach, Washington
Level Contributor
76 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2017

There is lots to see at this Discovery Center. It mainly focuses on the pollution and human damage to the Islands. There is a small movie theatre, a large gallery with exhibits and murals and Hawaiian canoes, statues.

Thank HawaiiDaveJr
Northern California
Level Contributor
236 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2017

Fun museum about the outer islands of NW Hawaii. Interesting. Established in a re-do of an older Hilo commercial building. Some emphasis on activities for kids

Thank nurealam
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
145 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2016

Love the historic building and that entrance is free (you can always make a donation!). This is a small discovery centre but there are a number of interesting displays; chief among them is the large aquarium stocked with fish that you see in Hawaiian waters. Very pleasant to just relax and watch the fish for a while. The general theme... More 

Thank Kinneylynn
Waimea, Hawaii, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2016

In a beloved and beautiful historic building on the Bayfront in Hilo, this is a great place of learning with a terrific, knowledgeable, and caring staff, and a strong commitment to taking care of our Earth and Ocean and inspiring all of us to do the same.

Thank Calley O
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2016

We found this place by accident and were glad we did. My four year old loved the big fish tank and using the fish identification card available at the front desk to identify them. They called our attention to a new species of Butterflyfish that had recently been discovered in the protected area; he was thrilled to spy it in... More 

1 Thank travlinmomz
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2016 via mobile

Stopped in while aimlessly wandering downtown. The fish aquarium was huge and very cool fish, which included a few we've never seen before. Worth a stop if you are in the area.

Thank John P
Level Contributor
122 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2016

A great display of fish and sea mammals in the Hawaiian Islands. It had a beautiful aquarium of tropical fish. Staff was very knowledge.

Thank AlamedaYankeegal

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