“Over 3000 marine animals”
Over 3,000 marine animals in our exhibits represent more than 500 species of aquatic animals and plants. The Waikiki Aquarium has a long and venerable history. Open on March 19, 1904, it is the second-oldest public aquarium in the United States. Then known as the Honolulu Aquarium, it was established as a commercial venture by the Honolulu Rapid Transit and Land Company, who wished to “show the world the riches of Hawaii’s reefs.” As directors of the transit company, Charles M. Cooke gave a gift of $8,000 for the Aquarium’s construction, and James B. Castle contributed the lease for the building site. They also had a practical objective in using the Aquarium as a means of enticing passengers to ride to the end of the new trolley line in Kapi‘olani Park, where the Aquarium was located. The trolley terminus was across Kalakaua Avenue from the Aquarium, and is now marked by a jogger’s rest area, near the current tennis courts. The Aquarium opened with 35 tanks and 400 marine organisms, and during its first year, the internationally renowned biologist David Starr Jordan proclaimed it as having the finest collection of fishes in the world. Considered state-of-the-art at that time, the Aquarium also received positive comments from such notable visitors of that era as William Jennings Bryan and Jack London.
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- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
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