Swimming With Sea Lions & Sting Rays At Sea Life Park In Hawaii

Last Updated on June 19, 2015

Feeling The Underside Of The Sting Ray

Sea Life Park is set against a the picturesque Hawaiian backdrop of Makapuu Point between the Koolau Mountain Range and Makapuu Beach, and is located just 15 miles from Waikiki.

Besides the actual interactive activities, there really was not much to see or do at the Sea Life park. We didn’t feel that there was enough going on there to entertain us for long, unless you are taking part an interactive program. This is a great park to tour for an hour, take in a 20 min show and do a shark, stingray or dolphin adventure. Make sure you try to plan your animal encounters closer together as there was not much to do between the encounters.

However, the interactive programs really were well done. The staff was very knowledgeable, had great commentary and really seemed to care about the animals they work with.

Since I had swam with dolphins before, I decided I needed to try something different: Sea Lions & Hawaiian Sting Rays.

Learning About The Sting Ray

When the name Sting Ray is mentioned, people automatically think “Steve Irwin,” which was the first concern the “trainer” had when I stepped into the water; if what happened terrified me from getting close to these amazing creatures.

What happened was really sad. Incredibly sad. I’m not saying anything was done wrong in that accident, not at all. However, I learned that Sting Rays really don’t want to hurt you, and won’t, unless you somehow frighten them.

You wouldn’t want to swim over top of them while they are hiding from predators as they won’t be able to see you and will turn on their self-defense.

It was great to snorkel in the sting ray sanctuary with these docile creatures, touch their surprisingly sleek skin, and learn a bit about how the Sting Rays ‘think’ .

Touching the underside (the white part) of the Sting Rays is okay, but never the black top as you will remove some of the protective coating that helps keep them healthy.

Ready For A Smooch?

Interacting with two Sea Lions, Darcy and I realized just how smart these creatures really are. With high fives, dancing, and kisses all around from them, it was obvious how much the Sea Lions love the human interaction and were thriving and having fun within that environment.

One of the Sea Lions was blind and it was amazing watching her navigate her way around the area. They may smell fishy, but these creatures are definitely an amazing creation.

The opportunity to touch, pet, and play games with the sea lions as they demonstrated their amazing agility showed what intelligent, yet comical, creatures Sea Lions are.


What have been your favorite animals to interact with?