By Tamlyn Nicoll
Whether you are a Perth local or a tourist; whether you have kids of not, do not miss your opportunity to visit to the Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA). It is one of our favourite family things to do in Perth, especially during the school holidays. A visit to this spectacular underwater display of sea life will not leave you disappointed.
What Makes AQWA So Special?
The Aquarium of Western Australia is one of the largest aquariums in Australia. Located in the Hillarys Boat Harbour, the aquarium is home to a vast array of marine life, including sharks, stingrays, turtles, and many other fascinating undersea creatures.
AQWA is only home to marine life that is native to the beautiful blue waters of our Western Australian coastline. (Fun fact: up to 70% of the species of marine life found in WA waters, cannot be found anywhere else in the world!) Western Australia is truly spoilt with the most incredible, bio-diverse coastline.
AQWA is also one of the only aquariums in the world that doesn’t use artificial corals in its exhibits. You will only see living, local corals at AQWA.
Inside The Aquarium of Western Australia
Our favourite part of AQWA is, without a doubt, the underwater tunnel. As you step onto the moving conveyor belt, you will be carried through a transparent tunnel and will watch in awe as the marine life swim all around you. This experience never gets boring no matter how many times you visit the Aquarium.
At the turtle rescue pool you can visit the sick and injured turtles and see how they are rehabilitated before they are released back into the wild.
A special ticket (at an extra cost) can get you a snorkel or scuba dive in the shark tank for those brave enough, and you can also pay extra to have a special glass-bottom boat ride over Australia’s largest single aquarium. (Which, of course, is inside AQWA.)
Finding Nemo and Dory in their respective tanks is always a big highlight for the small folk! The aquarium also offers educational programs for students of all ages, aimed at teaching them about the importance of conservation and sustainability of the ocean.
Watching the many electric blue jelly fish swimming up and down the cylindrical tank in a darkened room is utterly mesmerizing and memorable.
The Glowing Ocean exhibit is AQWA’s newest exhibit and uses clever UV lighting to show off a beautiful collection of glowing corals and the fluorescent details of fish and anemones.
The touch pool provides an interactive experience where you can actually stroke the baby sharks and pick up the beautiful starfish.
AQWA prices for entrance tickets are $32 for adults, $19 for children and free for infants, with a family pass priced at $90. Annual memberships can also be purchased which actually make a lot of sense if you are local and plan on visiting every school holiday. Tickets can be purchased online or at the entrance. Prices valid at time of publishing. Check here for the latest prices.
AQWA is open from 9am to 4pm every day except Christmas. The aquarium has its own cafe and gift shop and offers 4 hours of free parking.
Not only will you learn interesting information about marine life during a visit to Perth’s Aquarium, AQWA, but you will undoubtedly have a highly entertaining and enjoyable day out. My children would love to visit AQWA every single school holiday if they could and, I must admit, it’s an excursion I really enjoy myself!
Find out more about AQWA below:
A: 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys 6025
P: (08) 6245 6518
Looking for more school holiday inspiration? Head to our dedicated Family page here!