AQWA, Perth's favourite aquarium, is located alongside Hillarys Boat Harbour, and is located approximately 23km north of Perth. This is one of the places we love to visit with the kids in Perth at least once per year. It’s not the cheapest thing to do in Perth, but if you are a visitor to Perth it must go on your to do list and if your a local it's a great place to take the family for a treat. If you want to visit more often it’s definitely beneficial to invest in a AQWA Ocean Pass.
As soon as we arrived my oldest boy just wanted to race through the place, and it was difficult to get him to slow down and have a good look at all the displays (to make sure we got out monies worth!). So it’s a good idea to print out the activity sheets from the website before you go, so they can take more time to take it all in, and hopefully learn something along the way.
The main feature is the underwater tunnel. It has a slow moving conveyor belt that you can stand on as it takes you around. It’s amazing to stand on the conveyor that takes you around the bottom of the aquarium and to look up and see large stingrays, turtles and sharks glide overhead. It’s also filled with an array of different fish species that you would find along the Shipwreck Coast from Lancelin to Kalbarri.You can often see divers in the aquarium too. (If you're keen to dive in the tank you can take in one of AQWA's Adventures and dive with the sharks!)
There are lots of small displays of all things aquatic, jelly fish, hermit crabs, crocodiles and another favourite spot the Mettams Touch Pool which is located just outside the cafe. Our advice with the touch pool is to either take spare t-shirts for the kids or get them to take their t-shirts off as they are most likely going to get very wet! The kids love this part they can touch the skin of small sharks, pick up star fish and feel the slimy fish as they swim by. They will also love these under water viewers that give them a good look at what lives beneath the water.
From the touch pool we wandered down to Stingray Bay. This is a large, shallow area with a waterfall and pool full of stingrays, located outside the aquarium building. Sit by the water and watch the stingrays “wave” as they glide past. There's also a great viewing platform, if you don't want to head down all the stairs.
You can now also find a great little toddler playground alongside Sting Ray Bay.
After Stingray Bag you can head down to the second large aquarium that features marine life from our far north. It’s full of thousands of amazing brightly coloured fish and other marine life from the region. There's a few interactive displays down here too.
On your way out to the café for a bite to eat or a coffee, another visit to the Touch Pool is always in order. Lastly, there’s a great gift shop on the way out, just in case you think maybe you haven’t spent enough money already. AQWA is mostly pram and disabled accessible, with ramps and a lift to help you get around. AQWA is the perfect outing if you are looking to take the kids out for a treat or if you have friends visiting Perth, a visit to AQWA is a must.
More information: www.aqwa.com.au
How To Get There:
Posted by Lauren Kids Around Perth, 21st July 2012. Updated 27th June 2016
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