Aquarium of Western Australia
You don’t need to dive into the ocean to see Australia’s famous coral, sharks and sea turtles. Go and see many of the country’s marine species in the one place!
The AQWA - Aquarium of Western Australia is home to fascinating marine life, species that inhabit the state’s coastal area. There are more than 40 different exhibits housing over 4, 000 different aquatic species. Its main tank, named the Shipwreck Coast, holds nearly 800, 000 gallons (3 million liters) of water and is one of the biggest in Australia.
Make your way through the long see-through tunnel to watch animals of all shapes and sizes swim overhead. You’ll spot sharks up to 13 feet (4 meters) long, enormous rays and heavy loggerhead turtles. See if you can spot an octopus or seahorse.
Book in for the underwater Reefwalker adventure: You breathe through a long hose and can stroll right through the kaleidoscopic array of coral. It is just a selection from the 7, 450 miles (12, 000 kilometers) of Western Australian coastline, which is less known than the Great Barrier Reef but equally stunning. If you’d rather stay dry, you can watch the colorful display from the other side of the glass. If you have experience with snorkeling or diving, rent some gear and jump in with a guide to meet the reef sharks.
Check out the Great Southern Coast for a look at sea dragons and other creatures that call the icy waters home. Visit the Perth Coast exhibit for a look at jellyfish and other species that live along the city’s shore.
Head over to the Far-North Coast exhibit to learn about the underwater world of this highly-isolated region. The tropical lagoon habitat houses odd-looking fish and even crocodiles. Examine some of the most dangerous local creatures at the DANGERzone exhibit. You’ll get to see stonefish, sea snakes and the infamous blue-ringed octopus. Get your hands on some of the aquarium’s safer specimens at the touch pool.
The AQWA is next to Hillarys Boat Harbour, about 13.5 miles (22 kilometers) north from central Perth. It’s open every day of the year, except major public holidays. Note that jumping in with the fish costs extra and needs to be booked in advance.