AQWA, or the Aquarium of Western Australia, is located in Hillarys, Western Australia. Once Australia’s largest aquarium, AQWA is now known as being the home of Australia’s largest single aquarium and walk-through underwater tunnel. The aquarium is a popular destination for local residents and visitors, and is an ideal location to come and learn about the unique coastal environment around Western Australia’s capital city.
- Themed Zones – AQWA is home to a number of themed zones, that visitors can walk through in their underwater journey through Western Australia’s coastal environment. In each zone, visitors can see the marine plants and animals typical in those areas, and learn about them. The themed zones include AQWA’s Great Southern Coast, exploring the waters of the Southern Ocean; AQWA’s Shipwreck Coast, Australia’s largest walkthrough aquarium; AQWA’s Perth Coast, exploring the coastline of Perth city; AQWA’s Far North Coast, exploring the remote northern coastlines; AQWA’s DANGERzone, where deadly creatures reside; and AQWA’s Coral Reef, an underwater exhibit that explores the reef habitat.
- Activities for Kids – AQWA is a popular destination for families and children, and provides a variety of interesting onsite activities to help parents keep their kids occupied. The most interesting of these is AQWA’s Marmion Marine Park, a touch pool where families can interact with live animals. These animals, which are completely safe, include starfish and other basic marine life, that can be touched and held, while providing a unique learning experience.
- Experiences at AQWA – If learning about the area’s unique marine life isn’t enough, AQWA also offers unique marine experiences at the aquarium. These experiences include a chance to dive or snorkel with sharks, stingrays, turtles and other marine life in the aquarium’s Shipwreck Coast exhibit, as well as the Reefwalker experience, where visitors can walk on the seabed of the Coral Reef exhibit, and get up close to tropical fish. These experiences are additional cost to entry fees and are available by booking online.
|Family (2 adults, 2 children)||$79|
|Dive/Snorkel With Sharks||Cost $159;
Snorkel Hire $20;
Dive Equipment Hire $40
|30 to 45 minutes guided snorkel or dive, includes aquarium entry. Divers must be certified|
|Reefwalker||$20||Guided underwater walk, includes equipment hire. Does not include entry. No experience required|
- Facilities – For the convenience of AQWA visitors, there is a cafe available onsite that serves food and beverages. There are limitations on the food that visitors can bring into the aquarium themselves, however the Hillarys Boat Harbour area is home to a wide variety of other food options, within an easy walk from the aquarium. There is also a gift shop on site, with unique marine souvenirs for sale.
- Events – AQWA is available as a venue for your next event. The aquarium hosts everything from corporate events to weddings, with full details available on request.
- Enjoying With The App – To get the most out of your visit to AQWA, consider downloading the aquarium’s phone apps, which include an audio tour and a variety of aquarium related activities.
- Car: Drive north from Perth on the Mitchell Freeway (Route 2). Take the exit left onto Hepburn Avenue (Route 82) and follow signs for Hillarys Boat Harbour and AQWA. Parking is available onsite at extra cost.
- Public Transport: Take a Joondalup line train from Perth to Warwick station. Connect on the No. 423 bus to Hillarys Boat Harbour and AQWA.
AQWA was first opened in 1988, and was then known as Underwater World Perth. In 1991 it was acquired by Coral World International and Morris Kahn, who changed the name to AQWA: The Aquarium of Western Australia, in January of 2001.
When the aquarium first opened, it contained just two smaller aquarium exhibits: the smaller Touch Pool, and the main walk-through aquarium, now known as Shipwreck Coast. It has since expanded, and now offers more than 40 exhibits, holding the title as the 10th largest aquarium in the world.
- AQWA holds a total of 4 million litres of water, and is home to more than 4,000 individual fish.
- The Shipwreck Coast aquarium is 40 metres long and 20 metres wide. It holds 3,000,000 litres of seawater, and contains a 98 metre underwater tunnel, making it the largest in Australia.