The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) houses one of Australia’s largest aquariums and underwater viewing tunnels, and houses the largest collection of Western Australian marine life in the world. Launched as AQWA in 1991, the aquarium used to be known as Underwater World. It is located at Hillarys Boat Harbour about 20 minutes drive north of Perth city centre.
While you are at Hillarys Boat Harbour, you can also enjoy a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes, shopping and other leisure activities
AQWA is divided into distinct regions showcasing the different marine life found around the 12,000km of Western Australian coastline, from the cold southern ocean to the tropical northern waters.
- The Far North region displays fish and animals from the tropical northern remote areas such as blue spotted stingrays, clownfish, crocodiles and the dangerous stonefish.
- The Shipwreck Coast zone has the main tank which holds 3 million litres. You travel through the tank on a travelator along the 98m long tunnel, surrounded by sharks up to 4m long, huge stingrays, turtles and reefs with dazzling variety of fish and other marine life.
- The Perth Coast area recreates Perth’s coastline of reefs and sandy bays. Marine life on display includes moon jellies, cuttlefish, octopuses, rock lobsters, sea horses and lionfish.
- The Great Southern Coast region is home to leafy sea dragons, soft corals and sponges, and unusual fish such as blue devil fish, pineapple fish and globefish.
To get to AQWA from Perth, drive north along the Mitchell Freeway and exit at Hepburn Avenue. This takes you to Hillarys Boat Harbour, where you will find AQWA. The Aquarium is open from 10am to 5pm daily.