Long before Pixar animators brought us the heart-warming story of an overprotective clown fish searching the oceans for his lost son, generations of Western Australians were already letting their own imaginations run wild at one of WA’s most iconic marine destinations.
Today, AQWA (Aquarium of Western Australia) continues to enjoy tremendous support from those hailing from local and foreign shores, offering a truly unique insight into the diversity, colour and beauty of our state’s coastline.
And there sure is plenty of coast to cover! More than 12,000km in fact, stretching from the warm waters of the Timor Sea to the chilly Southern Ocean, home to thousands of marine species ranging from gentle giants and silent swimmers to cute critters and apex predators
Our oceans in focus
Obviously there’s only so much ocean AQWA can fit into one space, so they concentrate on some of our most important and engaging regions by showcasing some of our most distinct marine environments.
Great Southern Coast
A breathtaking mix of rugged power and intricate beauty is reflected below the waves with the iconic great white shark and the leafy sea dragon. Added to the mix are complex communities of sponges and corals that colonise caves and jetties.
Travel on a conveyor belt, through an underwater tunnel in Australia’s largest single aquarium. This aquarium which holds an amazing three million litres of water – pumped directly from the Indian Ocean next door.
The white sandy beaches of the metro coast flow into a shallow sandy seafloor dotted with seagrass beds, islands and reefs. Formed during the last ice-age, these reefs have been worn by water and waves to create a marine matrix of caves, crevices and swim-throughs.
Far North Coast
In this region of extremes the desolation of the desert borders the bustling underwater world of coral reefs and the warmth of the clear water, which makes it so inviting, also increases the potency of poisons carried by marine creatures for defence.
At AQWA, concentrating on specific regions doesn’t mean compromising on size and scale. These environments come alive across 40 separate exhibits, together holding more than four million litres of water and fed by thousands of pipes pumping a staggering 100,000 litres of water every hour.
On a marine mission
While this WA icon guarantees a memorable WA marine experience, there’s also an important focus behind all the fun. AQWA’s mission is to actively foster understanding, wonder and respect for Western Australia’s marine-life, showcasing our unique coastline and providing visitors and locals alike with a sub-surface ocean experience.
“AQWA offers an opportunity to uncover the fascinating marine life that hugs the Western Australian coastline,” says General Manager Catherine Buckley.
“Children discover creatures of the deep that are usually only seen by divers, international visitors can appreciate the uniqueness of WA life and local families enjoy a great day out.”
Education and entertainment beneath the sea
A trip to AQWA is as much about education as it is entertainment, which is why they’re committed to offering interactive education programs for primary, senior and university students tailored to curriculum and presenting an opportunity to uncover the wonders of our surrounding coastline or inspire marine careers.
There’s even more on offer for the young or young at heart -such as diving with sharks, shark sleepovers, behind the scenes tours and exclusive adults-only events. Throw in birthdays, weddings and corporate functions and there’s something on offer for anyone keen on an adventure through this fascinating underwater world.
So if it’s been a while since your last visit to AQWA – or if you’re yet to experience WA from under the sea – head along for a glimpse at life below the surface.
You might even find Nemo.
Our energy helps drive WA business
Kleenheat’s proud to be the energy behind local WA businesses, which includes helping to drive AQWA’s mission to showcase our unique coastline.
AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia
91 Southside Dr, Hillarys WA 6025
(08) 9447 7500