The Aquarium of Western Australia is the largest true aquarium in Oceania and one of the most popular tourist destinations on Australia’s West Coast. A very diverse facility, it has a large assortment of resident animals that reflect the ecosystems in the nearby Indian Ocean. AQWA is popular with more adventurous visitors as it allows supervised dives in the larger aquatic environments as well as seasonal scuba diving.
This facility opened in 1988 as a small marine attraction originally known as Underwater World. It began with just two exhibits, but has since grown much larger. The facility once incorporated an adjoining sea pen in the Indian Ocean where dolphins were kept, but this closed in 1999. The aquarium boasts one of the largest living coral exhibits anywhere, making it a scientifically important facility.
AQWA is roughly divided into five exhibits, each representing a different region of the ocean off of Austraila’s West Coast. The main attraction is Shipwreck Coast, which features an underwater viewing tunnel over three hundred feet long. This facility boasts a particularly large number of dangerous creatures, including a variety of large sharks, sea snakes, lion fish and octopi.
The Aquarium of Western Australia is located on a peninsula on the south side of Perth’s harbor, approximately ten miles northwest of the city center. It is open year round. As of this writing hours were not available. The cost of admission is $29.00. Web: www.aqwa.com.au (official website).