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“DONT BOTHER VISITING - Worst aquarium I've ever seen: Massively overpriced with very few fish”
Review of Aqwa

Aqwa
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$48.47*
and up
Whale-Watching Cruise and Hillarys Boat Harbour Day Trip from Perth
Ranked #2 of 21 things to do in Hillarys
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: An awesome underwater adventure awaits you at AQWA! AQWA is WA’s premiere marine attraction located just 20 minutes north of Perth City. Discover more of WA’s spectacular marine life as you go on an underwater journey along our coast, from the icy-cold waters of the Southern Ocean to the tropical wonderland of coral reefs in the Far North. You’ll encounter sharks, stingrays and turtles, meet rare and unusual sea creatures like seadragons, be captivated by a living Coral Reef and face a dangerous and deadly line up of marine life in the DANGERzone. There’s also the chance to gently touch marine life or try an Adventure and dive into one of our aquariums! AQWA is open every day from 10am-5pm.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Australia / Guyana
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“DONT BOTHER VISITING - Worst aquarium I've ever seen: Massively overpriced with very few fish”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

I've always make a point of visiting aquariums wherever I travel. Having been to several dozen all over the world I'd rate AQWA as the equal worst Ive been to.

Admission prices are very steep ($28/adult, $16/child, $75/family) for a very disappointing experience that will take less than an hour to walk through.

Supposedly the aquarium is designed to show the diversity of the aquatic life along the West Australian coast. This is an excellent idea in concept but AQWA fails miserably to fulfill this potential.

The range of environments and fish on show is particularly limited with numerous tanks containing essentially the same display from the local waters around Perth. No longer does the AQWA have seals, dolphins or dugongs. In particular the showpiece walk in tank contains the same display as seen in more than one smaller display elsewhere in the complex. For those with young children in strollers, access downstairs to the showpiece walk-through tank is very difficult as the only way down is via stairs or a tiny, antiquated, slow and creaky lift on it's last legs. I ended up having to physically carry my young one and stroller down the stairs.

Displays from elsewhere along the coast are absent or sparsely populated with fish and the saltwater crocodile display was a huge disappointment with the juvenile crocodiles not even visible.

Furthermore, the design of the complex is also poor with visitors being led on essentially a one way (rather than roundabout trip) to the large display tank outdoors and then having to backtrack to make your way out of the complex. Additionally, the outdoors touch tank was quite disappointing for my children with very little available for the kids to touch and experience whilst staff at AQWA seemed very bored and disinterested.

Finally, the cafe food was mediocre and again terribly overpriced. I was particularly unimpressed to see them charging $1.50 for tomato sauce to go with chips.

In summary, I'm quite disgusted with the aquarium and the atrociously poor value for money.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Shmemley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Westbury, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“If you're into fish, you'll love this”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Walk or dive with the sharks or just be amazed by the variety of marine life from around the Australian coast. Great layout & informative friendly staff. Lots of educational stuff for kids & adults alike.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
263 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“Informative and Fun Visit”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) is located at Hillarys Boat Harbour, right on the coast of Western Australia. It took us approximately 30 minutes to drive there from central Perth. Opening time is 10.00am. When we entered I thought the entry fee was expensive but after spending a few hours there I thought the cost was reasonable. AQWA is well set up with the various fish in separate tanks. The facility pumps fresh seawater from the ocean into its pools and tanks and heats or cools the water as appropriate for each tank. On entry visitors are given a leaflet which gives times for talks by staff at each of the tanks/pools. We went to a number of talks but missed one because we had lunch in AQWA’s café. The talks were informative and the staff were pleased to answer any questions. Visitors stand under the large aquarium and look up to see the sharks, sting rays etc swimming closely overhead. The ‘touch pool’ contains various sea creatures that can be touched, which is a fun place not only for children but also adults. The café has an array of food and is a great way to break up the visit and refresh for more viewing.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank fun2travelCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Shark dive is a must”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

I was given the shark dive as a birthday present and I must say it was fantastic. Keep your fingers away from the turtles and recommended to snorkle (from a person who is a diver - not me!). Good to see the fish up close.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank LeemingTowerOfPizza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable experience”
Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

Went here as a family everyone really enjoyed it. Just walked around & took it all in. Has indoor & outdoor displays. Touch tank was great for kids. Good clean facilities. Price seemed a bit on the high side, but worth it. Has a cafe which looked busy. Gift shop had a good selection.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nomadsby4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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