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“Expensive, but okay.”

EcoWorld Picton Aquarium
Ranked #13 of 35 things to do in Picton
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Attraction details
Owner description: Meet the Locals at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium.•Nature •Heritage •Explore & Learn •Family – Friendly •Affordable •FUNExplore, get up close, have fun discovering some amazing animals that make New Zealand, (the youngest country in the world), Unique!We strive to deliver outstanding, intimate and unique visitor learning experiences. Our enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff help you discover and have fun, showing you some of the cool native animals that live in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. •Little Blue Penguins + Behind the Scenes Tour* of penguin area and Wildlife Rehabilitation Refuge•Tuataras + Close Encounters Tour* with New Zealand’s very rare “living fossil”•Giant Weta (Maori wetapunga - “God of the ugly things”)•Seahorses - tiny baby “ponies” to adult New Zealand pot-bellied seahorses•Giant squid - “Monster of the deep” - preserved 5 metre giant squid•Fish from Marlborough Sounds - sharks, crayfish, rays, octopus, blue cod, snapper many more•Kakariki - endangered native parakeet•Lizards - geckos, skinks, + frogs and turtles in a turtle refuge etc.•Orca and Hectors Dolphin - life size models•Touch pool, children's area, movies, shells, fossils, many highly informative displays. Open every day except Christmas Day
Great Malvern, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Expensive, but okay.”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Expensive for the size of the aquarium and the live animals were outnumbered by pictures and videos of them.

My kids enjoyed it though and it was okay for half an hour's diversion.

Expensive even with a pretty cool giant squid for the kids to check out.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoWorldNZ, Owner at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium, responded to this review, November 23, 2013
Hi

Thank you for taking time to give feedback on Trip advisor.

We at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium really appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback.

We were a little disappointed that you did have a better experience and did not meet a penguin or touch a tuatara.

As Marlborough's most visited paid for visitor attraction we know from the personal feedbacks and from the many positive comments in our visitors books that we deliver great value for money.

We strive to give our visitors outstanding, unique learning experiences. Our enthusiastic knowledgeable staff help you discover and have fun, sharing with you some of the amazing lives of some of New Zealand's native animals that live in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

Our aim is to give your the best visitor experience possible. When we farewell you we so appreciate the big thank you's and positive feedbacks that it was great a great visit because:

1. "The animals are so cool and visitors appreciate our care of the animals"

2. "Our staff are great hosts and guides and so knowledgeable and we love the stories"

3. "The admission price was very fairly priced, especially the 7 day repeat visit benefit."


We look forward to hosting you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 reviews from our community

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Motueka, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“See to believe”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Everybody must stop here family's a must cheap entry lots to see and do and you can touch lol. Open all year round wet or fine

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank nigelc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoWorldNZ, Manager at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give feedback on Trip advisor.

We at EcoWorld Aquarium really appreciate you taking the time to provide positive feedback.

We strive to give our visitors outstanding, unique learning experiences. Our enthusiastic knowledgeable staff help you discover and have fun, sharing with you some of the amazing lives of some of New Zealand's native animals that live in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

Our aim is to give your the best visitor experience possible.

When we farewell you we so appreciate the big thank yous and positive feedbacks that it was great a great visit because:

1. The animals are so cool.

2. Your staff are great hosts and guides and so knowledgeable and

3. the admission price was very fairly priced.

Thank you.

We look forward to hosting you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Interesting enough for the kids, but not really value for money”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We stopped into the aquarium on a very rainy day in Picton. It wasn't very busy, a few families wandering round on this school holiday weekday. The exhibits were interesting, the kids particularly enjoyed the touch pool, sea horses and (very active) tuatara. The boat-that-was-also-a-pool was also good, it was cool to see all those crabs up close. The inside of the aquarium was a bit tired, could maybe do with a bit of brightening up. Overall we had a good time there, probably stayed about 40 minutes or so. I know the ticket allows us to come back anytime over the next week but for $55 (2 adults + 2 kids) it is probably a little bit more than we would have preferred to pay. It was okay, but a bit more value in return for the cost would have been nice.

Helpful?
1 Thank David0000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoWorldNZ, Owner at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium, responded to this review, November 23, 2013
Hi

Thank you for taking time to give feedback on Trip advisor.

We at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium really appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback.

We were a little disappointed that you did have a better experience and did not meet a penguin or touch a tuatara.

As Marlborough's most visited paid for visitor attraction we know from the personal feedbacks and from the many positive comments in our visitors books that we deliver great value for money.

We strive to give our visitors outstanding, unique learning experiences. Our enthusiastic knowledgeable staff help you discover and have fun, sharing with you some of the amazing lives of some of New Zealand's native animals that live in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

Our aim is to give your the best visitor experience possible. When we farewell you we so appreciate the big thank you's and positive feedbacks that it was great a great visit because:

1. "The animals are so cool and visitors appreciate our care of the animals"

2. "Our staff are great hosts and guides and so knowledgeable and we love the stories"

3. "The admission price was very fairly priced, especially the 7 day repeat visit benefit."


We look forward to hosting you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“heartbreaking”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

This is the worse Aquarium i have been to in my whole life. It is way to overpriced and badly run. But what disturbed us the most were the horrible life conditions under which the animals have to life. The water bassins dont have enough oxygen. ( you can tell, because the fishes are all swimming unnatuarly close to the surface). The tanks are very dirty and not well equipped with plants and technical equippment.
The cages of the land animals are in that horrible condition, too.
It is heartbreaking and very sad.
They shouldnt be allowed to run a place in that condition.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank dickbratze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoWorldNZ, Manager at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for taking time to give feedback on Trip advisor and please read our response to your comments below.

In response to your criticisms about the living conditions of the animals, please be reassured that the welfare of our animals is our absolute top priority.

Our fish are mostly local species that live in the nearshore rocky reefs of the Marlborough Sounds. Their natural environment is cold, murky, difficult to visit and provides a haven for rare and endangered species. We therefore try to recreate the same marine environment that our fish would have in the wild, so the colours in the tanks are darker greens, browns, blues and greys.

The water and tank appearance may appear to be 'dirty' to you, but actually it replicates as best e can the sea water and environment that the fish thrive in. We also try to "disturb" the fish as little as possible. Because of all this, our fish are very healthy and some of our fish have been on display for more than 10 years. This longevity is almost unheard of in most other aquariums overseas.

The same principal applies to our displays for the tuatara, reptiles and kakariki.

With respect to your comment that the price is expensive at NZD 22 per adult, we believe we are fairy priced against other aquarium and zoo attractions in New Zealand. We also point out that the pass is valid for one week and many of our customers return again and again within a week, at no extra cost.

We accept that we can't please everyone however as you might have noted your comments in our visitors book were surrounded by very positive comments from our many visitors.

NB. Please provide us with your address and we will send you a full refund of your admission.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Very amateur!”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

We spent several weeks in the wonderful country of New Zealand and thoroughly enjoyed everywhere we visited... with the exception of this aquarium. It was seriously depressing. I'm not sure where the positive reviewers have visited before but they must never have visited a real aquarium tourist attraction. We spent $44 for 10 minutes of disbelief. First impressions were that of very dirty looking tanks and an unpleasant odour...it reminded me of a sub-standard pet shop (which I could enter for free!). For this price, I would expect professional displays, not faded posters stuck up with drawing pins. In the UK we have a huge aquarium with underwater aqua tunnels, real size sharks etc (somewhere you could spend all day) and this would cost £30 for 2 of us equivalent to $60... so this highlights the poor value of Ecoworld. Save your money and give this one a miss.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Binamc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoWorldNZ, Manager at EcoWorld Picton Aquarium, responded to this review, October 14, 2012
We are a little surprised at the extent of your criticism. Indeed your comments are contrary to the many we get in our visitor book which is regularly filled with generally positive feedbacks. We do acknowledge that we get on average of 4 in 100 adverse feedbacks.

In response to your criticisms about the living conditions of the animals, please be reassured that the welfare of our animals is our absolute top priority.

I am unsure what the unpleasant smell may have been but perhaps your visit may have been immediately after a feeding session when we do feed the fish on raw fish and shell fish which can be a bit smelly.

Our fish are mostly local species that live in the nearshore rocky reefs of the Marlborough Sounds. Their natural environment is cold, murky, difficult to visit and provides a haven for rare and endangered species. We therefore try to recreate the same marine environment that our fish would have in the wild, so the colours in the tanks are darker greens, browns, blues and greys. The water and tank appearance may appear to be 'dirty' to you, but actually it replicates as best e can the sea water and environment that the fish thrive in. We also try to "disturb" the fish as little as possible. Because of all this, our fish are very healthy and some of our fish have been on display for more than 10 years. This longevity is almost unheard of in most other aquariums overseas.

With respect to your comment that the price is expensive, we believe we are fairy priced against other aquarium and zoo attractions in New Zealand. We also note that such are the challenges in running a public aquarium that we are now the only aquarium open to the public in the South Island and one of only three public aquaria in New Zealand.

Having visited may aquaria and zoos throughout out the world we would also state that we are not a theme park with accompanying food outlets but for better or worse focus on the animals and the visitor experience.

Please accept our apologies for your less that satisfactory experience.

Please provide us with your address and we will send you a full refund of your admission.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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