In the 1970′s, the founder of CoralWorld International, Morris Kahn, was scuba diving in the Red Sea with his son Benjie during a family holiday.
Benjie had finished his dive and was heading back to the surface, however he was ascending too quickly. To stop his son from hurting himself, Morris swam after him and in the process damaged his own eardrums.
Morris spent the rest of the holiday on the beach as he was then unable to dive and whilst sitting alone, he began to think what it would be like to never be able to experience life under the sea if he was unable to dive again. That grew into an appreciation for others who would never have the chance to see all that life under the ocean had to offer.
This was the impetus for the development of Coral World. The family developed a team to build aquariums around the world. Underwater World in Perth was purchased in 1991. The philosophy was to keep the people captive – not the animals.
Over 25 years of excellence in marine aquarium design.Since that time, the company has maintained its philosophy in all its aquariums throughout the world. The company is recognised for its unique ability to recreate the complex marine environments and grow coral within aquariums – a feat that many others do not even attempt, let alone excel in!
On 1 January 2001, the aquarium was relaunched as “AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia” to showcase the marine life and unique regions of Western Australia’s magnificent 12,000km coastline.
The AQWA foundation is a non profit organisation, established by AQWA to increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of Western Australia’s oceans. Its initial project was a ground breaking study into the patterns of movements of Great White Sharks along the coastline of Western Australia. The AQWA foundation funded CSIRO to develop satellite tags that could be attached to large great white sharks and record their movements.
Conducted over two and a half year this project saw great white sharks tagged in Western Australia for the first time and resulted in:
Tagged sharks went around Cape Leeuwin in mid-late October reaching Shark Bay in November then returning south to Perth around December.
“If we learn more about the movements of great white sharks, we will have a better understanding of where and when they are most likely to be encountered. AQWA’s research was the first step in obtaining this knowledge”
The AQWA foundations current project is marine arc
Located at AQWA, the marine animal rehabilitation centre (arc) is a specialised facility that provides care for sick and injured marine life with the aim of returning them to the wild. Marine ARC is affectionately known as the “turtle pool” as its main focus is the rehabilitation of endangered marine turtles, with hundreds having been cared for since its establishment.
Explore 12,000km of Western Australia’s coastline in just a few hundred metres.
From the icy waters of the southern ocean to the tropical wonderland of coral reefs in the Far North, AQWA takes you on an underwater journey to discover the incredible and unique marine life of Western Australia.
Since 1988, AQWA has presented the beauty and wonder of this coastal environment and is Western Australia’s number one marine attraction.
Reflecting our Western Australian theme, everything in AQWA can be found in the State’s oceans. In addition, everything within our displays is living – including the incredible complex marine environments and coral!
There are over 40 stunning exhibits including one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world and AQWA’s shipwreck coast – Australia’s largest aquarium. It is also the 10th largest in the world! In total AQWA holds over 4 million litres of water and is home to over 4,000 fish.
AQWA’s great southern coast – Venture into the icy waters of the Southern Ocean and come face to fin with intriguing creatures such as seadragons and pineapple fish.
AQWA’s shipwreck coast – Surround yourself with sharks, stingrays and turtles in Australia’s largest walk through aquarium. Travel beneath 3 million litres of Indian Ocean water as you have a close encounter with 4 metre sharks, huge stingrays, turtles and hundreds of stunning fish.
AQWA’s Perth Coast – Explore Perth’s amazing coastline of ancient reefs and sandy bays. Be mesmerised by moon jellyfish, discover an octopus and see how fish view the reef.
AQWA’s far north coast – Explore one of the world’s most remote regions, home to dangerous marine animals and colourful tropical lagoons. Smile at a crocodile, see creatures up close and immerse yourself in beautiful tropical displays.
AQWA’s DANGERzone – Face a deadly line up of marine creatures that can sting, bite or wrap their prey with suckered arms to immobilise or even kill! The DANGERzone is an eye-opening exhibit of Western Australia’s most dangerous marine life and is not to be missed.
AQWA’s Marmion Marine Park – Interact with live animals at the touch pool, then visit stingray bay and relax by a coastal lagoon.
AQWA’s coral reef – Overlook a living coral reef then travel from the shore to the bottom of the sea in AQWA’s Underwater Gallery.