Q: Is AQWA owned or operated by the government?
A: No. AQWA is owned and operated by Coral World International. It is a privately owned aquarium and does not receive any subsidy or government funding
Q: Why doesn’t AQWA have any Dolphins or Seals?
A: Following the end of AQWA’s participation in an Australian Sea Lion breeding program in 2009, AQWA has since made the decision not to keep marine mammals within the aquarium. Instead, we prefer our visitors to have the opportunity to see marine mammals in the wild, and we have entered into joint ventures with Mills Charters and Rottnest Fast Ferries to conduct Whale Watching tours. This gives visitors the unique opportunity to see dolphins, seals and whales in their incredible natural environment, right here off the Perth coast. Furthermore, as the scientific community’s understanding of marine mammal welfare has grown and changed, so too have the laws and ethical considerations regarding their captivity. It is now illegal in Australia to capture marine mammals and keep them in an aquarium.
Q: What should I do if I find an injured marine animal?
A: AQWA has a marine rehabilitation facility which can be used to rehabilitate certain sea creatures, however you should first call Wildcare at the Department of Parks and Wildlife on (08) 9474 9055 and they will advise the best course of action. Please do not remove marine life from their natural environment without direct instruction from Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Q: Where do the marine animals at AQWA come from?
A: As a professionally operating aquarium, AQWA is required to hold licences and exemptions from the Department of Parks and Wildlife as well as the Department of Fisheries so that we can source them from the ocean or commercial breeders. AQWA also conducts its own breeding programs for selected species.
Q: Are all sharks dangerous?
A: No. Most species of sharks are quite placid. While Bull sharks and Great White sharks share a reputation for being dangerous, the sharks in our main aquarium are well fed and are safe to encounter when diving or snorkelling.
Q: What’s that funny fish?
A: We guess you are referring to the long-horned cowfish! This very strange looking fish is on exhibit in AQWA’s Far North coast and has become a fan-favourite, with its unique swimming style, pointy horns and colouful spots. You can discover more about it with our Creature Feature Fact Sheet Here. Is this not the fish you were looking for? Check out our Creature Feature page to uncover your fish in question!
Q: Where does all the water come from?
A: AQWA has developed a sophisticated filtration and pumping system that extracts seawater from the ocean. We then filter it and circulate it throughout the facility before filtering it again before we return it to the ocean.
Q: How difficult is it to keep live coral in an aquarium?
A: Very difficult! Coral World International are the world leaders in cultivating and growing coral reefs. AQWA’s Coral Reef is one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world, featuring stunning living corals and reef fish from Rottnest Island.
Q: Can I bring my own food and drink to AQWA?
A: Of course you can! Pack a picnic lunch for the whole family and enjoy your meal at one of our picnic tables with ocean views, or have your lunch down to Stingray Bay and take in the views of Hillarys Boat Harbour. If you like, you can purchase a reasonably priced meal or snack from our licensed Café. Please note that as we have a liquor license, you are not permitted to bring alcohol on to the premises. At the moment, we do not have the facilities to store lunches or school bags for visiting school excursions.
Q: Can I leave the premises and return?
A: Yes, your admission ticket entitles you to visit AQWA anytime between 10am and 5pm on the day of purchase. You can stretch your legs in the park, take a walk down to Sorrento Quay or visit other attractions in Hillarys Boat Harbour and then continue your journey at AQWA. Our Reception will provide you with a Pass Out stamp and request to see your ticket when you return.
Q: Can I buy items from your Gift Shop without purchasing an admission ticket?
A: The AQWA Gift Shop is located near the exit to the premises. If you would like to make a specific purchase you will be escorted by someone at Reception and attended by one of our Gift Shop staff. You can also purchase selected AQWA merchandise using the ecommerce facility on the AQWA website.
Q: When do you feed the marine creatures?
A: We have a daily routine for feeding all the creatures in our care, however there are no specific ‘feeding times’. Part of the journey through AQWA is discovering different activity in the various exhibits, seeing divers cleaning exhibits or feeding the fish.
Q: Why is flash photography not allowed?
A: All of our marine exhibits are kept in aquariums that replicate their natural environments. This includes the right amount of lighting, Flash photography disturbs the sea creatures and can cause them stress which ultimately is not good for their health. Species such as Seadragons are very sensitive to light.
Q: Why is it so expensive to enter AQWA?
A: We are in fact the cheapest aquarium in any capital city of Australia. AQWA is dedicated to keeping admission prices as low as possible to allow as many people to visit throughout the year. If you are looking for discounted entry, please consider our Family Pass or even our Off Peak Ocean Pass. Tourist attractions such as the Zoo are subsidised by the government and for this reason are usually cheaper than our admission fees.
Q: Where does all the money go?
A: A large proportion of the revenue is spent on the operation and maintenance of the facility. This includes feeding all the exhibits, Ocean Guides, fish husbandry and keeping all the water filtered and circulating. AQWA is continually investing in new exhibits and facilities to improve the customer experience and provide better value for money for all visitors.
Q: Is AQWA involved with various conservation programs?
A: AQWA deliberately distances itself from all political movements, and simply focuses on bringing the wonder of the sea to people on the land. AQWA acts with the highest integrity and treats all exhibits with the utmost respect. Our conservation role is to generate wonder and excitement for the ocean. It was Socrates who said, ‘Without wonder there is no wisdom’, and so we enable people to care for the sea by showing them things they would ordinarily know.
Q: How is AQWA involved with the Community?
A: AQWA supports many community projects and provides ticket donations to many local charities and not-for-profit organisations. We are involved with local council activities, government initiatives, tourism projects and have even been invited to make presentations to schools.
Q: What should I do if I find an injured marine animal?
A: AQWA has a marine rehabilitation facility, however you should first call Wildcare at the Department of Parks and Wildlife on (08) 9474 9055 and they will advise the best course of action.
Q: Will AQWA take my unwanted marine animals?
A: AQWA has strict quarantine procedures and is unable to accept your marine animals. Please do not take marine animals from their natural environment as they are likely to die without the proper care and conditions.