The following information is provided to help you plan your awesome underwater excursion at AQWA!

Information is subject to change, please contract AQWA if you have any queries. A PDF of this information is available below.

Excursion Length

AQWA Excursions are 2.5 hours. We open at 10am and close at 5pm.

Arival at AQWA – Important Information

  • Bus parking is available directly in front of AQWA’s entrance. Free 4-hour car parking is also available.
  • Assemble students on grassed area or on the paved area at the base of the stairs – please do not ascend the stairs until greeted by our Ocean Guide, as this congests the small entry and exit area for other guests.
  • In the case of rain of extreme sun, please keep your students on the bus (our Ocean Guide will greet your group onboard)
  • We suggest eating recess now before entering
  • The lead teacher should proceed to our front counter to organise payment, sign Conditions of Entry and collect AQWA Maps and Student Return Passes.
  • If your parent helpers are paying separately, please instruct them to proceed to Reception at this time also
  • Once paperwork is completed, our Ocean Guide will greet and instruct your group
  • Once greeted, organise your students into groups with a maximum of 10 students per adult helper
  • Small groups will enter AQWA one at a time. An interval is needed between groups to help supervisors identify their group and to ensure there is enough room for everyone to enjoy what is on display.
  • As a condition of entry teachers and supervising adults must take duty of care and maintain active
    supervision of their group at all times. This applies to both primary and secondary school groups.

Journey Through Exhibits

  • There are 6 areas for you to explore as you move through AQWA’s exhibits.
  • Follow the “Continue Journey” signs as well as the arrows on the ground help direct you. You will also be given a free Guide Map from reception
  • Look out for time signs – these tell you when an Ocean Guide will be in that area to share their knowledge
  • A sample “Plan Your Day” timetable for Primary students is also available to download below.
  • School Activity Packs for all age groups are also available to help you get the most out of our exhibits and know what to look out for on the way. Download them from below, print at school and bring to your excursion.
  • Most of AQWA’s exhibits are indoors and in air conditioned areas – however there are 3 outdoor exhibits which may be affected by adverse weather

Meeting Point and Exit

  • Once you have completed your journey through AQWA’s 6 areas, you will finish up at Adventure Bay. This is a
    great spot for picnic lunches, a play at our playground and a head count (if weather allows)
  • From here, you can easily loop back and revisit the Discovery Pool and take a class photo at the Whale’s Tail
  • Bathrooms and a water fountain are also located near by
  • We suggest lead teacher requests that all adult helpers bring their groups to this Whale Tail meeting point for your allocated finish time, ready to exit through the shop or to enjoy your pre-ordered lunch from the cafe.
  • If you have pre-ordered lunches for your students from AQWA’s Coral Cafe, please seat your students in the designated area and have adults liaise with cafe staff at your selected time.
  • When ready to exit, lead your students through the AQWA Gift Shop (single file or in pairs for K/PP is preferred) to exit.
  • Please do not gather groups on the floor inside the cafe of at the AQWA exit foyer, as these are important safety exits that cannot be blocked.

Downloads:

Below you will find our Excursion Planning Pack which includes the above information as well as Facility Information, AQWA Etiquette and an example Plan Your Day timetable to assist with your excursion planning and any Department required paperwork.

Excursion Planning Pack

Don’t forget to grab our Activity Sheets, Resource Sheets and Follow-Up Excursion Activities to truly get the most out of your excursion at AQWA. There’s also name badges for primary schools to help organise students into groups. Find them all here:

Resources

Please Consider:

Security, Health & Safety Policy

AQWA has an in-house Security, Health & Safety and Emergency Evacuation Plan which staff are familiar with and will uphold at all times:

  • For security reasons AQWA cannot store any personal belongings or school bags. There is limited space available to essential school belongings, such as first aid kits, crates and small eskis.
  • The passageways through our exhibits, entry foyer and exit foyer are emergency routes and must be kept clear at all times. Groups should never sit on the floor inside and are not to assemble in any corridors, entry or exit foyers, the Shipwreck Coast foyer or conveyor-belt in the AQWA café or outside the AQWA gift shop
  • Suitable areas for groups to gather are by the Whale’s Tail/Discovery Pool), theCoral Reef picnic area or gallery or Adventure Bay
  • In the case of an emergency or evacuation, teachers are responsible for gathering their group and following the instructions of AQWA wardens and staff
  • In the case of an emergency or evacuation, the muster point is the large grassed area in front of AQWA

Food, Drinks and Storage Policy

  • Some limited storage is available for essential school belongings, such as first aid kits, crates and small eskis. However we CANNOT store children’s school bags. We suggest leaving them at school or on the bus where possible, otherwise children must carry them. We cannot store or pile school bags due to safety and security reasons.
  • Kids lunches can be pre-ordered from our Cafe. Please see the downloadable booking sheet for details. The AQWA Cafe is only available for schools to use for lunch when they have pre-ordered kids lunches, not for home-packed lunches.
  • The only areas for schools to eat packed lunch/recess are outdoors; front lawn, Coral Reef picnic tables, Adventure Bay ampitheatre. There is no room for groups to eat packed lunches indoors at AQWA. If rain is a possibility, we suggest organising to eat on your bus or back at school.
  • Don’t worry about drink bottles, as there is a drink water fountain provided and water station in the Cafe

AQWA Etiquette:

Please discuss these points with your students before visiting:

  • Fish have ears! They don’t stick out like ours but they have them none the less. Fish can hear 3 times louder than us so please talk quietly and don’t yell.
  • Fish have lateral lines! This is a line of sensory cells along their body that senses vibrations. When at AQWA please don’t tap the glass as our animals will feel the vibration and hide out of view!
  • Discovery Pool: You are able to touch everything inside – but you must be gentle and keep them underwater. All the animals are SEA creatures so they must be left in the seawater to survive.
  • No running – it is very exciting inside but we don’t want you to rush past and miss something
  • No climbing- there’s lots of fun-looking railings at AQWA but they are designed to keep you safe! Please don’t climb on, swing or crawl under them.
  • All students must remain with their group leaders at all times
  • Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Students need to adhere to instructions given by AQWA staff.