What else should I know, to make my visit as enjoyable as possible? A note on the Shipwreck Coast Tunnel
The Shipwreck Coast tunnel was built in 1987 and unfortunately was not designed with larger, modern wheelchairs and ride-ons
in mind. If you are using a wheelchair, please note the following before entering the tunnel:
- The max. width of the moving walkway is 1.2m and the stationary platform is 1.1m.
- If your wheelchair is on the moving walkway, prepare to disembark early. A sign will alert you to the approaching exit. If possible, we recommend having someone assist in disembarking as there is a small lip/edge.
- Request assistance if you encounter difficulty getting on or off the moving walkway. The conveyor belt can be stopped by staff, or in an emergency, push the red stop buttons located along the walkway.
- For carers assisting those with limited mobility, we recommend taking no more than 2 clients into the Shipwreck Coast at one time.
- More than 2-3 wheelchairs, walkers or ride-ons at a time on the conveyor-belt unfortunately causes access difficulty and stress for both carers and clients.
- In the unlikely case of a fire, the lift should not be used. Halfway around the Shipwreck Coast tunnel an emergency exit and holding area is located. This is a fire-safe door and wheelchair users can take refuge in this area. Emergency services have direct access to this area from an outside fire door and will attend to it immediately.
Stroller hire, pram parking, baby carriers and high chairs
AQWA offers strollers for hire that are light and compact, perfect for if your little one needs a bit of a break! Simply ask at reception upon arrival. If you have a large pram, you might find it easier to use a baby carrier, particularly in the Shipwreck Coast where there is a moving walkway. We have valet pram parking just near the lift, so you can park up your pram and grab it again when you’re ready.
The Café has plenty of highchairs available for use.
AQWA offers free wheelchair hire for use within our venue for those with limited mobility.
What washroom facilities are available if I have additional needs?
Ablution Block 1 is located near reception and contains 1 male and 1 female disabled cubicle, as well as baby change tables, within each washroom. Ablution Block 2 is located outside near the Touch Pool and these toilets are unisex disabled cubicles, 1 with baby change.
For larger wheelchairs, families and those requiring carer assistance, these are the best option.
I prefer a quiet, low-sensory environment. What should I know?
AQWA is busiest in the morning. If you prefer a quieter environment and more space to get around, we suggest visiting in the afternoon from 1.30pm. AQWA uses dim, feature lighting to allow our stunning displays to stand out, but no volatile/flashing lighting effects.
Please also note: WA school and public holidays are peak periods and AQWA becomes very busy and loud at these times. Although we do have a venue capacity and stop admissions once this is reached, these crowds might still be disconcerting for some.
Are all areas of AQWA accessible by wheelchair or pram?
AQWA has one area which unfortunately is not accessible by wheelchair: the great southern stairwell, which contains 4 small aquariums on the way down to the main Shipwreck Coast aquarium. This Shipwreck Coast aquarium features the underwater tunnel and is easily accessible by a brand new, spacious lift.
AQWA’s Coral Reef underwater gallery is accessible only by ramp.
AQWA’s Marina area is accessible only by an access gate and requires staff assistance; please request access at reception and they will guide you through.
Do you offer discounts for Carers or Concessions?
If you are a carer, simply show your valid Companion Card to gain FREE entry with your paying client.
Concession card holders pay the discounted concession rate (see current price list).
Can I convert my entry ticket to an annual membership?
Definitely! The cost of the entry ticket already paid will be deducted from to the cost of the membership, as long as requested within 7 days of your visit. Simply return to reception after your visit to upgrade, or call 9447 7500 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org post visit and quote your order number so we can confirm your check-in details.
I ordered tickets online but didn’t receive the confirmation email.
Can I get a refund on my entry tickets?
If you are unable to visit we are more than happy to convert your ticket to a voucher which is valid for 3 years and is transferable.
How long is my entry ticket valid for?
Your entry ticket is valid from 9am to 4pm for the day of your booking. You are able to leave and come back throughout the day, as long as you have your ticket with you.
Do I have to print my ticket or just show it on my phone?
We love environmentally friendly options so no need to print your online ticket. We can scan it from your phone or find you on our system with some basic contact details.
Can family and friends watch while I dive/snorkel with the sharks?
Definitely! Spectators will receive a discounted entry price. Our staff will let your friends/family know what time you will entering the water in the Underwater Tunnel so they can watch.
What time do I need to arrive?
Parking can be limited during our busy periods so we recommend arriving early just in case. You will need to be at Reception at least 20 minutes prior so we can process your booking and make sure you have completed the required paperwork emailed to you.
What is the minimum age to dive or snorkel with sharks?
Participants must be 14 years or older. Those under 18 require a parent or guardian’s permission, signed and witnessed at AQWA on the day.
Do I have to have a SCUBA license to dive with the sharks?
Yes. You are unable to SCUBA dive unless you have a valid license; PADI Open Water or equivalent.
What do I need to bring with me?
We will supply all required equipment however you will need to bring bathers and a towel.
What time does AQWA open?
AQWA is open from 9am to 4pm every day of the year, excluding Christmas Day. We are open public holidays, weekends, weekdays and school holidays.
Is there enough parking available?
During busy holiday periods parking does get full quickly. We recommend arriving early to ensure you get a parking bay.
Do I need to pay for parking?
All parking is FREE for 4 hours at Hillarys Boat Harbour and at AQWA