The islands of the South Pacific may be considered the most “oceanic” places in the world but we assure you that Australia is not far behind. When it comes to aquariums and the exploration of marine life, it is quite possibly the most dedicated place in the world. So, without further ado, let us explore some of the most exquisite aquariums that no one should leave out when visiting the “Land Down Under”.
1. National Zoo & Aquarium:
Believe it or not, today we are going to be the advocates of multitasking. What do we mean by it? Well, we are sending you to an aquarium that is also a full-blown zoo. Located within the metropolitan area of the Australian capital city of Canberra (more specifically close to the Scrivener Dam, at the western rim of Lake Burley Griffin), the National Zoo & Aquarium is home to more than 150 animals (this number does not include the fish, of course). Stretching upon an area of 10 hectares, the establishment has an inspirational motto that should be kept close at heart: “To inspire and assist in the conservation of the natural world through innovative and exciting educational experiences”. The zoo section includes a wide variety of animals that include white lions (for all you White Lion fans out there), satin bowerbirds, common marmosets, lions, mandarin ducks, snow leopards, Bengal tigers, Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroos, ring-tailed lemurs, African wild dogs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, king parrots, black-capped capuchins, cottontop tamarins, golden pheasants, Java sparrows, plum-headed parakeets, noisy pittas, banded rails, and countless others. The aquarium section consists of humphead wrasses, blacktip reef sharks, tawny nurse sharks, leopard sharks, epaulette sharks, Murray cods, Queensland gropers, zebra sharks, barramundis, giant morays, and other wondrous creatures. If you happen to be visiting the Bush Capital, be sure to grab your children and take them to this fine zoo/aquarium.
2. Reef HQ Aquarium:
Have you seen the Cartoon show “Powerpuff Girls” back in the 90s and the early 2000s? Well if you have, then you know that Townsville is the city that it is set in. But here we are talking about the Townsville of Australia (Queensland) and its marvellous Reef HQ Aquarium, the largest living coral reef aquarium in the world. Pertaining to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and built as a Bicentennial Commemorative project, the establishment boasts with over 130 coral species and 120 fish species. Other excellent sights include sponges, sea stars, sea urchins, brittle stars, worms, feather stars, snails, and sea cucumbers. Coupled with other points of interest such as the Museum of Tropical Queensland and the Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre and a grandiose IMAX theatre, the Reef HQ Aquarium has over 110,000 visitors each year (and, of course, we can do nothing else but to urge you to become one of them). With a largest tank volume of over 3 million litres and great service since 1987, it is quite possibly the most renowned landmark of its parent city. Oh, and did we mention that it has a Coral Reef Exhibit equipped with a pneumatic wave machine? Definitely a must-see!
3. UnderWater World Sea Life Aquarium:
Quite an interesting name, isn’t it? Well, the pride of Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast, Queensland) is one of the best oceanariums and wildlife sanctuaries of its parent country. An institutional member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA), the establishment is owned by Merlin Entertainments and it is a Sea Life Centre. Known colloquially as Sea Life Mooloolaba, the aquarium boasts with a largest tank volume of 2.5 million litres. Notable exhibitions to keep an eye out for include: Sharks Alive (a massive shark tunnel for you to feast your eyes in), Seal Island, and Crawly Creatures (this is especially great for those who enjoy crabs). If you are more interested in information and in animal shows, then you should definitely check out the Stingray Reef talks, the Shark guided tours, the Otter Shows, and the Seal Shows in the Seal Cove. These shows have been proven extremely successful with children, so we highly recommend that you take them there. Oh, and let us not forget about the environmentally-conscious approach that the establishment takes: UnderWater World Sea Life Aquarium is a rehabilitation centre for dolphins, turtles, seals, and dugongs.
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the aforementioned aquariums have you experienced and how many of them have left you with a slack jaw? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Oh, and do not forget to check back for exciting updates from time to time! Happy ocean-exploring!