At Hillarys Boat Harbour you’ll find the Aquarium of Western Australia, more affectionately known as AQWA, which takes you on a journey to explore 12,000km of WA’s expansive coastline in just a few hours! 


At AQWA there are over 40 exhibits, which explore different areas of WA’s coast. There’s also many exciting experiences like their NEW glass bottomed boat, snorkelling, the ever popular “Shark Sleepovers” and more! The main attraction has to be the Shipwreck Coast (Lancelin to Kalbarri) which features Australia’s largest walkthrough aquarium. The huge aquarium is found downstairs and you travel on a slow moving walkway beneath 3 million litres of water. The aquarium is home to sharks, huge smiling stingrays, turtles and hundreds of fish. There’s a different sea creature to spot at every turn, it’s a lot of fun!


The Perth Coast area is mesmerising. There are many tanks with hundreds of colourful fish. Watching the Moon Jellyfish gently floating through the water is quite relaxing! 


In the Far North Coast tropical exhibit you can explore one of Australia’s most remote areas which is home to dangerous marine animals such as the Saltwater Crocodile.


Kids enjoy the interactive exhibits where you can examine coral, tiny sea horses and clown fish with a magnifying glass. There is a little step at each tank to allow smaller children to get a better view.


Outside you’ll find the Marmion Marine Park exhibit, which is the most interactive part of AQWAIn the touch pool kids can feel baby sharks, sea cucumbers and starfish, as long as they are gentle!  


If you have a splash happy child then it might be a good idea to take along a spare change of clothes with you. Kids can look through the bright orange viewfinders to get a clearer look at what lies below the surface of the pool and there is a person on hand to tell you all about the sea creatures. 


Check out AQWA’s Coral Reef, which is one of the largest coral reef exhibits in the whole world! You can overlook the coral reef from above and view it from a different angle by going downstairs to the underwater gallery. The viewing area is furnished with several comfy chairs, so you can stay and watch the colourful fish swim amongst the coral for a while



In the Adventure Bay tank, there are also some new activities available for an extra cost:

Snorkel Discovery is for eight-year-olds and over and is designed for those who want to snorkel amongst schools of fish and rays in a safe environment.

Mermaid Magic is a guided snorkelling experience aimed at children eight years old and over where little snorkelers get the special chance to swim with a mermaid!


For those who want in an introduction to SCUBA diving, there’s the Treasure Hunter activity for people aged twelve and over. This activity involves a fun underwater scavenger hunt.

AQWA also has its own licensed café that serves a variety of hot meals, snacks and fresh and healthy sandwiches. It even offers free Wi-fi.


If you want to make your visit to AQWA even more memorable, you can pay an extra fee to dive or snorkel with the sharks, have a behind the scenes tour or even enjoy a shark sleepover. Full details can be found on their website.  Bookings are essential. 

Find AQWA at Hillarys Boat Harbour, 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys. 
Free car parking is available next to AQWA.  


For more information visit 

Find more places to visit with kids in Perth

About Amanda Carlin

Amanda Carlin has her own food and travel blog. Established in 2013, "The Chef, His Wife and Their Perth-fect Life" has enjoyed an exciting name change in 2021, as "The Chef's Ex-wife" embarks on new adventures with Simply PERTHfect. Amanda loves getting out and about in Perth and WA, as well as brunching, tapas or something a little fancy in equal measures. With her son "Little Chef" in tow, Amanda always has plenty of family friendly eating options to recommend too! Be sure to check out Simply PERTHfect.

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  1. […] Discover Western Australia’s favourite indoor aquarium centre on a Perth rainy day. The majority of the exhibits are indoors, and the touch pool where kids can get up close and personal with a selection of sea life is undercover outside. Why not grab lunch at the cafeteria style cafe and make a day of it? Whether you’re a local or just visiting Perth, a visit to AQWA is a great way to spend the day! Read our AQWA review. […]

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