Marena Cafe is a small cafe situated on the grounds of AQWA which is open to the public from 7am – 9.30am through the gates at the bottom. Marena Cafe then closes and reopens to AQWA patrons from 11am. Dogs are also welcome to visit with their families before 9.30am. If you’re looking for a cafe with ocean views and somewhere for the kids to play, this cafe covers both those bases.
If you’ve ever explored AQWA before, you’d be aware of Adventure Bay, the toddler-friendly playground area downstairs, adjacent to the mermaid tank. Marena Cafe is tucked away towards the rear of this area.
The playground includes small ramps and ladders, a colourful abacus and steering wheels for imaginative play. There are also spring rockers and a pirate ship to steer.
Seating for the cafe overlooks the playground, with a small number of tables set out in front of the cafe, and to your left when facing the playground, there is a view of the boats in the harbour and a rock pool with stingrays and small fish below. This area is partially shaded by the shade sails which also cover the mermaid tank, but the rain can still sneak through.
The viewing area for the mermaid tank has been renovated a little since last summer, with new tiled seating and extra shading to cut down on glare, and this is also utilized by the cafe for these early morning periods.
There are tables with cushions to add padding cool tiles, and you can have coffee and a snack in this shady spot while you watch the fish.
During our visit to Marena Cafe, Miss 3 opted for a white chocolate and macadamia cookie, while I re-topped up my caffeine levels with a latte. The cookie was scoffed in minutes, and the cheeky seagulls eyeing it off never stood a chance! My coffee was excellent, a mild, smooth blend.
All coffees cost $4, with discounts available if you bring your own reusable coffee cup. There is a small selection of treats to purchase as well, including muffins and cookies.
Marena Cafe is located in Adventure Bay, downstairs at AQWA, 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys.
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