Australia is known for its exotic wildlife and incredible coastlines, so it’s unsurprising that aquariums are a big business down under.
Australia houses some of the biggest and most exciting marine parks in the world, here are a few of the best…
Sea Life Sydney
Home to 700 species and 13,000 individual sea creatures, this aquarium is easily one of the most impressive. In 2012, it underwent a $2o million renovation, which saw the creation of 14 different aquatic zones so that visitors can travel through the diverse aquatic ecosystems of Oz.
It houses the world’s largest Great Barrier Reef display, a shark walk tunnel and 1 of only 4 dugong sea cows on display in the world.
It was created in 1988 and remains to be one of the premier tourist attractions of Sydney, as over half of its visitors come from overseas.
Sea Life Melbourne
Not to be left behind, this aquarium received an $8 million renewal in 2013, which included the creation of ‘The Bay of Rays’, which is home to the world’s only public display of elephant sharks.
Unlike Sydney, this is a Southern Ocean and Antarctic aquarium and holds cold-climate creatures.
It also offers shark dives, glass-bottom boat tours of the 2.2 million litre oceanarium, so it doesn’t disappoint.
Reef HQ, Townsville
This aquarium is a little different; it is the largest living coral reef collection in the world. It is both an attraction and an educational tool, created by the government 30 years to be the national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef.
It’s 2.5 million litre exhibition contains 130 species of coral, alongside an array of smaller underwater creatures like sea urchins and sponges, as well as a turtle hospital.
Aquarium of Western Australia
This underwater aquarium is located in Perth, right on the Hillarys Boat Harbour and is 20,000 km of coastline that is condensed into 5 zones.
It features the world’s largest single tank (3 million litres) and ever-changing exhibits that are designed to interest and thrill. AQWA host lots of different events, including the Shark Sleepover – which includes a night tour, a movie showing and dinner, after which, the children ‘camp’ under the 3 million litre tank and sleep surrounded by sharks, stingrays and hundreds of other fish.
The popularity of aquariums has no doubt been affected by the popularity of sea creatures throughout pop culture.
Films like ‘Shark Tale’ and ‘Finding Nemo’ have become modern classics, and you will be hard pressed to find a child or adult who doesn’t know who Dory is.
We can see the popularity of aquatic animals throughout our history; one of the most famous pieces of literature in the world, Moby Dick, is perhaps representative of our obsession with underwater life.
We design our bathrooms like the seaside, we play games like Joe Fortune‘s ‘Goodfishes’ slot or AR games where we can discover the oceans. Some of us even do our makeup to look like fish scales.
It is unlikely that we will ever stop loving the ocean, it is a mysterious and most-unexplored place that keeps us scared, but also excited, about what is out there.