Right on Napier’s Pacific Ocean foreshore is a massive, intriguing building shaped like a stingray. Welcome to the National Aquarium of New Zealand. It is one of the best places to see the magical wonders of the underwater world. Explore the different parts of the building to discover New Zealand’s unique aquatic and wild life.
On the ground floor, you can travel on a moving walkway under a canopy of the Oceanarium. See over 1500 fish of diverse species, crustaceans, live coral and scary-looking sharks. Enjoy the fascinating display of eels, sea horses, octopuses, turtles, sea anemone and tropical marine fish. Check out the creatures in the rock pool and the touch pool.
There is a special Kiwi area that is home to protected native Kiwi birds. You’ll get another rare opportunity – to see the Tuatara. It is an endangered NZ reptile, resembling a large gecko, that has evolved from dinosaurs and looks a lot like its ancestors of 225 million years ago.
The first floor is home to exhibits from around the world. While a relaxing Japanese garden has a cave fish display, the Asian Water Garden gives you glimpses of koi fish, carp, gold fish and twin-hinged tortoises. A Lake Malawi cichlid exhibit and Australian skink display add to the variety.
Special attractions include:
Swim with the Sharks – if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush like never before. The National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier is one of the two places where you can do this in NZ.
Close Encounters – with Little Penguins! Get close to these fabulous birds by helping to prep their food, hand-feeding them and clicking pictures of happy moments with your sweet new buddies.
All in all a trip to the National Aquarium of New Zealand is sure to be filled with lots of fun for the whole family.