AQWA is amazing!!
Are you aware that AQWA is privately owned; that all the brightly coloured coral is real and cultivated on site, and that the aquarium tank holds 3 million litres of water pumped from the ocean (then filtered and sent back again)? On the moving pathway we traversed the 12,000 kilometres of the WA coastline, myriads of silver and brightly striped fish, minnow sized to dinner plate, darted or swam lazily; there were camouflaged stone fish, translucent jellyfish, cute sea dragons, lumbering turtles, huge stingrays, menacing looking sharks (we were assured the huge animals were well fed so didn’t pose a threat to the smaller fish, though occasionally one provided an entrée). There were exhibits showcasing the waters of the Great Southern Ocean to the far North Coast – five separate regions in all. Then there were the individual exhibits of smaller dangerous creatures of the sea, including the box jelly fish – if their long wavy tentacles ensnare you, you can die within 3 minutes; a shrimp, about 2 centimetres in length and height, whose bony articulated legs can rip your flesh and break your fingers. A crocodile wallowed alone; there were baby turtles in rehab. having ridden the warm Leeuwin current from the north; when big enough they will be released back into the wild. A fascinating morning, well worth the visit. Lunch choices at Hillary’s Marina were many and varied – even fish and chips!