About The National Aquarium of New Zealand
The National Aquarium of New Zealand, stretching along Napier’s Marine Parade like a huge stingray, is home to over 100 rich and diverse saltwater, freshwater and land animal exhibits from New Zealand and around the world.
The 1.5 million litre Oceanarium showcases the many and varied aquatic species that exist in the adjacent Hawke Bay, including five types of shark and many other reef fish. You can journey through the Oceanarium inside our amazing underwater viewing tunnel via a 50m travelator as hundreds of local fish species swim and feed, above and around you.
Elsewhere in the aquarium, you can view more native saltwater and freshwater species, as well as exotic reef and deep-sea fish from around the world. The kiwi, tuatara and penguin enclosures provide an insight into New Zealand's most precious species. Also on exhibition are species from the Americas, Asia and Australia, including alligators and piranhas.
The National Aquarium is located within 100m of the Marine Parade's breaking surf where fresh seawater is pumped directly into the aquarium's tanks and enclosures. And this magnificent and majestic, modern aquarium incorporates some of the latest technological life support and operational systems in New Zealand, if not the world.
Allow one to two hours to make the most of your visit or if you're in the mood for adventure enquire about a swim with the sharks, or a close encounter with the penguins, the kiwi or even the alligators. The onsite Treasure Chest gift shop offers a great range of souvenirs and gifts, and don’t forget to sample the menu at the Fishbowl Café.
Open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9am to 5pm with last entry at 4.30pm. Daily feeding times are 10am for the reef fish and 2pm for the sharks. The little penguins are fed at 9.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
In a guardianship role as Te Whare Tangaroa O Aotearoa, The National Aquarium works in close partnership with schools, scientists and other community groups. In a wide range of programmes, projects and public events locally, nationally and internationally, we aim to increase awareness of the need to protect natural habitats and biodiversity.
From early childhood through to primary and secondary school, The National Aquarium of New Zealand offers students unique and stimulating educational experiences outside of the classroom. Students come face-to-face with aquatic animals, reptiles, penguins and kiwis in programmes created and delivered by our fully trained education team.
The National Aquarium has a long-standing reputation for robust collecting techniques, handling and initial treatment, along with superb water quality and filtration. This leads to the aquarium being able to work closely with schools, the local community, university scientists from around New Zealand, and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), who use the aquarium as a monitoring and research centre, and educational study environment.