The National Aquarium of New Zealand is situated on Marine Parade in Napier and has a reef tank, a travelator which spirals its way beneath the enormous oceanarium, creating the impression of a true underwater experience, and a typical New Zealand rocky shore environment. See the marine life in Napier including sharks, stingray and hundreds of fish species, a crocodile and some kiwis on display.
The main tank is 24 metres long, 30 metres wide, and three metres deep and takes 1,500,067 litres of water to fill. View the 1,500 fish as they swim and feed above you as you stroll through the 50 metre long tunnel.
Interact with our touch pool. View the surge pool, rock pool, the Kiwi environment, as well as seeing our very own lizards, spiders and wetas.
The ground floor of the National Aquarium of New Zealand is a dedicated to the New Zealand environment. Take a look at the Tuatara Exhibit with its stepped and shelved coastal wave and wind cut rockwork.
The upstairs floor you can view the different continents of the world. Observe the Salt Water Crocodile exhibit with its split level tank and mangrove forest.
Relax by the Japanese Garden with its cave fish display. Exit from the Japanese Garden into the harsh outback life of Australia with its Skink display. Travel to the amazing Rift Valley at the African Exhibit with its themed fishing village including hut, boat, fishing nets etc.
Source: New Zealand Tourism online
History & Building Architecture
In 1956, a local fish-keeping club began gathering some of their favourite specimens in the basement of Napier’s War Memorial Hall. Believed to be the first aquarium in New Zealand, this was the seed that has grown into what is New Zealand’s national aquarium.
Twenty years later, in 1976, the fish-keeping club moved to a purpose-built site at the southern end of Marine Parade, where the aquarium still resides today. By the year 2000 it was due for expansion and by 2002 had undergone an $8 million redevelopment and was renamed with the title of The National Aquarium of New Zealand.
The National Aquarium’s staff have an international reputation for specialist knowledge, including reptile expertise and an ability to keep stocks alive and well beyond their natural life expectancy rates.
The National Aquarium was the first in New Zealand to hatch a turtle egg and in 1980 it hatched the world’s oldest living tuatara hatched in captivity. Other scientific programmes have involved researching the sustainability of the Orange Roughy fishery, the effect of ageing on fish, and measuring stress levels in Tuatara.
National Aquarium Building
The ground floor of the aquarium showcases New Zealand native species including a 1.5 million litre Oceanarium exhibiting the diversity of the local Hawke Bay aquatic environment. The Oceanarium’s main tank is 24m wide, 30m long and 3m deep. You can view the fish swimming and feeding above you as you stroll through the 50 metre long tunnel.
The upper floor houses species from the different continents of the world. Immerse yourself in Africa and our Lake Malawi cichlid exhibit, relax by the Japanese Garden with a cave fish display, then exit from the Asian Water Garden containing Koi carp, gold fish and twin-hinged tortoises into the harsh outback life of Australia with its skink display.