Top 20 Aquariums and Marine Parks in Australia

For a glance into the magnificent underworld of Australia, brimming with magnificent creatures and submerged curiosities, Australia houses numerous world-class aquariums and marine parks.

The country is the native home to the rainbow-colored astonishments of the Great Reef Barrier, and the meeting points of the Cold Southern Seas and warm temperate oceans- and all the living peculiarities in between.

To discover more about the splendid marine life in the southern hemisphere, visit the top Australian aquariums and protected marine parks listed below.

1. Aquarium of Western Australia, Perth

Aquarium of Western Australia, Perth

Ranked among the top marine exhibitions in the world, the Aquarium of Western Australia is the country’s largest aquarium tank, located on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Perth- the contrasting city of outback adventure and art scenes.

AQWA houses one of the most extensive coral exhibitions worldwide, where you can take your underwater journey through a 100 meters long tunnel, or swim with the sympathetic fishes, or snorkel along the spectacular reefs.

2. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Sea Life is one of the planet’s largest aquatic life exhibitions, themed on the extraordinary beauty of the Great Reef Barrier. This marine park is home to over 700 species that dwell in 14 themed habitats, ranging from native penguins to Shark Valley, to Jurassic Sea and Northern Oceans and Shipwrecks of the South sea.

Located in the vicinity of Sydney Harbour, turn your wildlife visit to cultural sightseeing at the handful of heritage centers just paces away.

3. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Themes around the Southern Ocean and Antarctic marine life, Sea Life in Melbourne feature a four-level exhibition through rainforest coral caves and crocodile lair, mangroves, shipwrecks, and more to visit through self-guided tours and walking tunnels or jumping in for a swim with the residents.

This aquarium sits on the banks of the Yarra River and closes to the urban quarters of Melbourne- a destination filled with high-end shopping centers and fine diners.

4. Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin

Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin

Situated in the tropical capital of the northern territory, Crocosaurus Cove aquarium presents one of the few occasions to jump in a death cage with fierce crocodiles- Australia’s only crocodile dive with over 6-meters long saltwater crocodiles and weighing over a ton each.

Crocodiles giants apart, you can hold endearing baby crocodiles or visit the broad and colorful assortment of fishes. The aquarium is stationed at the heart of the small city of Darwin, perfect for a laid-back urban stroll, or planning your adventure through the lush national parks on the city borders.

5. Cairns Aquarium

Cairns Aquarium

Cairns Aquarium shelters the native tropical species existing around the shores of Queensland. The characteristic city of Cairns is also acknowledged as the gateway to the Great Reef Barrier, besides the ancient Wet Tropics Rainforest.

These geographical essences have turned Cairns’ aquarium into a unique destination with unmatched marine residents. The underwater journey here stretches across ten ecosystems and 71 magnificent habitats, housing over 16000 animals-much of which are the native creatures of the famous reef barrier.

Besides the turtle rehabilitation center and sea creatures, it is also home to several Sweetwater species of bizarre tropical river dwellers.

6. Sea World, Gold Coast

Sea World, Gold Coast

Famed globally for its Surfers Paradise Beach, the Gold Coast is characterized by its breathtaking marine scenery and wildlife, best seen in the spectacular Sea World marine park and oceanarium.

It houses several exhibitions such as polar bear habitats, a stingray reef, a sea lion harbor to penguins, and friendly dolphin shows. Join the Animal Adventures for a dip with the majestic ocean creatures, or fly high on a helicopter tour over the blond sweeps of sand and the fine landscape of the Gold Coast.

To make the visit more entertaining, a section of the park encompasses fun water games and themed rides for all ages.

7. Stanley Seaquarium, Tasmania

Stanley Seaquarium, Tasmania

The Tasmanian terrain is appreciated for its ethereal wildlife, while its brimming shores are too a source of curiosity. Verging the historic and quaint township of Stanley, the shores are riddled with unique and oversized sea creatures- giant crabs, seashore sharks, enormous eels, colorful lobsters, and more.

On the cultural side, this marine center walks the visitors through the marine history of the region, together with an epicurean grade seafood restaurant on the site.

8. Reef HQ, Townsville

Reef HQ, Townsville

Colorful exhibitions of fish and corals are a dazzling sight in the Reef HQ aquarium, sheltering hundreds of species native to the tropical marine of northeastern Australia.

Enlisted as the world’s largest living coral aquarium, this marine center also serves as a natural research organization for the Great Reef Barrier and its residents. The exhibition varies across several grandiose habitats including predator tanks, coral dwelling replicas, and more.

9. National Zoo & Aquarium, Canberra

National Zoo & Aquarium, Canberra

Near the verdant capital city of Canberra, the National zoo and aquarium is home to exotic creatures from land and marine territories of Australia and around the world. Besides several realistic replicas of land habitats, the aquarium section protects giant tanks with reef sharks and the colorful world of the great reef barrier.

Besides the marvelous sea creatures, there are exhibitions of Australian freshwater species from tropical giants to rare lake inhabitants. The national zoo and aquarium are situated near the Scrivener Dam, and just a stone’s throw from its attractive scenery and recreation designated areas.

10. Coral Sea Marine Park

Coral Sea Marine Park

The Coral Sea Marine Park is an underwater world accessible to more adventurous visitors. Submerged beneath the shores of Queensland, it highlights Australia’s largest marine park and one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife encompassments depicted in vibrant colors, striking creatures, and crystalline waters.

Esteemed as a perfect destination for boating, leisure fishing, and swimming, the park runs snorkeling tours to the submerged territory. Only a few kilometers from the Great Reef Barrier, the park boasts similar characteristics in scenery and species.

11. Aquascene Fish Feeding

Aquascene Fish Feeding

There is no better place to catch a sight of wildlife other than their own natural habitats; at the heritage of Darwin’s harbor, visitors can feed the northern territories’ myriads of fishes each day. The fish-feeding frenzy has been a legacy of the locals since decades ago.

By the daily rise of the tides, fishes swim to the enclaves of Aquascene, where you can literally hand feed the giant fishes before the tidal current draws back.

Although fish feeding is a year-round activity and tourist attraction, the best season to catch sight of large flocks of fishes lasts from December to August.

Feed the fishes, walk by the scenic harbour and join the quintessential outdoor markets of Darwin before heading for a fine dining experience at the world-class restaurant near the harbour.

12. Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Queenscliff

Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Queenscliff

Sitting on the shores of the fishing harbor town of Queenscliff, the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre is primarily an educational foundation. While remaining a tourist attraction, the founding block of this marine center was set to raise awareness and preserve marine life.

It houses a handful of realistically reconstructed habitats including the rock pool, freshwater creatures’ dwelling, and beach residents. Along with marine exhibitions, there are routine cultural activities such as themed art programs such as sculpting and painting.

Awareness aside, you can jump in a habitat replica pool on a hot day, or grab a permit for a fishing trip or canoe ride for additional adventures.

13. Pet Porpoise Pool Marine Park, Coffs Harbour

Pet Porpoise Pool Marine Park, Coffs Harbour

Dolphins are the chief interest at Pet Porpoise Pool Marine Park, showcasing brilliant tricks together with the spectacular seal shows and feeding programs.

For close contact with these intelligent sea creatures, visit the park’s encounter habitats. Take a photo with your new aquatic friends, side with an educational tour to learn more about the conservation of marine on a personal level, or watch the center’s rescued residents in the tanks and bewildering habitats.

14. Underwater World, Mooloolaba

Underwater World, Mooloolaba

From colorful tropical fishes to giant shark tanks and smooth-back rays, to tropical river species, the Underwater World takes to the heart of marine life with its tank exhibition most notably, the 80 meters long tunnel with large stingrays.

The marine life displays are divided into eight sections, covering seal and sea lions and otters on the rocky habitats to Sweetwater crocodiles and dazzling sawfishes to the cerulean depths of giant fish tanks.

The aquarium is an hour’s drive from Brisbane, the metropolitan of Australian art and culture, exquisite restaurants and modern amenities.

15. Aquasearch Aquarium, Nelly Bay

Aquasearch Aquarium, Nelly Bay

Wanting to visit the tropical ecosystem on a brisk tour and within budget-friendly rates? Aquasearch Aquarium is an excellent destination. Although it is compact, the collections are rather comprehensive.

It features breeding tanks and reef corals and fishes, including all the characters of Finding Nemo.

The aquarium sits on the urban shores of the picturesque Magnetic Island, recognized for its pale granite cliffs and fine-sand beach sweeps.

16. Marine Discovery Centre, Adelaide

Marine Discovery Centre, Adelaide

Spending quality time and learning about the curious depths of the ocean to colorful reefs is an optimum family activity. At Marine Discovery Centre, you can learn about marine life with fun, indicative programs, and an additional focus on the young learners.

These programs take place in the center’s marine museum displays, and several habitats including mesmerizing rocky shores, sand dune habitats, mangroves, coral reefs, and Wallum country. 

located at a short drive, enrich your day with art and culture at the unique indigenous art centers in Adelaide to see what’s on the artistic film theatre displays.

17. Ocean Park, Denham

Ocean Park, Denham

Known for its eco-friendly attributes, Ocean Park lounges on the shorelines of the picturesque Shark Bay a playground of migrating humpback whales and lined with unmatched marine fauna.

You can dive with sharks, stingrays or perfect your diving skills with skilled operators. For more leisurely activities, take a cruise boat to the whale territory with marine safaris, or enjoy a meal at the panoramic restaurant of the park with the catch of the day specialties.

18. Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory

Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory

Sitting just a short walk from the world’s largest timber-built jetty, Busselton Marine Observatory reveals a window to the sunken realm of the ocean- enlisted among the planet’s only 6 existing underwater observatories.

It offers 360 views of the scenic depths of the Indian Ocean, starting with a terrain ride with coastal views and descending over 8 meters beneath the surface into innovative tunnels and viewing windows.

Tropical corals, colorful fishes, crawling invertebrates, and an overall of 300 species with curious origins are at display here.

19. Oceanic Victor, Victor Harbor

Oceanic Victor, Victor Harbor

Established just off the shores of Victor Harbor, Oceanic Victor is a privately run marine center with unique amenities. Overlooking the pristine granite Islands, the marine station guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to bring you to a close touch with nature.

The activities include; feeding and swimming with bluefin tuna, colorful fishes of all sizes, and water recreation in an aquarium inside the sea.

Oceanic Victor offers both individual and family packages. After your day of adventure, head back to the center’s coastal cafe, visit the island’s tiny penguin residents and enjoy a dramatic sunset vista with great food, music, and occasional festivals.

20. Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters

Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters

Based on the surfing village of Anna Bay known for its laid-back vibe and aboriginal heritage, Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters is centered on a single idea; swimming with the fishes.

Noted as a family-friendly destination, it houses several pools for close contact and swimming with giant stingrays and other species of marine life.

Join the feeding frenzy or soak the sun on the rocks while watching the playful creatures and spend a treasured afternoon full of unique fun with your loved ones in this marine encounter center.

Our Final Aquatic Propositions

Below, you can find two more marine habitat exhibitions, with a tip on an upcoming and record-breaking center;

Seahorse World, Tasmania

Located on the magnificent Tamar Valley in Tasmania, Seahorse world features remarkable exhibitions of all things seahorse; the Cave of the Seahorse, breeding tanks, and a few of the Southern Ocean species coexisting with the endearing seahorses. It is a truly inspiring destination with an educational inclination.

Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre

Marine wildlife is a combination of coastal terrains, reefs, and deep ocean settings. Follow the small penguin trails on the pristine coasts of Penneshaw, and enjoy all the recreational and laid-back benefits of scenic coastal and the region’s famous honey and sweet delicacies.

Upcoming next in Australia; Underwater Discovery Centre

Keep updated for under construction Underwater Discovery Centre near the shores of Busselton Jetty. masterfully architected as a giant whale, it is predicted to rank as the largest likewise structure worldwide, with a marine center, educational tours, and restaurants.

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