A little more than two hours north of Perth, the Pinnacles limestone formations are located inside Nambung National Park. The surrounding Pinnacles Desert provides the chance to see more of Western Australia outside the city and discover the sport of sandboarding.
Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)
91 Southside Drive, Hillarys, 6025
AQWA is in Hillarys Boat Harbour, a family-friendly dining, boating, and entertainment complex. You can spend your time browsing the exhibits that feature coral, jellyfish, sharks, and other sea life or book additional activities, which include snorkeling with sharks, going diving, and taking whale-watching cruises and glass-bottom boat tours. Because of its location in a suburb, Hillarys isn’t part of most city tours, but there’s enough to do here to keep you busy all day.
Things to Know Before You Go
Purchase tickets in advance online, especially if you want to take part in any of the optional activities.
There is a café at the aquarium that offers snacks and light meals and has both indoor and outdoor seating.
AQWA does not keep any marine mammals like dolphins or seals; the aquarium recommends seeing mammals in the wild on whale-watching cruises.
The aquarium is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
AQWA is a 20- to 30-minute drive from central Perth via the Mitchell Freeway; there is free parking on site. To reach the aquarium on public transportation, take the Joondalup train line to the Warwick station, then catch a city bus to Hillarys.
When to Get There
The aquarium is open daily from late morning until early evening. It is busiest on weekends and during school breaks, so if you’re visiting at one of those times, arrive first thing in the morning to avoid the biggest crowds. Events—such as turtle feedings and educational talks—take place throughout the day.
Hillarys Boat Harbour
There’s lots to see and do at Hillarys. After visiting the aquarium, you can head out on a chartered fishing trip, make a beeline for the beach and go for a swim, play on waterslides, take the kids to the playground, browse the shops on the boardwalk, hop the ferry to Rottnest Island, or enjoy drinks or a meal while watching the sun set into the Indian Ocean.