Aquarium of WA

KRM BRANCH November EXCURSION REPORT

The November excursion was to AQWA at Hillarys Boat Harbour.

We met up at the ticket kiosk at opening time to join a growing line of patrons making their way inside. Once inside we made our way through the exhibits, starting with the stunning Leafy Sea Dragons followed by a walk through the underwater tunnel. Here we were enthralled by close up encounters with large sharks, getting to see their awesome mouths full of razor sharp teeth first hand. Turtles, large sting rays and myriad species of fish made a steady procession past us as we made our way around the tunnel. One can never get tired of watching this spectacular display of marine species.

After exploring a few more displays after leaving the tunnel we took a quick coffee break before heading back to the Leafy Sea Dragon exhibit to attend one of the scheduled talks. There was an unexpected bonus on hand as the guide pointed out a male Leafy Sea Dragon with a large mass of eggs attached to his body. Apparently the Leafy Sea Dragons on display had only recently been obtained by AQWA and one of the females laid her eggs after only a few days. The guide informed us that the eggs were expected to hatch on the next full moon and that they would be closely observed at that time. The presentation was very informative and well worth attending.

We then headed to the exhibit known as the Danger Zone where another talk was scheduled. This talk took us through the many exhibits that represent a danger to us humans when entering their habitat. These included a Saltwater Crocodile, a Blue-ringed Octopus, Cone Shell, Stone Fish, Lion Fish and some jellyfish – another very informative talk from a knowledgeable guide.

The guide then suggested that yet another talk was about to begin at the turtle tanks so we made our way there to learn about marine turtles and the turtle recovery program that AQWA is involved with in rehabilitating juvenile turtles washed up on Perth beaches during winter. Some of the rescued turtles were on display and were fed small fish during the talk.

Our last stop was a visit to the coral reef display. This is a fantastic display and the colours of the many species of fish within this aquarium made for spectacular viewing, a great way to end our visit.

The large number of visitors present on the day is a further indication of the popularity of AQWA with local, interstate and international visitors. It had been a wonderful outing to a first class facility.

Colin Prickett