The National Aquarium's Friend of The Aquarium annual membership programme provides many benefits including the opportunity to visit as many times as you like in that year. You only have to visit twice to make it worthwhile.
A friend of the Aquarium membership is a fabulous gift that will last all year. There's so many things to see at National Aquarium that there's always something new to experience. There's also the Fish Bowl cafe onsite to relax and have a coffee or a snack.
We're delighted and proud to have been crowned inaugural winner of the Classic Hits People's Choice Award at the 2013 Hawke's Bay Tourism Awards. Over 800 visitors and locals cast votes for their favourite tourism business and out of the 69 eligible operators and attraction , the National Aquarium came out on top.
It's a special honour for all of us at the National Aquarium, as what the public and our wonderful visitors think of what we do and how we do it is incredibly important, and it's terrific to hear you're supporting us and our activities. Thank you all so much for your votes and for making our jobs even better by giving us support and positive feedback!
Supreme Winner and Accommodation Winner was Black Barn Retreats, and the Visitor Activity Winner was the Art Deco Trust. Congratulations to the teams from those great businesses!
You can read all about the
For the best times to view the penguins come during a Keeper Talk or Feeding time – 9.30am, 1.30pm or 3.30pm.
The newest residents of the Aquarium recently made the journey from nearby Marineland to their new home and have settled into their new life-like surroundings very quickly.
Penguin Cove has been carefully designed to replicate the penguins' natural beach habitat to ensure they feel right at home in their new abode.
Walk into the new exhibit and see a sandy beach, made up of 28 tonnes of golden sand donated by Winstone Aggregates. Driftwood, rocks and a swimming pool with underwater viewing complete the exhibit – everything that allows the 10 penguins to go about their normal routine of fishing and feeding during the day, then returning to the beach for play and sleep at night.
All this is waiting for you, your friends and family to enjoy and experience at the National Aquarium of New Zealand this summer. See you soon!
Penguin Close Encounter
Get 'hands on' with the cute and fascinating Little Penguins. Help prepare their food, hand feed each bird and get your photo taken with one of your newest friends! Find out how close a Little Penguin lives to you!
Time: Available daily at 1pm
Duration: Approx 45 minutes
Participants: Maximum of 4
Cost: $60 per person
Aquarium Alligators celebrate one year anniversary
The juvenile female alligators have been lent to the aquarium for a two year period by Butterfly Creek in Auckland.
The toothy pair called 'Fiona' and 'Cheryl' which are almost six years old and one metre long, originate from an alligator farm in Australia, but have grown up at Butterfly Creek.
The alligators were collected by aquarium staff and made the trip to Napier by road.
National Aquarium of New Zealand manager Rob Yarrall says the pair travelled very well. When we arrived in Auckland the alligators were 'hanging out' in their normal enclosure. We took with us two specialist made containers for them to travel in to ensure they were well protected and comfortable during their journey.
"Apart from a couple of stops along the way to check on our new friends, the pair travelled without a hitch. They seem pleased to be in their new home and are settling in well," says Mr Yarrall.
Fiona and Cheryl share residences on the first floor of the aquarium with Terrapins in a Florida Everglades themed enclosure which the aquarium team have built to mirror their natural American habitat.
The Alligators are now on display at the National Aquarium so come in and check these cool little girls out!
Dinosaur Discovery Display
The Dinosaur Discovery Display is now open for public to visit! There are still finishing touches happening to the new Waste Aware classroom before it is opened.
Our 40 juvenile piranha are now about one year old. They may look cute and small but these little fish already have mighty sharp little teeth.
The babies have travelled from the far shores of Germany where they were bred and arrived in New Zealand where they were placed in quarantine in New Plymouth for six weeks before being transported to our Aquarium.
When they arrived each fish was individually packed in their own tall narrow plastic bag containing water and oxygen. No neighbours are allowed in a bag because in the dark if piranha bump into one another their natural instinct is to attack. Let's just say many bags would turn up empty! Because the fish are tropical, the polystyrene containers holding the bags had heat pads on the base to keep them nice and toasty warm.
As babies our new arrivals are silver with dark spots, but as they grow older their colour changes. With maturity there spots will fade and they will develop a silver glitter effect and a red underbelly.
Our new babies have settled in so well to their new home. In fact, when the bags got emptied into their tank at the Aquarium, they zipped and zoomed around in complete excitement! They have now quietened down and are schooling around their tank.
Come and see our new babies soon. You'll find them on the first floor of the National Aquarium of New Zealand.