The National Aquarium of New Zealand stretches along Napier’s Marine Parade like a huge stingray. It's home to a wide range of saltwater, freshwater and land animal exhibits from New Zealand and around the world.
Visit Penguin Cove and watch the world famous little penguins feed and play. See stingrays, kingfish, hapuku, snapper, and other majestic native species swimming over you in the 1.5 million litre oceanarium tunnel.
Spot New Zealand’s native wildlife – the tuatara and kiwi, and book a Close Encounter with our little penguins or terrapins. Guided tours can also be booked and run daily at 10.30am.
Daily feeding times are 10.00am for the reef fish, 2pm oceanarium diver hand feeding, and the little penguins at 9.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
The café is open until 4.30pm and is a great place to stop to enjoy fantastic coffee, delicious snacks and a range of freshly prepared dishes from the menu.
In 1954, shoe retailer Les Mills installed a large goldfish tank in his store. He later filled it with tropical fish that his son Ian had purchased from Wellington.
The tank proved so popular that Les, a member of Napier's Thirty Thousand Club, was given £500 to establish a public aquarium in the basement of Napier’s War Memorial Hall, which opened to the public on the 14th of December 1957.
Just under twenty years later in 1976, the aquarium had moved to a purpose-built site at the southern end of Marine Parade, where the aquarium still resides today. This impressive new building welcomed 230,082 visitors in its first year!
Then in 2002, the National Aquarium completed an $8 million redevelopment that included its new 1.5 million litre Oceanarium exhibit. It was renamed The National Aquarium of New Zealand and was opened to the public by Prime Minister Helen Clark on the 14th of March 2002.
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