Questions and Answers
Below are just some of the questions we're regularly asked at the National Aquarium. If you have a question not answered below, please be in touch and we'll do our best to respond to your query as soon as possible.
What is the best time to visit?
The National Aquarium is open daily from 9am-5pm, with the last entry at 4.30pm. We recommend you plan your visit around one or more of our public feeding sessions. Penguins are fed at 9.30am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm. Reef fish are feed at 10am. The sharks and larger fish are fed at 2pm.
What animals do you have?
The National Aquarium has a great range of aquatic animals and other wildlife from New Zealand and around the world. These include:
- Hawksbill Turtle
What is the difference between The National Aquarium and Kelly Tarlton’s in Auckland?
We are very similar in some ways, but different in others. Both facilities display many of the same animals, however, there are differences in the types of species we display. For example, the National Aquarium has the world’s smallest species of penguin, Little Penguins, while Kelly Tarlton’s exhibit one of the world’s largest, the King Penguin. The National Aquarium also has Kiwi and Tuatara on display whereas Kelly Tarlton’s do not. These similarities and differences make for rich visitor experiences and learning opportunities. We recommend visiting both!
What is the difference between a ‘Swim’ and a ‘Dive’ with the Sharks?
A ‘Swim with the Sharks’ is a surface only swimming and snorkelling session in our Oceanarium, designed for those who do not have dive qualifications. A ‘Dive with the Sharks’ is strictly for qualified divers, and is a SCUBA session in our Oceanarium, where you take part in our feeding time (minimum requirement PADI open water diver).
How long does it take to visit the Aquarium?
We recommend planning for a minimum of one hour for your visit, but for a more thorough experience close to two hours.
Do you have dolphins?
Sorry, we don't have dolphins. The New Zealand government does not support keeping dolphins in captivity.
Why are the Aquarium's fees and charges set as they are?
Our fees and charges are set so we can generate the revenue required to successfully operate and ensure quality care for our aquatic animals and other wildlife exhibits. We endeavour to keep the fees and charges to our visitors as low as possible without compromising this care. We believe we are very competitively priced, comparing very favourably to other, similar facilities in New Zealand.
Can I visit the Treasure Chest Gift Shop or Fish Bowl Café without paying general admission?
Absolutely. Visitors are able to visit the Treasure Chest Gift Shop or Fish Bowl Café any time without paying general admission to the aquarium (please advise the admissions clerk on arrival). While access to the café and gift shop is permitted, you will not be allowed to access the rest of the Aquarium without purchasing a general admission ticket.
Do you offer discounts for locals?
While we don't have a discount policy for local visitors, we do offer other options, which are a great way for locals and visitors alike to get more value for money. This includes an annual membership, ‘Friends of the Aquarium’, where the cost of membership is paid for within three general admission visits, and you can visit anytime you like between 9am-5pm every day of the year except Christmas Day.