Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A trip to the Aquarium of Western Australia

It's hard to be touristy in Perth. The "sights" section in my Let's Go Australia book is just a page. One of the recommended sights is a visit to the Aquarium of Western Australia. Another suggestion is to the Perth Zoo. Now, no offence to the animals of the world, especially to the ones in Western Australia, but  these are two places I would normally opt out of paying to go see. An aquarium is an aquarium and a zoo is a zoo, no matter where you are, right? There's something unappealing about contained animals. But, I had a friend who wanted to be touristy with me as we take advantage of our dwindling days left in Perth. We had optimistic expectations for the day off work and access to a car - go see the protruding rocks at the Pinnacles, go sand surfing off the dunes in Lancelin, go visit the infamous Wave Rock - but even though I should blame it on laziness, I'll blame the forlorn weather forecast for the day's divergence. He actually wanted to go to the Aquarium and I was easily convinced as I knew this opportunity would never present itself to me again. 

The Aquarium of Western Australia is actually about 30 minutes outside of the city, north along the coast in Hilary's Harbour. It didn't seem so convenient for a tourist destination. An even queerer oddity was the price list. An adult entry is $29, but if you buy a pass, the second and third visits are only $20 and the fourth visit is free!* Why, oh why, anyone would want to go to the aquarium four times baffles me. The only, ONLY, justification I could come up with is if someone was a serial dater and took 3 different girls on a date to the aquarium and then really wanted to impress the fourth girl by saying, "I've got an in at the Aquarium, we don't have to pay to get in." And that's not even a good or even plausible reason. 
* that's a sarcastically enthusiastic "!"

The best part of the Aquarium is the revolving walk way that goes through an underwater tunnel. 
 Western Australian fish, sharks, and turtles swim up close, above, and around you.
 I must say I was quite impressed with this feature.
 The aquarium brought us around the 12,000 kilometres of Western Australia's coast showcasing and highlighting the different marine life that live in the southern ocean, around Perth and all the way up north.
 Of course there were dangerous animals.
I think we rated the Aquarium of Western Australia a 6 or 7 out of 10. It was fun to do something different, to cross it off the list of things to see and do in Perth, but it is definitely a once in a lifetime trip - definitely not worth 3 more visits to get a free entry!!  It would have earned a higher mark if there were penguins *love* but I suppose it would be mean to take them away from their neighbouring home of Penguin Island - another sight already checked off - although I would be willing to go back there, if there was a guaranteed penguin-sighting opportunity. 

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