National Aquarium of New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
National Aquarium of New Zealand
Napier aquarium logo.jpg
National Aquarium of New Zealand's logo
Napier aquarium entrance.jpg
Entrance to the aquarium
Date opened1976
LocationNapier, New Zealand
Coordinates39°30′03″S 176°55′08″E / 39.5007°S 176.9189°E / -39.5007; 176.9189Coordinates: 39°30′03″S 176°55′08″E / 39.5007°S 176.9189°E / -39.5007; 176.9189
No. of animals1500+
No. of species50+
Volume of largest tank1.5 million litres
Major exhibitsOceanarium, fish, reptiles, kiwi, penguins
OwnerNapier City Council

The National Aquarium of New Zealand, formerly Napier Aquarium, is a public aquarium on Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand. It was started in 1957 and moved to its present location in 1976. It is owned by Napier City Council. In addition to many fish species, exhibits include kiwi, tuatara, American alligator, turtles, little penguins and some lizards.


In 1957, members of Napier's Thirty Thousand Club and the Hawke's Bay Aquarium and Water Garden Society decided to create a public aquarium with tropical fish and unusual specimens of local fish in the basement of the War Memorial Hall that was being built on Marine Parade.[1]

The aquarium moved to its current location on Marine Parade in 1976.[2] In its first year of its life it attracted 230,000 visitors at a time when the population of Napier was about 50,000. In its first 5 years of operation over 750,000 people visited.

The aquarium acquired piranhas from Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., in 1979, trading seahorses for them.[3] In 2019 the 21 elderly piranhas remaining were euthanased, as new government rules no longer allowed them to be kept in the aquarium's tanks.[4]

In 2002 the aquarium underwent a NZ$8 million extension and renovation which included the addition of a 1.5 million litre oceanarium with a 50m acrylic tunnel and the replacement of all the original tanks with newly constructed ones. It was renamed the National Aquarium of New Zealand.[2]

In June 2017 the aquarium named Timmy its 'Naughty Penguin of the Month' for stealing fish and pushing another penguin into the water.

Facilities and exhibits[edit]

There are two temporary exhibit halls (one on the upper level and the other adjacent to the oceanarium), a souvenir shop and cafe.

Inside the 50m acrylic tunnel of the 1.5 million litre oceanarium

Exhibits include:

Viewing window into the oceanarium

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fowler, Michael (27 October 2018). "Historic Hawke's Bay: Aquarium began in a basement". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b "History & building architecture". National Aquarium of New Zealand. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  3. ^ Laing, Doug (4 December 2019). "'Tighter rules' force National Aquarium of NZ in Napier to euthanase its piranhas". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 4 December 2019 – via
  4. ^ Sharpe, Marty (4 December 2019). "Piranha euthanased at National Aquarium due to new regulations". Stuff. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

External links[edit]