Napier, New Zealand

National Aquarium of New Zealand

The National Aquarium of New Zealand is a non-profit aquarium with a small market base. Marinescape was hired to renovate and expand an existing aquarium.

Napier, New Zealand
Year Opened:
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The aquarium originally opened in its current location in 1976.

In 2002 the aquarium underwent an extension and renovation, which included the addition of a 1,500,000L oceanarium with a 50m acrylic tunnel and the replacement of all the original tanks with newly constructed ones.


Our aim is to present to the public world-class aquariums with displays of representative examples of living marine and aquatic organisms in naturalistic settings, and by way of exhibitions, programs of education, conservation and research to entertain and inform the public, and to encourage a sympathetic awareness and understanding of the marine and freshwater environments and of the human interaction with them. - Ian Mellsop, Founder and Managing Director  


The city's first purpose-built aquarium opened in 1976 and after a redevelopment, the National Aquarium officially opened in March 2002.

Aquarium staff have an international reputation for specialist knowledge, including reptile expertise and an ability to keep stocks alive well beyond natural life expectancy rates.

The National Aquarium was the first aquarium to hatch a turtle egg (1975). It has the world's oldest living tuatara hatched in captivity (hatched 1980) and these are now part of a database for genetic diversity. Other scientific programmes involved researching the sustainability of the Orange Roughy fishery, the effect of ageing on fish and measuring stress levels in tuatara.

Local fishermen visit regularly to deliver their catch or identify unusual species they have found in the bay. No part of New Zealand is more than 130 kilometers from the sea, making marine education and curiosity natural amongst this country's four million population.


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