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New Canberra aquarium gets the thumbs up from pint-sized wildlife watchers

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“Five stars”. “Pretty cool”. “Awesome”.

There was no mincing of words when the pint-sized critics were asked their opinion about the National Zoo and Aquarium’s latest offering to visitors.

The lucky group of children were the among the first visitors to get a sneak peek at the newly renovated aquarium building which has been reopened to the public after eight months of extensive renovations.

The aquarium building, which was built in 1990, has been refurbished to create a more immersive and interactive experience.

The aquarium features a wide range of fauna and flora from oceans and rivers in Australia and internationally, from alligators, king crabs, iguanas, boa constrictors and even a pig nosed turtle.

Senior aquarist Renee Osterloch said the renovations had enabled some of the exhibits to be enlarged and there were also more species on display.


“This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for families to come and see and experience what it’s like to explore under the sea,” she said.

“There’s the new Rocky Shores Touch Pool, the Ship Wreck cove area where kids can be immersed in the ship and downstairs there’s a beautiful rainforest that we’ve created for the exhibits which has the river systems and the reptiles.” 

If the look on the face of little four-year-old Ned Pegoraro, from Townsville, was anything to go by, the newly refurbished aquarium is sure to be a hit with visitors.  Mum Megan said she was impressed by the aquarium.

“The kids love it and it’s great for them to be able to see this on such a scale,” she said.

Nine-year-old Jamie Wood from Brisbane agrees.

“My favourite things were looking at the boa constrictor, the fish and the alligators,” he said.

The reopening of the aquarium is perfectly timed to coincide with the last week of school holidays when parents may be running out of ideas of how to keep their children’s boredom at bay.

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