National Aquarium of New Zealand

The tanks at this modern aquarium play host to all kinds of underwater life, from cute sea creatures to fearsome marine predators.

Admire huge sharks as well as stingrays and octopuses at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. See piranhas gliding around and interact with adorable penguins and kiwi birds.

Situated just a few feet from the Pacific Ocean, this shimmering silver aquarium is home to a huge range of marine life from the largest of the world’s oceans. As you pass through a tunnel on the moving walkway that runs beneath the vast oceanarium, look for sharks and short-tailed stingrays. Elsewhere, arrow-shaped skates zoom across the bottom of the tank as sea turtles float by, close to the surface.

Stay at the oceanarium until after lunch to observe aquarium staff feeding the hungry creatures. Once you have observed the aquarium’s largest inhabitants, go in search of some of the smallest. Spot elegant seahorses and schools of tropical fish darting between the coral.

The aquarium also houses an assortment of freshwater species. Watch alligators floating around and terrapins patrolling their tanks. Don’t miss the vicious piranhas. Staff will tell you stories about how a pack of piranhas have been known to devour a whole horses in just a few minutes.

For a truly memorable experience, book an encounter with one of the aquarium’s more docile creatures. Feed and hold little penguins and come face-to-face with kiwi birds and rare three-eyed tuataras. Arrange animal encounters online at least 24 hours before your visit.

Find the National Aquarium of New Zealand on the edge of Hawke’s Bay, a short stroll east of central Napier. The aquarium is open all week and has an admission fee. Browse the on-site gift shop to purchase souvenirs such as T-shirts and cuddly toys of your favourite animals.