Monday, November 21, 2011

Eco World Aquarium

The Eco World Aquarium is a particularly interesting place to bring the family on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in New Zealand's South Island. Different from the unusual aquariums, this one focuses on local animals and fish that can be found in the waters of the Marlborough Sounds.

Encounter monsters from the deep, which are in fact Giant Squid, the biggest being 5 meters long, Little Blue Penguins, Kakariki, Giant Weta, lizards, turtles, and even Tuatara. Tuatara are native to New Zealand, and their ancestors were around 200 million years ago.

One of the highlights of the aquarium is the animal feeding which takes place twice a day, and is accompanied by a talk from an informative guide. In the morning at 11am visit the rock pools and shallows where you can see the freshwater eels and turtles enjoying a light breakfast, then at 2pm make your way to the main Marine Tank to see a late lunch for the crayfish and seahorses. These tours aren’t just for children; the guides ensure that adults also find the information is genuinely fascinating. There are other tours to enjoy as well, such as the reptile experience; the times are subject to change, so it’s best to ask what’s going on when you arrive.

The aquarium supports the Eco World Trust and donates some of your entrance fee to them. The trust is there to promote the understanding of the local environment, nature, and wildlife, especially that of New Zealand. It’s also home to the EcoWorld Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, which cares for injured and fledgling Little Blue Penguins and other marine birds.

If you’re interested in knowing more, why not take part in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour. Just as the name suggests, this is where aquarium staff show you around the site and introduce you to some of the islands local inhabitants, as well as the penguin colony, and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

The Eco World Aquarium is not a big, flashy all singing all dancing aquarium, but it is an enjoyable way to get to know the natives on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in Picton.

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