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South Pacific Aquarium

Now Open

Massive sharks. A blue hole with divers’-eye-view. Cage dives. A tropical lagoon, a stingray cove. The South Pacific Aquarium is an oasis of warm-water marine beauty, with vibrant fish, inspiring sharks and stingrays. Dive in.

(NOTE: We also have a Pacific Seas Aquarium, home to turtles and eagle rays.)

Eye-to-Eye Shark Dives continue with new safety protocols.

Discover the South Pacific

Find it
in the zoo.
Follow the one-way arrows from the entry plaza down to the top entrance.
Dive with sharks
Our Eye-to-Eye dives are open.
Want to dive with our massive sharks? Our Eye-To-Eye Shark Dives are open with new safety protocols. Stay cozy in a dry suit and float in a cage inside their watery world...
Shark Dives
Safe aquariums
We want to keep everyone safe and healthy in our aquariums!
  • Face coverings are required for non-vaccinated guests age 5 and over and encouraged for vaccinated guests – in compliance with CDC and state health guidelines.
  • Follow the one-way arrows.
  • Keep that 6-ft social distance!
  • Please don't touch the windows.
  • Keep your stroller with you.
  • Learn more

    Aquarium Habitats

    Outer Reef
    Lagoon
    Stingray Cove
    Feeding sharks
    (Carefully.)
    Feeding time in the Outer Reef is a complex dance. Above the surface are half-a-dozen aquarists, each with a different kind of feeding pole and fish.
    The cheeky crevalle jack are distracted while the nurse sharks get just the right amount. Finally, everyone’s happy.
    Cleaning
    underwater.
    How do you clean a shark tank? You get trained divers on your team and set them to work.
    While one diver watches the sharks around them, the other scrubs windows and rockwork. And aquarium visitors get to watch it all!
    Science
    behind the scenes
    Behind the scenes at the South Pacific Aquarium is a complex network of pipes, filters, temporary habitats and more.
    Water is pumped up from Puget Sound, filtered and warmed, then treated again after it leaves the aquarium so it’s clean for the local environment.

    Protecting The Ocean

    It takes everyone.

    THE THREAT: Ocean animals are in danger – from humans. Our plastic chokes and starves them. Our oil spills engulf them. Our boats and nets shrink their populations. And our carbon dioxide is warming their world.

    TAKE ACTION: Choose reusable items over single-use plastic. Drive less, recycle more. Pick up pet poop and avoid pesticides. Eat sustainable seafood. And speak up. Together we can protect the ocean.

    Aquarium Stories

    Animal Athletes

    Human athletes might be battling it out for medals at the Olympic Games in Japan this month, but here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, we have our own incredible athletes to celebrate: our animals! Who can leap the furthest? Climb the highest? Who’s the fastest swimmer, the cleanest diver, the most agile? Check out … Continued

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    Double Exposed

    Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, we asked our assistant curators that very same question. Then our incredible staff photographer Katie Cotterill took portraits of both keeper AND animal, superimposing them … Continued

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    Aquarist Life: Tyler

    It’s hard to describe the awe when you stand at the Baja Bay window in Point Defiance Zoo’s Pacific Seas Aquarium and watch spotted eagle rays swoop through blue water overhead. But Tyler, one of the zoo’s aquarists, gets an even more immersive experience: waist-deep in their 80-degree water, feeling velvety noses as they munch … Continued

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    Go Deeper
    Looking for a deeper animal connection? Dive into our Eye-to-Eye Shark Dives and float in the same world as our massive sharks!