Skip to main content

South Pacific Aquarium

Dive In

Fifteen 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 touchable stingrays. Dive in.

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

Discover the South Pacific

Keeper Chats
And feeds.
At 11 a.m. almost every day, someone’s getting fed in this aquarium! Watch sharks get wild, see tropical fish whirl and stingrays flutter.
See daily schedule
Find it
in the zoo.
Just downhill and to the right from the central plaza, the South Pacific Aquarium has two entrances: Upper (near Asia Forest Sanctuary) and lower (near budgies). No strollers, please.
Plan your day

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

Ocean Explorer Virtual Reality

The white sand glows as you curve with a hammerhead shark through azure waters. Later, you tilt and dive down deep to rescue a green sea turtle from a plastic net – and are repaid with a magical tour through a coral wonderland. Four captivating ocean adventures await you with Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s … Continued

Read More
Dear Santa: An Animal Wish List

What would you ask Santa for these holidays if you were a walrus? Or a tiger? Of course we can’t know what our animals are thinking, but we can definitely make some fun guesses based on what they enjoy doing or eating! Here’s a Zoo wish-list for Santa from some of our animals. Let’s hope … Continued

Read More
Chiquita explores the aquarium

If the sharks and fish noticed an unusual animal in the South Pacific Aquarium, they didn’t let on. In the steamy aquarium, on a December Tuesday when Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was closed, two tamanduas were wandering past the Outer Reef, along the lagoon and over to stingray beach. It was Terra and her … Continued

Read More
Dive with Sharks
Get a truly sharks’-eye view of our aquarium with the Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive. Immerse yourself in the world of our sharks – graceful, majestic. It'll change the way you see these breathtakingly beautiful predators.