Facilities at NMSC

The Faculty of Science and Engineering's National Marine Science Centre houses a number of facilities used for teaching and research and public outreach.

Seawater Supply System

The NMSC has a state-of-the-art flow-through seawater supply system. Drawing water from Charlesworth Bay, high-quality filtered seawater is available on tap in the laboratories, hatchery, aquarium rooms and tank farm. Identified as one of the best systems in Australia, the supply of seawater supports a range of experimental research activities and specialist laboratories, and is backed up by a standby generator and an elaborate alarm system.

Aquaculture Farm

The large aquaculture farm allows the NMSC to house a wide range of fish and invertebrate species in a variety of round tanks and raceways that range from 1,000 to 7,000 litres. This space includes open air, undercover and climate-controlled rooms to cater for different animals and research requirements.


Research into all aspects of aquaculture is possible, with a broodstock facility (30,000 litres), hatchery and nursery tanks to grow fish to fingerling stages. The hatchery enables researchers to grow all stages of the food chain, from algal culture to live food. The broodstock facility is climate-controlled to allow breeding conditions to be simulated and studied to attain optimal reproduction of fish species.

Other Research Facilities

Specialist rooms include climate and temperature-controlled rooms, a genetics laboratory as well as general laboratory space. Two climate-controlled labs are serviced by a water temperature control system, which can supply seawater at four separate, tightly-held temperatures. These laboratories are ideal for climate change research. The NMSC also has a research vessel that may be used for a variety of purposes, providing a platform for SCUBA diving, water and sediment sampling, and the deployment of a range of small to medium-sized gear types.

Teaching Spaces

The NMSC has an 80 seat lecture theatre, a computer laboratory with 25 computers, a classroom that can seat 30 - 40 people and a teaching laboratory that can hold up to 60 people. These are general purpose rooms with differing levels of audio-visual capability.

The Solitary Islands Aquarium

The Solitary Islands Aquarium showcases a range of species from local marine and estuarine environments and is a primary interpretive facility promoting community education. Open to the public on weekends and during school holidays, also by appointment for school and community groups, this facility forms the core of the NMSC's public outreach program.

Visit the Aquarium