The Achill Experience and Aquarium is the only aquarium in Mayo and consists of 16 tanks housing species of local fish from the waters around Achill, tropical fish including piranhas, as well as the popular Dory (blue tang), Nemo (clown fish) and Hank (octopus).
The aquarium includes interactive touch tanks which allow visitors to get up close and personal with a variety of local sea creatures including starfish, urchins and scallops. Aquarists are on hand to answer any questions and guide all visitors through the aquarium. The aquarium houses four rare lobsters, Rusty the orange lobster, Charlie the white lobster and two blue lobsters.
The visitor centre has a replica Boley House similar to houses that would have been located in the now deserted village nearby. Visitors will see how locals lived in days past, along with artefacts they would have used.
There are exhibitions on history, emigration, local music, art and the local shark fishing industry, which at one time was the largest fishing industry in the world. The history boards show how locals lived on an island and survived through famine, disasters and emigration. The exhibition also shows how Achill has had to adapt to challenging and changing times.
The audio visual room has presentations on the history, culture and the heritage of Achill Island.
The gift shop has a variety of gifts including local gifts, produce and refreshments.
Look out for first edition prints of the famous American artist Robert Henri, who painted portraits of local children in the 1920’s.