A Holiday in Sydney: The Sydney Aquarium

As I have previously mentioned we recently had a holiday in Sydney where we went to Taronga Zoo. We went there because Conor really likes animals and zoos. Another thing Conor really likes is to go to the aquarium in Napier, so we just had to visit Sydney Sealife – the Aquarium in Darling Harbour. In particular Conor is really interested in sharks at the moment, and this aquarium has some really good sharks, so we set off one morning with high expectations.

The first thing to mention is how easy it is to get to the aquarium. It is in Darling Harbour (which is a spectacular if somewhat touristy destination itself), and is only a couple of minutes walk (five minutes for a four year old) from the central city. The second thing to mention is the queues to get a ticket and get in. It is worth buying a ticket online just to avoid the queue at the ticket office.  They had one person on serving everyone else, and we waited in line for ten minutes when it wasn’t particularly busy. You won’t save any money if you buy them on the day, but the online queue is significantly shorter.

So, is it worth the price of admission? Even though it is quite expensive ($38 per adult, under 4 free), the answer is yes. Conor really enjoyed it, and I felt we learnt quite a lot and had a real experience. The website says that it takes about 90 minutes to see everything, but we spent just over two hours there.

Conor and the dugong

Conor and the dugong

We saw lots of very cool animals during our visit: penguins, seahorses, crabs, lobsters, jellyfish, octopus, eels, shrimp, stingrays, as well as many different varieties of fish. The highlights of the visit though were the dugong and the sharks which were in their own large underwater areas. These areas (Dugong Island and Shark Valley) appear to be part of the harbour, which you descend into, walking in perspex tunnels under the surface of the water. This allows you to walk under and beside the animals as they swim past you. In these areas there are many different animals, fish, sharks and stingrays as well as the main attractions. This is really very cool, and Conor and I spent probably nearly an hour in these two areas alone.

We only saw one talk – about stingrays – which was actually quite informative, and we got to handle a real stingray barb! A real fun time, and Conor really enjoyed it. Overall I’d rate Taronga Zoo as more memorable, but this was pretty close.

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~ by Doug Newdick on March 30, 2013.

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