Few countries have a more intimate relationship with the ocean and its native creatures than Australia, and the ideal place to see Australia’s native sealife at close quarters is the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. This vast attraction that houses a staggering 13,000 different marine animals made up of over 700 species provides a fascinating insight into the diverse marine environments that exist in Australia from the famous Great Barrier Reef to Sydney’s own Southern Ocean.
The Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is located in Cockle Way, a short ferry ride away from Darling Harbour. The aquarium is one of Sydney’s most popular tourist attractions, attracting millions of visitors from all over Australia and abroad every year. The building it is housed in is one of Sydney’s architectural jewels, designed to resemble an ocean wave.
Of the aquarium’s many inhabitants, one particular species of resident provokes the strongest reactions. The Shark Walk and Shark Valley allow visitors to view the ocean’s most deadly predator at close quarters. Walk through the transparent tunnels as these magnificent and sometimes deadly creatures stealthily pass you by.
To experience tropical conditions, visit the Bay of Rays, where you can get interactive in the Discovery Rockpool, which is aimed at children. The Rockpool gives visitors the chance to get really close to and even handle urchins, starfish and sea cucumbers. Friendly staff members are on hand to rotate the creatures so that they don’t get overwhelmed by all the attention!
The Great Barrier Reef exhibit recreates the striking appearance of one of Australia’s most well-known features. This huge aquarium contains an unbelievable 530,000 gallons of water, within which the likes of clown fish, lion fish, sawfish and reef sharks frolic around happily.
Another favourite with visitors is the South Coast Shipwreck. This aquarium is shaped like a sunken ship and is populated by a variety of sealife acclimatised to the cooler conditions found in southern Australian locations. Its residents include pineapple fish, green eels, octopuses and sea dragons.
The aquarium also has plenty of amenities associated with a world-class tourist attraction, with places to eat, including two snack bars, as well as three well-stocked gift shops. Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is open daily throughout major holidays, and is accessible by bus or rail. Parking is also available.