Friday, 8 April 2016

#70 - Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

I'm not sure why, but we seem to quite often find ourselves in aquariums.  I wouldn't describe us as aquarium enthusiasts, per se, but we do like doing stuff in general, and we seem to end up in lots of places where an aquarium is one of the main things to do.  Ones that stand out are Monterey Bay Aquarium, Dubai Aquarium and The Aquarium of Genoa.  After a few, they do tend to kind of blend in to one.  There are only so many underwater tunnels you can go through before you struggle to remember which one was which.

Sydney has a huge amount of attractions, but I had not heard too many people heralding it as a must-do attraction in Sydney.  That led me to have relatively low expectations for the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

The aquarium is one of the trio of attractions huddled together in Darling Harbour, alongside the Wildlife Sydney Zoo and Madame Tussauds.  You can purchase tickets for all three on the one ticket, for about $65.  We enjoyed all three attractions, and I would probably recommend you either do all three in one day, or none, unless there is one you are particularly keen on.

Worryingly, this deep sea diver has no arms

As mentioned on previous reviews of the aforementioned attractions, this part of Darling Harbour can get very busy.  On the day we went, the aquarium was just moderately busy, and not busy enough to cause any issues.  It is a decent size inside.  You could probably walk around in about half an hour if you didn't stop to look at any of the attractions, but that wouldn't seem like a terribly sensible use of your time or money.

A much more attractive option is to spend about 2 or 3 hours, and actually stop to look at some of the displays.  It has about 7 or 8 different sections, which all represent different areas or types of animal.  There are lots of interesting things like seahorses, stingrays, jellyfish, dugongs and of course, fish.  Being Australia, a fair few of the sea creatures are designed to kill you or at least cause you intense pain.  Seeing them behind a glass tank is much preferable to meeting them face to face in the ocean.

The highlight for most people will probably be the shark tunnel.  It's a good display, with a good range of sharks, including some pretty big ones.  You can walk through and watch their cold, dead eyes picturing you on the other side of the glass.  When you see them in aquariums, I think they look pretty harmless actually.  They look too damn lazy to actually bother eating someone.  There's plenty of evidence to suggest that this isn't always the case in the wild though.

As with most aquariums, there are various activities you can do.  There is a glass bottomed boat, snorkeling in the shark tank - yes, I said in the shark tank - and for the real hardcore, you can go for the full diving with sharks experience.  We never tried any of these so can't comment too much.  I have done a shark dive before in Scotland, and it's a great experience if you're not too scared.  

A big crab
Overall, it's not the best aquarium in the world, but it is a very good aquarium.  As mentioned above, I would do it along with Wildlife Sydney Zoo and Madame Tussauds if I was going to do it.  As with the other two, I don't think they are must see attractions in Sydney.  There are many more spectacular and unique things to see outside, but they are good attractions to keep you entertained on a rainy day, or if you have young kids who enjoy these types of thing.

If you've done any of the experiences, or just want to start a conversation about dugongs, please leave a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for these! I wanted to know if I can do the 3 at 1 go since they are just side by side. I have a 12yrs, 9 yrs and 2yrs. I guess 1.5hrs suffice?