5 Aussie Aquariums to Explore in 2014

Published On January 20, 2014 | By Staff Writer | Australia, Travel Guides
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Have you ever noticed how the faces of both children and adults alike light up when visiting an aquarium? Spending some time gazing at a variety of serene, colourful and awe-inspiring sea creatures can be pretty magical, not just for kids but for people of all ages. If you’re keen to showcase the beauty of underwater animals to your children, or are looking for a fun yet educational outing for yourself, it might be time to head to one of the amazing aquariums located around the country. Read on for five great venues to visit in 2014.

SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium

Located on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne, Victoria, the SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium is a great place to take the family and houses more than 10,000 sea creatures. The animals that customers can view at the venue include seahorses, penguins, grey nurse sharks, turtles, frogs, stingrays, lizards, one of the world’s largest saltwater crocodiles (who lives in a recently-opened, state-of-the-art “Croc Lair” exhibit), as well as the only display of elephant sharks in the world. The aquarium features a variety of interactive animal encounters, live presentations and first-class displays to both entertain and teach patrons. If your kids can’t get enough of “Finding Nemo” then select a hotel in Melbourne and visit this aquarium to watch them stare googly-eyed at the massive fish tanks — the 2.2 million–litre Oceanarium is sure to keep them amused for hours!

Underwater World SEA Life Mooloolaba

One of the most popular tourist attractions on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland is Underwater World. Located on the water at Mooloolaba, this aquarium has been teaching and impressing patrons since 1989. Visitors to Underwater World can watch regular marine presentations (the seal and otter shows are hugely popular); take part in stingray feedings and guided shark tours; swim with seals or dive with sharks; and visit the marine turtle rehabilitation centre. During school holidays children can be further impressed by booking a sleepover night at the facility. Kids get to see what the sea creatures really get up to at night with a behind-the-scenes tour then enjoy a scramble on the shore at Mooloolaba beach, a seal presentation, evening meal and overnight stay. This award-winning tourist attraction also provides a half- or full-day Ocean Ranger program for kids. The Ranger experience includes animal feedings, a beach visit, a behind-the-scenes tour, lunch, a photo and a certificate of participation.

Aquarium of Western Australia

The Aquarium of Western Australia is situated in Hillarys and features over 40 exhibits, one of which is counted as one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world. Operating since 1988, this aquarium enables visitors to explore 12,000 kilometres of Western Australia’s coastline within just a few hundred metres. The facility is the most popular marine attraction in the state and the 10th largest aquarium in the world — it holds more than four million litres of water and is home to at least 4,000 fish. Visitors to the Aquarium of Western Australia can view marine creatures such as seadragons, pineapple fish, sharks, stingrays, turtles, jellyfish, crocodiles, sea snakes and sea cucumbers.

Manly SEA Life Sanctuary

The Manly SEA Life Sanctuary has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in this Sydney beachside suburb for many years and is an advocate for animal rescue. Travellers visiting the aquarium can watch animal welfare in action and take part in the facility’s rescue, breed and protect program.  Available to see at Manly SEA Life are sharks, giant stingrays, sea turtles and a huge variety of fish species. The venue covers three levels and provides customers with many opportunities to touch and feel marine life, as well as learn about their environment and history.

Reef HQ Aquarium

Visitors travelling to the Great Barrier Reef should spare some time to visit the Reef HQ Aquarium, located in Townsville in Queensland. This facility holds 2.5 million litres of water in its coral-reef tank and is home to 130 varieties of coral and 120 different fish species. Children of all ages will enjoy feeding and touching the turtles in the on-site turtle hospital, while various talks and tours given throughout the day will help to educate them on many aspects of the Great Barrier Reef and the Aquarium. The Reef HQ Aquarium is the world’s largest living coral-reef aquarium and is also home to the National Reef Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

About the Author: Veronica White is a freelance travel writer and parent who enjoys exploring Australia with her family.


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