Sydney's wonderful Sea Life Aquarium, has a brand new exhibition and it's all about some of the world's cutest and cheekiest creatures - PENGUINS! And the best bit is that you won't be seeing them from behind a glass window, but actually live in the flesh, as you will be aboard a boat that will travel along a river through the heart of a colony of Gentoo and King penguins!
The penguin colony has been created to resemble Macquarie Island which is in the south west Pacific Ocean.It's a natural habitat of King and Gentoo Penguins. As you float along the river you will experience conditions similar to those on Macquarie Island. There will be wind gusts and bursts of snow, as well the mystical lights of the Southern Ocean sparkling on your short trip.
The boat is actually a raft and they can seat 8 passengers. The rafts run all day long, and the journey takes about 2 minutes to complete. Children are more than welcome onboard, as long as small children under 90cm are seated next to an adult. Kids between 90cm - 120cm must be seated next to, or in front of a supervising adult. Blankets are provided to keep you warm, as obviously the conditions within the exhibition are suitable for penguins who live in cold climates. But you won't freeze, as the temperature is held at 6 degrees. The river is only about 42cm deep and if you don't have sea legs, you can see all the action from the other side of the exhibition through windows. Kids will also love climbing up through specially designed tunnels to see the penguins having fun in their new home at the Sea Life Aquarium.
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At the end of your trip you will disembark at the Macquarie Island Explorers Hut, where you will learn about conservation efforts on the island. Modern conveniences such as plastic and other rubbish are causing damage to the habitats of these gorgeous creatures, and you can learn what we can all do to reduce our plastic footprint. You can also see what is being done to help breed penguins on Macquarie Island as well.
Now 2 very lucky young chaps, who just happen to be brothers, won a social media competition run by the Sea Life Aquarium to become Junior Penguin Reporters. The boys - Will and Matt Bond, are only 8 and 11 years old, and they hail from the Illawarra region. Their prize includes the boys filming a web series on the life and conservation of the penguins, and they even get to go on the ice and come face to face with them - how cool is that! The boys will be conservation ambassadors, in the aim that they will encourage all of our children to look after the environment, so that creatures like the King and Gentoo penguins will survive forever.
The entry price to see the Penguin Expedition is included in the normal ticket price for the Sea Life Aqaurium. The expedition is hugely popular, so you need to book your tickets in advance online, especially if you are planning on visiting on a weekend or during the school holidays. Ticket prices start at $29.00.
ADDRESS: Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour
OPEN: 7 days from 9.30am - 7.00pm (last entry 6pm).
HOW TO GET THERE: Click here for more info.