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SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

  • Museums
  • Melbourne
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Time Out says

Weird and wonderful animals and unique marine adventures await you here

Having undergone an extensive five-month, $8 million rehaul, Melbourne Aquarium was reborn as Sea Life in September 2013. Over three levels there are 12 new themed zones of discovery (each with its own soundtrack!), and kids can get their passport stamped at each station.

Time Out got a guided tour, taking in the Mermaid Garden, Seahorse Pier (home to Australia’s largest seahorse population), Rainforest Adventure, the Coral Caves and, of course, the state-of-the-art Croc Lair. The latter is now home to 50-year-old, five-metre croc Pinjarra, who the team had a great time getting down from Rockhampton in Queensland, where he was terrorising the other crocs on a Crocodile Farm.

Other moments that elicited oohs and ahhs were the Elephant Sharks in the Bay of Rays (any creature that makes us laugh by sheer appearance alone is okay by us); the King and Gentoo Penguins, who were embroiled in a nesting season soap opera we could have watched for hours; Mr G the 200lb Giant Queensland Groper (the divers here call him “sir”); the rock pools in which you’re welcome to get your hands wet, and the Archer Fish, for which you are encouraged to dangle flies on a fishing line, which in turn makes the fish spit spectacularly.

Of course, all the old favourites like the jellyfish, and the stingrays flying over your head as you pass through tunnels are still intact. They come when the staff ring a bell, you know. It means they’re going to get fed.

There are daily feeding times and presentations, kids’ birthday party packages and even the chance to dive face-to-face with the leviathans themselves!

Written by
Time Out editors


Cnr King & Flinders St
$42 (child $28)
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun 9.30am-6pm

What’s on

Dive into the deep

Whether you are on babysitting duty for the school holidays or are a keen ocean explorer, the new Dive into the Deep exhibit at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, offers a unique and informative day out for adults and children alike. For the first time at the Melbourne Aquarium, the Dive into the Deep exhibit sees a 14 metre long, immersive digital projection, taking guests on a explorative examination through the depths of the ocean, and through the stages of time. Designed to explain the story of the ocean zones and bring to life the marine creatures that call it home, engaging wall graphics and digital imagery take visitors through the ocean’s sunlight zone (0-200 meters), twilight zone (200-1000 meters), and midnight zone (1000-4000 meters). Unless you are a marine biologist, we guarantee adults will have some learning to do too. Answer this question to see if you still have a thing or two to learn about the oceans: how much of the ocean lies within the midnight zone, where the water pressure is extreme and temperature is near freezing? a) 30 per cent; b) 70 per cent; or c) 90 per cent. The Dive into the Deep exhibit also houses a collection of mystical aquatic creatures like the tasselled anglerfish, lungfish, clownfish and many more. Dive into the Deep is part of the permanent exhibits, which are included in the admission price, so be sure to check out some of the aquariums stand out features while you’re at it, such as the Penguin Playground and the Bay of Rays. And for anyo

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