The Melbourne SEALIFE Aquarium is a popular family and visitor attraction in Melbourne, located on the Yarra River. The perfect place to come explore and understand Australia’s unique marine wildlife, the Melbourne SEALIFE Aquarium offers unique experiences and a whole lot of underwater discovery for people of all ages.
- Themed Habitat Exhibits – In September of 2013 the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium relaunched after 8 million dollars worth or refurbishments. The new facility featured a collection of new and rebranded habitats and exhibits for visitors to explore. These included Conservation Cove, Bay of Rays, Mangroves and Rockpools, Coral Cave, Shipwreck Explorer, Mermaid Garden and Crocodile’s Lair, which features one of the largest crocodiles on display in the world.
- Behind The Scenes Tour – The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium offers a quality behind the scenes tour that takes visitors on exclusive explore through the back of house area of the aquarium. On the tour visitors will see the food preparation area, vets office, research labs, diving zones and even the quarantine area, all while learning about the workings of the aquarium.
- Shark Dive – Dive with sharks at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, the only place in Melbourne to offer this unique experience. Jump inside the aquarium’s 2.2 million litre Oceanarium with an expert guide and have an up close encounter with one of the many sharks that call the aquarium home. This experience is only available to fit individuals over the age of 15, and bookings must be made in advance.
- Penguin Passport – SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is also the only place in Australia to offer an exclusive penguin experience tour, which they call the Penguin Passport. Get out on the ice for 45 minutes in this unique tour, which lets you meet penguins, and learn how the aquarium keeps them frosty all year long. Tours run at 2pm all week.
- Animal Encounters and Experiences – The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium has a number of other animal encounters and experiences on offer for visitors to the aquarium. You can feed baby seahorses in the Seahorse Nursery, go fish feeding in the enormous Oceanarium, or even experience one of the more in-depth Aquarist or Ocean Ranger programs, with options available for people of all ages.
- Feeds and Talks – Throughout the day, the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium runs a variety of feeds and expert talks on the animals to help visitors enjoy and learn. The full details of these are below:
|Croc Talk||Croc Lair||11:00am, 4:00pm|
|Meet the Keeper||Penguin Playground||11:30am|
|Ocean Predators||Mermaid Garden||12:00pm|
|Rocky Reef Talk||Rockpools||12:30pm|
|Let’s Talk Ocean Predators||Shipwreck Explorer||1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm|
|Bay of Ray Talk||Bay of Rays||1:30pm|
|Tropical Fish Feed||Coral Atoll||2:00pm|
|A Penguin’s World||Penguin Playground||3:30pm|
|Child (4 – 15 years)||$22||$17.60|
|Concession (student or pension)||$30||$27|
|Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children)||$96||$79|
|Family of 3 (1 adult, 2 children)||$66||$59.40|
|Individual Diver (+15 years)||$299||$250|
|Monday to Friday (+14 only)||$199|
|Saturday and Sunday (+14 only)||$290|
|Behind The Scenes Tour||$20||$15|
Ocean Ranger Program
For school aged children between the ages of 7 and 12, the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium runs Ocean Ranger programs. These run during the school holidays, and involve an entire day (9:30am – 3:30pm) of educational tours, behind the scenes reveals, hands on activities and meeting aquarium keepers. A packed lunch is also included, all for $79.
The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium also runs a very detailed and dedicated program for individuals of all ages interested (or currently studying) for employment in the aquarium field. Their Aquarist programs run throughout the year, and allows for different levels of interest and budgets.
|Aquarist for a Day (school aged children, school holidays only, 8:30am – 3:30pm||$149|
|Aquarist for a Week (school aged between 15-18, school holidays, includes shark dive)||$1,340|
|Animal Husbandry 101 (adults and tertiary students, in-depth into aquarium life and animal encounters)||$1,649|
- Hands on Activities – Everyone can enjoy the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium thanks to the Rockpools exhibit. This exhibit allows kids to get up close to marine animals in a safe environment where they can touch, feel and understand how these amazing animals work.
- Nearby Attractions – Being centrally located, the aquarium is close to several other Melbourne city attractions that could easily be seen in one day including the Eureka Skydeck 88, Immigration Museum, Polly Woodside and the South Banks DFO.
- Train – SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is an easy five minute walk from both Flinders and Southern Cross train stations.
- Tram – Get on the 70, 75 or City Circle Tram (which is free) and hop off on Flinders Street within easy walking distance of the aquarium.
- Bus – The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle costs $5 for the day, and stops at tourist attractions all over the city including the aquarium.
- Car – No public car parking is available nearby, but the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium are in partnership with the 474 Flinders Street parking facility and visitors to the aquarium can get discounted parking.
The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium was built between February 1998 and December of 1999, and was opened in January of 2000. It was designed by Peddle Thorp architecture firm to look like a ship moored on the Yarra River, but not be so noticeable from street level. As a result, the building extends 7 metres (23 feet) underground.
The current building has been renovated and extended, and features a new entrance on the corner Flinders Street and King Street. This renovation included the addition of a penguin exhibit. The aquarium underwent yet more renovations in 2013, and has been rebranded by new owners Merlin Entertainments.
- The aquarium’s Oceanarium was a world first 2,200,000-litre round aquarium, where the spectators stand in the middle, and the marine life surrounds them.
- SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 animals from over 550 species.
- The first ever in-vitro fertilised shark in existence, a brown-banded bamboo shark, was born at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium on March 3, 2014.
- The aquarium is one of the few places in the world that have managed to successfully breed the weedy seadragon in captivity.
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