SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, formerly known as the Sydney Aquarium, is an attraction in the Darling Harbour area of Sydney. Designed by Australian architects to look like a big wave, the aquarium houses over 650 species and close to 12,000 animals including dugongs, platypuses, penguins, turtles and sharks. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is one of the most popular attraction in Sydney, and is highly ranked among other aquariums in Australia.

Highlights

  • Daily Feeds and Talks – SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers great talks and feedings that are included in the admission ticked for your education and enjoyment. You can learn about platypuses, rays, penguins and the Great Barrier Reef, or watch the sharks and penguins get fed.
  • Behind The Scenes Tours – Visitors have an opportunity to see what few SEA LIFE visitors get to see, the ‘behind the scenes’ area of the aquarium. There are a few levels of this tour, including feeding fish above shark alley, heading out onto the Great Barrier Reef exhibit in a glass bottomed boat, and even feeding sharks from the boat.
  • Shark Reef Snorkel – Get up close and personal with some of SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium’s sharks by hopping in the water with them. In this (totally safe) activity visitors of all ages can get in their swimsuit and head underwater in a protected, see-through enclosure to watch the sharks swimming and feeding.

Prices

The variety of admission options and activities mean that there are a number of different pricing options to consider.

General

Onsite Online Flexi (within 7 days, online only)
Adult (16+) $40 $28 $40
Child (4-15) $28 $19.60 $28
Concession (NSW only) $31.50 $25
Family of 4 (2 adults max) $136 $89

Behind The Scenes Tour

Includes the price of admission, and involves fish feeding while standing above Shark Alley. The tours take 45 minutes and run twice daily.

Onsite Online
Adult $65 $58
Child $53 $45

Glass Bottomed Boat Tour

Includes admission, and has two options, that include a ride on a glass bottomed boat (Monday to Friday on the hour, from 12pm to 4pm; Weekends every half hour from 12pm to 4:30pm), and a ride that includes some fish and shark feeding (11am every day).

Glass Bottomed Boat Ride Glass Bottomed Boat + Feeding
Adult (16+) $49 $54
Child (4-15 yrs) $36 $40
Infant (2-3 yrs) $13.50 $18

Shark Reef Snorkel

Includes admission, snorkels and wetsuits supplied but visitors will need a swimsuit and a towel. Tour runs at 10am, 12:20pm and 3pm, maximum of four people at one time.

Onsite Online
Individual $95 $85
Group of 4 $350 $315

Marine Biologist for a Day

This includes both the Behind the Scenes Tour, and admission into SEALIFE. Gives participants an opportunity to spend an entire day with an aquarium marine biologist learning about running an aquarium. Runs on Wednesday at a cost of $250, and Saturday at a cost of $280. Maximum of 5 people, running from 8am to 3pm.

Tips

  • Booking Online – Booking online doesn’t just save you money, it can guarantee your place for activities and saves time waiting. Most of the popular activities and experiences at the SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium do recommend booking ahead to get your space, especially if you’re wanting to be in the same group as family or friends.
  • Photography – Having trouble getting the photograph you’re looking for in the aquarium? Well at SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium there’s a Magic Memories team on hand to get some great themed photos at various opportunities throughout the aquarium, meaning you’re guaranteed to have a memory to take home with you.
  • Food, Drink and Souvenirs – If you want more than a photograph to remind you of your visit, make sure you check out the gift shop onsite, which has some great gifts and souvenirs. They also have two cafes on site, on in the middle of the aquarium, the rightly named Midway Cafe, and one at the end, the Aqua Cafe. Both cafe offer a variety of food and drinks to keep you satisfied on your visit.
  • Other Attractions – Madame Tussauds and WILD LIFE Sydney are at the same location so you could see all 3 attractions on the say day. You would save more money with a Sydney Pass.

Transport

  • Light Rail – Get off at either Convention Centre of Pyrmont Bay stations.
  • Bus – The aquarium is located at Sydney Explorer Bus Stop No. 24, but you can also get off at any bus service that drops off near Market or King Streets and walk down to Darling Harbour.
  • Train – Take a short 10 minute walk from either Town Hall or Wynyard stations.
  • Taxi – Jast ask to be dropped off at King Street Wharf on Lime Street, or on Wheat Road.

History

The SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium was opened in 1988, in the midst of Australia’s bicentenary celebrations. It took just two years to build, and the rood was built to resemble a large wave, in line with the maritime theme existing in Darling Harbour.

In October of 1998 a Great Barrier Reef complex (added later) was opened showcasing an enormous oceanarium measuring 33 metres long, and 13 metres wide.

Interesting Facts

  • The Great Barrier Reef oceanarium contains 2.6 million litres of water taken from Darling Harbour. The water is filtered and heated to a constant temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
  • The final exhibit in the oceanarium is a coral canyon, which has a viewing window measuring 7 metres by 4 metres, which is 26 centimetres thick.

3 Reviews

  1. lilyardenlao
    lilyardenlao
    Philippines 75 Comments
     -  20 Apr 2018

    Small but nice

    It’s pretty convenient because it’s right in the middle of the city, and you can get a ticket for all three attractions (Wild Life, Sea Life, and Madame Tussauds) online. While it contains mostly the usual things seen in aquariums, I’ll never forget that super huge croc! It was fascinatingly big. Also, the dugongs – they’re pretty rare and relaxing to watch as they swim around. There are nearby restaurants as well if you get hungry after.

  2. RaGS
    RaGS
    New Zealand 136 Comments
     -  16 Nov 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    ‘God’s artist palette’ is the description of some of those beautifully decorated fish. We spent about half a day here and it kept all the family in awe- from 9 years to 21 years plus the adults!
    Can thoroughly recommend this lovely spot as one of the must-dos of Sydney.

  3. chisomo1206
    chisomo1206 10 Comments
     -  11 Jun 2017

    Excellent

    This is a place i spent hours exploring – I have always been fascinated with penguins, turtles and sharks for a very long time and i always take time to see them whenever i can – I was on a shoe string budget and found the price very expensive but it was worth it – i saw a wide range of creatures from the sea

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