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Sydney's Sea Life Aquarium

I'm back with more posts on my not-so-recent sydney vacation. haven't been posting as often as i like, but i'm just thankful that i'm good and well now from that week long high fever that had plagued me for so long! viral infections these days are pretty lethal!

anywhow. if its your first time here, you might want to read my earlier posts on my sydney's vacation:
- Sydney Maritime Museum
- Circular Quay
- Darling Harbour
Sydney's Fish Market
Sydney's Tower Eye & Skywalk
- Chinatown & St. Andrews Catherdral in Sydney
and if you are a fan, Ippudo Ramen Sydney

so, today's post is about Sydney's Aquarium, another must-see place for me based on cherieladie's travel radar. simply because i love aquariums (if you havent already know), and since i'm at it, i will also attempt to review it.

we got our Sydney SeaLife Aquarium tickets as part of the package from the Ultimate sydney pass that we bought previously. we had 30 days to check out all the attractions (other than sydney tower eye and skywalk which had to be redeemed on the day of ticket purchase) and it was really great and flexible in our trip planning! Also, the Ultimate Sydney Pass is a money saver. I saved loads off the attractions' tickets and the walk-in price for the aquarium is at a whooping AUD$38! If you buy the tickets online, its AUD$26. I paid $95 for 5 attractions, and that works out to be AUD$19. So, isnt that great? Still, i must say that the Ultimate Sydney Pass is not for everyone, because u may not want to visit the 4 attractions or have the balls for the Skywalk, so do do your research for your visit.

We had a lot to cover on the day we visited, so it was a little rush for us and we didnt stay for as long as we would have liked! Here's the Sydney's SeaLife Aquarium!

sydney sea life aquarium entranceSydney Sea Life Aquarium, just by the wharfs

sydney sealife aquariumI love the clear blue skies!

At first glance, i'll be honest and tell you that i thought it was really small. It looked squashed even, sitting in a row together with Wild Life Zoo and Madame Tussauds but Cindy & me were both pleasantly surprised. we took much longer that we thought we would to cover the aquarium and we were so hungry that we had to scramble out for lunch. Cindy also bought a bar of chocolate to munch while looking at the seafood sea creatures (and that's after stealing a chocolate bar from my bag). #truestory

Sydney aquarium entrance and ticketing boothBrightly colored, inviting entrance filled with pictures of sea creatures.

The entrance was certainly getting me all hyped up with all the colorful visuals. upon stepping in, it was much darker than i expected and the journey started with the exhibits from the river, streams and billabongs.

eel tailed catfish or dewfish sydney aquarium
eel-tailed catfishes, or dewfish, natives of NSW.
aren't they special? for a moment, i thuought i was looking at giant tadpoles!

What sydney aquarium really amazed me was their collection of seahorses! They have so many varieties and some of them are breath-takingly beautiful. Of cos, i didnt photograph all of them. some of them are in a glass dome exhibits that magnifies their magnificence but also making it very hard to photograph. so here's some really cute ones!

green sea horses in sydney aquarium
green sea horses that looks like seaweed or thin leaves.

dotted sea horses in aquarium
polka-dotted looking seahorses.

i always, always get fascinated by the seahorses. do you know that sea horses pair for life? So romantic. and their eyes on each side can work independently from each other. how cool is that - left eye look in front, right eye look at the back and all territory is covered! Do you also know that seahorses are under threat, worldwide? it's so sad! one of the main reasons is the traditional chinese medicine trade that uses them for all sort of medicines. sigh. stop the buying, and help preserve these beautiful creatures. don't make them more scarce than they already are.

We caught the dugongs next, but they only have a pair and our own S.E.A aquarium is a lot more impressive in this aspect. but, i was quite amazed that they eat lettuce! i took an instavideo of them eating lettuce so if you are keen to watch, follow me at @cherieladie.

cherieladie in stingray tunnel
me, ray watching. but what are all the rays?!

shovelnose ray with translucent snout
i love this shovelnose ray!

this shovelnose ray stole all the limelight for me at this stingray exhibit. isnt he (or she) special? the front part of the nose is semi-transulcent and with the sunlight shining down from above, it's totally special. very different from all the stingrays that i have ever seen. at some point, i don't know i got delusional and kept thinking it was a shark. i think its the fins on his back. haha.

shovelnose ray with cindy in aquarium tunnel
cindy with my favourite stingray in the tank.

we moved on to the sharks' tank and we sorta, got transported into a totally different world. I like how the sydney aquarium makes use of lightings and the decoration around the exhibits to "transport" you to the different settings and moods. its subtle but definitely noticeable and plays a part in enhancing the entire viewing experience.

sharks viewing tunnelswimming sharks in the sharks' caves

we moved on to the interactive zones and it was my first time seeing a blue starfish! really peculiar and totally stood out for me. Cindy was checking out the sharks eggs and was really amazed by the shape of it.

interactive zones with blue star can you spot the blue star? the black spiral looking things at the sand bed are the sharks' eggs.

great barrier reef area in the aquariumviewing gallery

this is the viewing gallery i think. nothing spectacularly big or large in a single viewing platform but there were various angles where you could view the fishes from and i kinda like that for being able to observe the fishes from other angles.

smalltooth sawfish
smalltooth sawfish - do you need a saw? heh heh.

I really love watching marine animals. and i really love visiting aquariums because of this. ending this entry with one last picture of cindy!

napoleon wrasse/humphead wrasse with cindy
Cindy with the Napoleon Wrasse (or Humphead Wrasse) behind her.

Oh, and i found out a little history about this particular wrasse. Wrasses are capable of changing their sex (only from female to male) and this particular wrasse in sydney aquarium very recently switched to become a guy. so cool right? That's all for me on Sydney Sea Life Aquarium.

In summary, i do feel that the sydney aquarium isn't that tiny a place after all and definitely worth a visit. I saw some really interesting marine species here that i haven't seen anywhere else, but the place doesn't have a lot of big fishes so if you are looking for those, you might be a little disappointed. Nonetheless, the visit really did open my eyes to some really interesting marine creatures!

Do come back and visit often! I'll blog about the Sydney Wild Life Zoo next!

you could also read about my other aquarium visits here.

Linking up with:
Amazingly Still

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( 3 comments — Leave me a comment! )
Oct. 3rd, 2013 12:55 pm (UTC)
their aquarium looks gorgeous!

i'm fascinated by the underwater world, but i get the jitters when i visit aquariums! i didn't watch much of JAWS, but the scene where the shark crash through the glass... every time i go into an aquarium, i keep thinking something like that will happen, especially those with the sharks!!!

i didn't know that seahorses are under threat world wide! and i learnt about the pairing for life while watching 'octonauts'! hehehe. i especially love the part where the daddies are the ones growing the belly during pregnancy. haha!!

and the gender-changing wrasse... amazing! that i didn't know too!

thanks for sharing and linking up! :D

Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:05 pm (UTC)
LOL. Do you know how thick the glass is at the aquariums? they are at least 20 or 30 cm thick or more to be able to within the water weight/pressure so you can be rest assured that there is NO WAY a shark will be able to crash through the glass. And by "glass", all aquariums uses acrylic and not glass....

I was googling for some fact about sea horses and found out about them being under threat.

:) Looks like you enjoyed my enjoy eh? You read everything!! :P

Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:11 pm (UTC)
read blog post of cos must read from beginning to end la! hahaha! i can't speed read for nuts also. cos if i do, i end up reading the same sentence 2-3 times cos i can't connect the dots so fast. hahaha!

ya, i've read about the thickness of the acrylic (forgot what it's called just now. hahaha!) but still scared! especially when it gets dark.. omg. i'm easily spooked!
( 3 comments — Leave me a comment! )