Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Melbourne Aquarium

I just can't get enough of those cute little penguins! Checked out the Melbourne Aquarium and I could hardly pull myself away from the penguins. 
The penguins are the first attraction as you enter the aquarium, we arrived right as they were feeding them, which was fun to see. They are like a bunch of little kids, waddling around on their tiny little legs :)
The aquarium is set up in a one-way loop. After the penguins you head to the Weird & Wonderful section, which is just that: a lot of weird looking sea creatures. For example,
whatever this is.
Next you'll take the escalator up to the river to reef exhibit. The top floor of this exhibit (which housed freshwater river/lake fish) was not my favorite part of the aquarium. Freshwater fish tend to be a bit colorless and boring to me. The top floor does house the rock pools where you can touch a starfish, shark egg and sponge, which is a highlight, especially for kids. Down the ramp you'll find the jellies and learn all sorts of interesting facts about them. From here you can head toward the sharks but don't miss the coral reef exhibit, which is also on this level. In this tank there are some of the beautiful reef dwellers, including: a sea turtle, huge eel, and heaps of amazing and colorful fish. 
The final section of the aquarium is the Oceanarium, which include the sharks and monstrous rays. The rays were amazing, but for all the hype about he sharks I thought they were a bit underwhelming (though I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting). I can imagine though if you had kids with you (mine were at camp this day) they would find the oceanarium mesmerizing. 
My overall impression of the aquarium was mixed. It was definitely worth the trip. That being said, it costs more than the Melbourne zoo, which is an all day trip and the aquarium we breezed through in about 2 hours. So I guess I expected more. There were no seals or dolphins, which I have seen at some other aquariums. The penguin enclosure was probably the most fun, and since it was at the beginning, things just got less exciting as you continued. 

Name: Melbourne Aquarium
Location: Corner King and Flinders Streets, along the Yarra River
Telephone: 03 9923 5999
Website: www.melbourneaquarium.com.au
Admission: Adult $32.50, Child $18.50, Concession $21.00, Family $87.50

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