Sea World is a popular theme park on the Gold Coast in south east Queensland. As well as the animal attractions there are lots of rides and activities making it a fun day out for the whole family. However, this article is about the animals and does not cover the rides and water slides – you will need to visit another site if you want info about that kind of stuff! Now we have cleared that up, let’s talk about the animals at Sea World.
One of the highlights is the dolphin show at Dolphin Cove where dolphins show off their speed and agility as they perform in response to their trainers. Dolphin Cove has five pools containing with total water capacity of over seventeen million litres . Visitors enjoy the show from an under cover viewing area that seats 2500. Dolphins breed at Sea World and visitors can see the young dolphins at the Dolphin Nursery pool. Sea World’s also has seals and sea lions, with a seal show twice daily at the Sea Lion Theatre.
Although the dolphin show continues to be a leading attraction, over the years the number of animal attractions has grown. Shark Bay, one of the more recent additions, has a touch pool with starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, hermit crabs and small grey carpet sharks. The Reef Lagoon has reef sharks, stingrays and reef fish. The main Shark Lagoon houses the large potentially dangerous sharks including the lemon shark, dusky whaler and bull whaler. The exhibit is on two levels, allows visitors surface viewing and underwater viewing through three 10m x 3m windows. Ray Reef has a collection of over a hundred stingrays.
Sea World is the only wildlife attraction is Australia with Polar Bears, where they are housed in the “Polar Bear Shores” exhibit. Visitors can watch the bears swimming and playing from above, and can also go down a level to observe through large underwater viewing.
Penguin Point at the northern end of Sea World is a new enclosure for the Little Penguins. In 2007, twenty-five penguins died from an unknown toxin following a change of gravel in their enclosure. Sea World closed down the old enclosure and the new Little Penguin exhibit opened in 2008. (The species used to be called “Fairy Penguins”, but since 2006 the name has been changed to “Little Penguins” in case the word “fairy” offended visitors).
The Seabird Rehabilitation Aviary always has resident sea birds and also birds under care and rehabilitation. Many of these sea birds cannot return to the wild due to disabilities from injuries such as getting tangled with fishing line. Sea World’s resident pelicans breed at the park – unusual for a bird that normally breeds on inland river systems.
The Sea World Aquarium contains 17 individual aquariums, with fish and creatures from Australia’s aquatic habitats including the Great Barrier Reef, rivers, mangroves and rainforests.
Sea World Animal Adventures provide opportunities to get even closer to the animals, including diving with the sharks, swimming with the dolphins, meeting the seals. Places in these Animal Adventures programs are limited and advance bookings are required.
Sea World is located on Seaworld Drive at Main Beach about three kilometres north of Surfers Paradise. The park is open every day of the year except Christmas from 10:30am to 5:00pm with gates closing at 5:30pm. To make the most of your visit to Sea World, you need to spend a whole day there.