Sydney Aquarium is located in Darling Harbour, just a short walk from the centre of Sydney. The Aquarium has an impressive collection of Australian aquatic life with over 12,000 animals including sharks, stingrays, platypus, little penguins and crocodiles and much more. Darling Harbour itself is a top spot for a day trip in Sydney, with various sight-seeing tours and tourist activities, including Sydney Wildlife World which is located right next to the Aquarium.
The Aquarium is divided into a number of themed areas featuring different water creatures
- Northern Oceans: includes touch pool, Great Barrier Reef oceanarium
- Southern Oceans: touch pool, little penguins (fairy penguins), dugongs, Sydney harbour life, and the spectacular open ocean oceanarium
- Northern Rivers: features saltwater crocodiles, large barramundi
- Southern Rivers: Platypus, Murray Darling River life
As you move through the exhibits, look out for Australian dangerous creatures including sharks, stonefish, blue-ringed octopus, cone shells, moray eel, pufferfish, surgeonfish and stingrays. The dangerous animal tanks are marked with skull and cross bones.
One of the highlights is the Open Oceanarium where you walk through underwater tunnels surrounded by large sharks, some measuring over 3.5m long and weighing 300kg, with huge stingrays gliding overhead. The astonishing variety of colourful reef fish in the Great Barrier Reef oceanarium is sure to grab your attention. The kids will have a great time investigating the creatures in the two interactive touch pools.
One of the most recent additions to the Sydney Aquarium is the Mermaid Lagoon exhibit which features two dugongs. According to the Aquarium web site, there are only 5 dugongs on exhibition anywhere in the world, with Sydney Aquarium the only place in Australia with dugongs on display. The two dugongs were moved to Sydney from Sea World on the Gold Coast, Queensland in late 2008. These dugongs named Pig (10 year old male) and Wuru (4 year old female) were rescued by Sea World as calves and hand-raised to adults weighing nearly 200kg.
Another recent attraction is the Sydney Aquarium’s ‘Shark Explorer’ glass-bottom boat that floats over the Great Barrier Reef oceanarium and allows visitors to feed reef sharks. During the feed the sharks get close to the boat with dorsal fin protruding from the water. Sharks encountered are lemon sharks, black tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks and leopard sharks. The glass bottom boat ride is not included in Aquarium admission price.
Sydney Aquarium is situated between Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf. Access to Sydney Aquarium is an easy walk from central Sydney via Market St or King St. You can also get there from Sydney Explorer Bus Stop 22, ferry from Circular Quay, or take the monorail to Darling Park Station, or take the train to Town Hall Station. The Aquarium is open daily from 9am to 10pm.