UnderWater World is an oceanarium and aquarium situated in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, about an hour drive north of Brisbane. Here you can see a diversity of marine life and freshwater life including huge sharks, massive stingrays, sawfish and thousands of tropical reef fish, as well as a number of marine mammals.
One of the main attractions is the 80m long transparent Oceanarium tunnel the takes you through the 2.5 million litre aquarium tank, with huge stingrays and sharks passing over your head as you go through the tunnel. The exhibits are divided into eight different zones including the Rocky Shore exhibit, the Living Ocean, Seal Cove, the Otter display, the Upper Billabong and Lower Billabong, the main Oceanarium Tunnel and the Crawly Creatures zone. There are over eighteen presentations throughout the day to give you more information about the animals.
The Rocky Shore zone features a variety of rays including Brown Rays, Blue Spotted Fantail Rays. In the touch pool, the kids can enjoy touching sea stars, sea cucumbers or Bamboo Shark under the supervision of UnderWater World staff. The Living Ocean area features many unusual and interesting species such as Cow Fish, Pineapple Fish, Lionfish, Stonefish, Rabbitfish, Seahorse and Clownfish.
Seal Cove is one of the most popular attractions with seal shows on throughout the day, there is a comedy/action show which the kids love, and a more informative show about how the seals are trained. The otters are also popular, but to see them at their most active, it is best to catch them at feeding time, otherwise you might find them resting or not doing very much.
The Upper Billabong has some fascinating creatures such Sawfish, Freshwater Crocodile, giant Barramundi. The Lower Billabong features Queensland Lungfish, Archer Fish and Freshwater turtles, Frogs including Green Tree Frogs and the Cane Toad.
The Oceanarium Tunnel is divided into three major habitat zones – coral reef, cave and open ocean. As you are transported through the tunnel on a travelator (moving floor), you can enjoy viewing the colourful reef fish, moray eels, giant rays and various species of sharks including Grey Nurse Sharks, Whalers, Reef Sharks, Zebra Sharks and more.
UnderWater World is also active in a Turtle Conservation Program to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine. Most of the turtles brought in are victims of human activity such as eating rubbish such as plastic bags, boat strikes and getting tangled in discarded fishing equipment.
If you are looking for something more adventurous, there is the opportunity to dive with sharks (caters for both non-certified and certified divers), swim with the seals or take a behind the scenes tour. As you would expect, these activities are not included in the general admission price.
UnderWater World is an easy drive from Brisbane. Just follow the Bruce Highway north, exit after the Ettamogah Pub and follow the signs to Mooloolaba. UnderWater World is open from 9am to 4.30pm every day except Christmas Day. As you enter you will receive a re-entry stamp allowing you to come and go as you please throughout the day.