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Melbourne Aquarium

On the banks of the Yarra River

Exterior, Melbourne Aquarium, Victoria; photograph (c) Ali Kayn 2009With its sails flying alongside the Yarra River, the Melbourne Aquarium is close to Melbourne's central shopping and entertainment precincts.

The Aquarium features a variety of displays, including penguins native to the Australian Antarctic Territory, a huge ring-shaped shark tank, rock pool, native coral tank and more. Visitors can walk by easy ramps through the multi-level facility where the various thematic displays have guides ready to answer questions, sit in a riverside cafe or play for a while in the brightly-coloured kid's play area.

view of the Melbourne Aquarium shark tank from a glass-topped tunnel

The ring-shaped 2.2 million litre oceanarium is home to sharks, stingrays, turtles and schooling fish. Walk on ramps under and alongside the creatures to the centre of the ring where there is a 360 degree view. For an extra charge take a behind-the-scenes view, visiting the shark's kitchen and travelling along the top of the oceanarium on a glass bottom boat (no children under four or unaccompanied). The more adventurous souls can enrol in a short diving class and after training swim amongst the sharks and their companions.

Shark Divers in the Melbourne Aquarium oceanarium; photo courtesy Melbourne Aquarium space

Presentations and feedings are scheduled throughout the day (check their website for times). Allow at least two hours to tour the facility. Last admission is one hour before closing. Glass Bottom Boat Tours have maximum of 7 people, and occur only four times a day, so booking in advance is advised.

Shark dives and training are conducted by Diving Headquarters (www.divingheadquarters.com.au)

Just the facts:

Open: every day. Last admission one hour before closing. Check web site for current opening hours, prices and contact details.
Melbourne Aquarium web site

Getting there:

Corner King and Flinders Street, Melbourne
Take any tram along Flinders Street, the City Circle tram, or walk from Flinders Street or Southern Cross (prevously Spencer Street) station.

Melbourne Aquarium Antarctica exhibit, penguin with Angela; photo: (c) Ali Kayn 2009
Young visitor Angela meets the penguins in their rookery; photo: (c) Ali Kayn 2009

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