Located in Darling Harbour, the Sydney aquarium is made up of three oceanariums with the most diverse collection of Australian and ocean aquatic life in the world famous aquarium.
The Sydney Aquarium is located on the eastern end of the Pyrmont Bridge at Darling Harbour. It houses three ‘oceanariums' that are unique in design and have special transparent underwater tunnels that allow full vision of the marine life. The ‘oceanariums' are moored at Harbourside under water, one contains sharks, rays and big fish, one hosts Sydney Harbour marine life and the last houses playful seals.
In the main aquarium building are exhibits of fresh water fish, coral gardens and other native Australian aquatic life. There are more than 650 species of Australian aquatic life displayed here: visitors can observe species from the cold Southern oceans to the tropical species of the Great Barrier Reef.
Here are some of the areas that visitors will see on their tour of this astounding world famous aquarium.
The Touch Pool is fun for children and adults alike. This is a ‘touch' exhibit where visitors can reach into the water and touch specimens such as a Port Jackson shark egg case, hermit crabs, sea urchins and mollusks. If you have questions, an Education Assistant is at the pool to answer them for you.
The Sydney Harbour Oceanarium
From the security of underwater tunnels you can observe the diverse collection of marine animals located in the Sydney Harbour. Visitors will be able to see eels, turtles, schools of fish and small sharks. There are approximately one and a half million liters of water contained here.
Great Barrier Reef
This exhibit displays the enormous variety of life that thrives in the Great Barrier Reef. The colors and diverse aquatic life are a wonder of the modern world. Visitors will observe sea stars and sea cucumbers lying among the corals. There are clown amemonefish, tangs and angelfish swimming through the bright coral reefs displayed here, as well as scorpion fish and red rock cods. This is a colorful and magnificent exhibit which children enjoy very much.
Great Australian Bight - Seals
Here visitors will be able to watch the playful antics of the seals and they swim and play. ‘Walk on Water' is a special viewing area that consists of a glass floor and wall within the Aquariums Seal Sanctuary. This is the largest of the floating ‘oceanariums' and hosts Harbour Seals, Sub-Antarctic Fur Seals and Australian Fur Seals.
The Open Ocean Oceanarium
This is an awe-inspiring exhibit that is one of the best in the Aquarium. Transparent underwater tunnels allow visitors to see up close the magnitude and size of the open ocean creatures. Visitors come literally ‘face to face' with huge stingrays, large schools of fish and last but certainly not least, an impressive array of sharks. The largest of these are the Grey Nurse sharks some of which are approximately 11.5 feet long and weigh as much as 805 pounds. It's a heart stopping experience, to be sure.
This exhibit deals with the wide variety of plants and animals that survive the often hostile environment of the seashore. Intertidal zones have conditions that vary dramatically and the plants and animals that dwell here survive many different climates and conditions.
Mangrove habitats take up more than 11,500 square kilometers of coastline and have thirty species of trees and shrubs belonging to fourteen different families. It is thought that as much as 75 percent of the commercial fish catch breed in these groves.
This river system has many unique critters such as the Murray Cod, the Snake-necked turtle and the Freshwater Crayfish. This river is Australia's largest river system and hosts about 28 species of fish that aren't found anywhere else in the world. The duck-billed platypus can be found here. It's a rare breed and interesting to watch.
Rivers of the Far North
This systems host one of the most fierce animals in Australia, the saltwater crocodile is one of the two species of crocodile that are known to attack man without provocation. The Barramundi, also known as the Pig-nosed Turtle is one of the few freshwater fish able to change sex, making it unusual indeed.
The aquarium is open daily 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The seal exhibit closes at sunset.