Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium: Address, Phone Number, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium Reviews: 4/5

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
4
About
Embark on a journey of amazing discovery through SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s extraordinary zones including Day and Night on the Reef. Experience the iconic wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and be amazed as it transitions from night to day in the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the world. Meet the marine turtles, reef sharks & hundreds of tropical fish that call the reef home. Get face-to-fin with over 13,000 animals in an impressive six million litres of water as you explore sub-Antarctic Penguins in the Penguin Expedition boat ride, South Coast Shipwreck, Dugong Island and meet our resident dugong, Pig, to learn all about his heart-warming rescue story. Then face your fears at Shark Valley, a 100 metre ocean-tunnel walk-through, full of jaw-some sharks and huge rays! Make sure you join in with our interactive daily talks, or book ahead to join us for a Penguin Passport experience, a behind-the-scenes fish feeding or take the plunge with the new Shark Dive Xtreme!
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Admission tickets
from A$38.40
All you need to step foot in the door.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Darling Harbour
The original docklands of Darling Harbour have been transformed into a tourist mecca with entertainment for the whole family. Cockle Bay Wharf offers dining options from budget to upscale and million dollar views of the harbour. Young crowds gather on weekends for nightlife that ranges from salsa clubs to Dj’s. Families can visit the Chinese Gardens of Friendship or the Sydney Aquarium, one of the largest in the world. The Sydney Maritime Museum and the IMAX theatre are also popular attractions. The Harbourside Shopping Centre is a site unto itself, with hundreds of shops, restaurants and bars. On Saturdays in the summer, the city puts on a spectacular fireworks show along the harbour's shore and there are plenty of other free events during the year - Darling Harbour Fiesta, VIVID’s light installations and the Sydney Festival, just to name a few.
How to get there
  • Wynyard • 7 min walk
  • Town Hall • 9 min walk
Popular mentions

4.0
4,858 reviews
Excellent
1,733
Very good
1,710
Average
909
Poor
302
Terrible
204

Francesco Alibrandi
Sydney, Australia16 contributions
Beautiful aquarium in Sydney
Aug. 2021 • Solo
Beautifull aquarium with lots of sea creatures.
This aquarium is located at circular quay easily accessible from everywhere by bus, ferry, train.
You will see sharks, manatees, jellyfish, and much more.
Written 1 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Happy Traveller
Sydney, Australia5,120 contributions
School holidays with the grandchildren
This place was quite easy to book online.. used the new govt DINE AND DISCOVER tickets.. so not too bad in price..
Great idea to stagger bookings and quite painless to get in after a short wait..

Of course there are millions of fish and it's all lovely to look at, but I had to feel sorry for the things.. the long large tanks actually have glass or perspex down the middle to keep some fish on one side away from the others, so its not as large as you would think.. poor sharks and rays just go up and back all day long.. same with the dugong..
The poor penguins.. terrible enclosure.. I felt so sorry for them..
Others were the same..
Great for children to see/ great access for prams and wheelchairs. nice gift shop...
just rather the animals be in the wild.
Written 30 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

blackeldo
Kiama, Australia2,007 contributions
FINDING NEMO MADE EASY
Jun. 2021
This is a good aquarium which holds visitors’ interest for the duration. But I have rated it AVERAGE. Why? Well just about every big city and major marine area now has a public aquarium, many of which are not lacking. I have spent time at Marine Life Park – Sentosa*, the Monterey Bay Aqaurium*, Reef HQ Townsville*, Crocosaurus Cove Darwin*, Caitns Aquarium* and Osaka’s Kaiyukan*. I don’t know which is best – but all are good (some excel in certain areas eg – crocs at Darwin, a killer whale at Osaka), making Sydney AVERAGE by their standards.

At Sydney Sea Life the penguin display is pretty impressive and you can get up close and personal with lotsa sharks and other big fish – but I wouldn’t say it excels in any one area. The coral reef display is supposed to be world’s biggest but I personally think Townsville does coral reefs better. Sydney’s array of marine animals is impressive: rays, sawfish, sharks, seals, turtles, various jellyfish, a dugong, penguins of different sizes, thousands of fish, ditto marine reef and rock platform critters. Display areas are themed: eg Sydney Harbour Marine Life, Coral Reefs, Antarctic…..yada,

This is a popular place. We arrived 1030 on a Sunday morning and the ticket line was at least 100m long – made up largely of families - “Finding Nemo” has sure made fishies and the underwater popular with kids. So we gave the place a miss (I hate crowds), returning 1430 on a Friday afternoon - timed on the basis that school excursion groups would be finished. Worked a charm – few people in line. Entry was thus pretty painless although I have to say that the combination of our SENIORS’ CARDS and DINE AND DISCOVERY VOUCHER seemed to throw the cashier and she ended up charging us $10 too much. Nevertheless the Aquarium’s Seniors’ discount is a genuine save rather than the token effort of many places and the overall deal given the D&D voucher was still pretty sweet.
Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is older than a lot of the other places mentioned above (I first visited in the ‘80s) and several displays have been added since. This could explain why transition from one zone to the next is not always as seamless as other places.
Similarly, the cafe area near exit is spacious but does not take full advantage of the harbourside location, overlooking more a side alley rather than the out front passing parade of people, ferries, other boats…. yada. Maybe the cafe’s outside tables have a better orientation – but the cold windy late Autumn afternoon discouraged finding out.
Also near the exit was a very attractive gift shop area. Kids will go berserk over the range of soft sea critter toys available – even if they missed the clownfish in the coral reef area they will find plenty of Nemos here – and can even take one home, parents permitting. Adults may prefer the array of maps, charts and books.
TIPS:
WHEN TO ARRIVE
This is one popular attraction so it is wise to avoid busy periods. I’ve already indicated weekends are popular with families and weekdays 10.00 – 14.00 in term with school excursion groups.

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SPEND?
If your dance-card is crowded you could get away with an hour and still check everything out. We took 2 hours but sea-life nerds etc could spend much longer.

ACCESS
- is a plus. My favourite is to jump on the PYRMONT BAY FERRY at Circular Quay or one of the stops along the way for quick access incorporating a mini-cruise of the central harbour including a pass under the bridge. The ferry stop is about 250m north of the aquarium.
Closer is a bunch of private harbour-cruise ferry peers. A lot of these have hop on hop off tickets – this is a great place to do that.
If you have 40-50 minutes to spare WALK from the QUAY on a scenic harbourside route under the bridge, past the WALSH BAY FINGER WHARVES* (lotsa alfresco dining along here), the BARANGUROO GARDENS* and the new CROWN CASINO/HOTEL/RESIDENTIAL TOWER* (which has gotta be the most spectacular building in Sydney).
LIGHT RAIL comes right into the area with a stop at the EXHIBITION CENTRE* (start at CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION*): HEAVY RAIL stops are at WYNYARD and TOWN HALL up in the city – each about 10 minutes walk.
Pretty soon here will be a stop on Sydney’s new METRO rail at BARANGAROO STATION 8 minutrs north near the casino.
There are heaps of PARKING STATIONS within the precinct. Curbside parking is not great.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS
I’m not going to list the dozens of attractions in this area. A read thru other readers’ posts on this page will give you a good idea as will the many Darling Harbour* websites and online maps. Some places are free, others paid admission. What must be mentioned is the whole bunch of alfresco cafe/restaurants/bars just north of the aquarium, many with those big gas-fired outside heaters for cooler weather, which attract a big crowd after work plus on weekends. Great places to check the passing parade of people, boats, ferries etc.

ACCOMMODATION
There is no shortage of accommodation in the harbour precinct. Ditto surrounding areas like CHINATOWN*, the CBD*, THE ROCKS*. My favourite place to stay is across the harbour at NORTH SYDNEY, a 10 minute ferry hop from DH.

TOILETS
Found part way around the route inside and at the cafe area near the exit.

*TRIPADVISOR has info/user review pages on all.
Written 4 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alex L
Sydney, Australia11 contributions
An aquarium in Sydney CBD worth a visit
Jun. 2021
An attraction really worth a visit in the heart of Sydney CBD. The undersea tunnels and Penguin exploration alone was worth the price, plus pleny more to see. A very enjoyable experience. Make sure your camera is ready. There are a lot more penguins than I expected, so cute to watch them up close and personal.
Written 20 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Linda B
Sydney, Australia16 contributions
Lovely day at Darling Harbour seeing sea life and wax people!
May 2021
Interesting and fun day out seeing underwater animals. Went with husband and 7.5 year old child, it is probably more geared towards younger preschool kids but still was plenty interesting for the older kids.

The attractions are what you would expect to see at an a aquarium with two "underwater" tunnels that you walk through with sea life swimming over you. There was loads of activity and the fish and other animals were beautiful.

Went on a bit of a quiet day earlier in the day (10:30) and there were little to no lines with not much congestion. Took about 1.5 hours on an easy pace. When we left around midday the line to get in was much longer and I would assume that the crowds would be much hectic than earlier in the day.

Overall a must do for locals and great for visitors as well. Did Madame Tussands right after the Aquarium with the Attraction pass and that was very fun! Nice way to spend a few hours in Darling Harbour.
Written 10 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dave Rees
Brisbane, Australia52 contributions
Insufficient space for large animals
A well structured aquarium given where it is located. A great approach to education of all ages and a good breadth of species. Ultimately the space seems too small for dugong and the turtle looked extremely depressed just stuck not moving against a corner of the tank 😟
Written 27 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi DaveRees2000, Thank you for your review. We very much appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We take all enquiries regarding the health and safety of our animals very seriously. Animal welfare is paramount across all our exhibits at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, and we pride ourselves on providing our aquatic animals with the highest possible standard of care. The turtle you may be referring to sounds like our resident turtle Dave - We understand he may look a little stuck in this location, however this is his favorite spot to tuck away and have a sleep! Did you know Turtles can hold their breath up to 7 hours while they sleep? It's pretty awesome! If you have any further feedback you wish to share, please feel free to reach out to us at slsa.dm@merlinentertainments.com.au. Best wishes, The SEA LIFE Sydney Team
Written 4 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tinewolf9
Sydney, Australia157 contributions
A brilliant was to spend a couple of hours
Apr. 2021
Perfectly positioned on the waterfront in Darling Harbour the aquarium is really easy to find with plenty of parking options nearby. There queues weren't too bad considering it was a Saturday and the staff were working hard to get everyone in quickly and safely. The aquarium itself has a wide variety of fish and animals to enjoy, with vibrant information displays throughout. The highlight, as you'd imagine, were the underwater tunnels and seeing the sharks and sting rays swim overhead. The penguins, towards the end of the visitor journey, were a pleasant surprise! The staff were all really helpful and friendly and those giving talks were knowledgeable and engaging (even though they must deliver the same talk multiple times each week)! There's lots of promotions available for family tickets which make it an affordable. For those concerned about COVID, there are a lot of signs telling visitors to socially distance, alcohol gel provided a numerous points and staff in position to stem the flow of visitors at certain points. I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Sydney looking for something to do for a couple of hours.
Written 23 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Tinewolf9, Thank you for your fintastic review! We are happy to hear you enjoyed your visit and that the highlight were the underwater tunnels... they are always a favorite, allowing our guests to get nice and close to our resident rescue dugong and grey nurse sharks! We hope you were able to go home having learnt some jawsome facts about our wonderful animals. Best fishes, The SEA LIFE Sydney Team
Written 4 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Doc Holliday
Adelaide, Australia215 contributions
25 minute wait for entry despite booked tickets
Apr. 2021
How is that a company with experience in the tourism business cant sort out the logistics of entry? Apparently it is busy due to school holidays (surely not unpredictable) but they do limit the number of tickets and everyone books online so why can’t they get it right? We arrived 10 minutes early for our booked session and the line for entry was right back to the exit area. Meanwhile there is one poor girl with an electronic ticket reader at the front of the line trying to process electronic and paper tickets. Once you get past this you are stuck like sheep in a run with no chance social distance aa they make you wait for every group to have their obligatory photo. Once you get past this ridiculous process there is enough room and space for all to move at their own pace. It is a rather dark internal experience with limited chance to stop and have a break so you just push on with the kids. The best exhibits are the large overhead aquariums with rays, sharks and a dugong. The giant turtle near the end is amazing.
Written 16 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harald E
Greater Sydney, Australia2 contributions
We enjoyed the fish. Booking in process not great. Souvenir shop not recommended.
Apr. 2021
We visited the Sydney Aquarium on Sunday, 11/4/21. We brought 2 8 year old twin grandsons from the country. The big city and the Aquarium were a great experience for them. Just one small point caused some concern. On our way out of the aquarium we had to traverse the souvenir shop. Both boys had some spending money and, of course, they went shopping. What a disappointment when they got to the checkout to discover that their money was no good, only plastic would do.
I believe strongly that children that age should learn the value of money and understand that once it is spent it is gone. A credit card with, in their eyes, unlimited funds will prepare them only for a lifetime dependence on the banks.
We made them leave without their new treasures.
I realise, the current excuse is Covid and the required hygiene. This seems a rather weak excuse as the aquarium is full of handrails which everyone touches, interactive displays where every child presses every button and, in the gift shop, all the merchandise that everyone handles.
Written 12 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Happy Traveller
Sydney, Australia5,120 contributions
Interesting
Apr. 2021 • Family
Went with young grandchildren.
Easy to buy tickets online... and use dine and discover vouchers.
Good system to stagger bookings.
Quick to get in. Good access for wheelchairs and prams

Nice gift store
Thousands of fish etc to look at. All very nice but I felt sorry for the fish and marine animals. The underground tank looked larger but was split in half to keep animals separate, leaving large sea life just swimming back and forward aimlessly.. penguin enclosure looked grim.
I’m sure good work is being done there breeding seahorses etc but I wasn’t comfortable seeing the small enclosures.
Written 9 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost AU$39.25, while a popular guided tour starts around AU$58.26 per person. See all 7 Sea Life Sydney Aquarium tickets and tours on Tripadvisor

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 7 Sea Life Sydney Aquarium tickets and tours on Tripadvisor