Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters

Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters, Port Stephens: Hours, Address, Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters Reviews: 4.5/5

Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters

Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters is an amazing experience of swimming and interacting with Sharks and Rays. The owners are passionate and dedicated to our Ocean's conservation and Marine Science. Every visitor can learn about the ocean depths and step outside their comfort zone by diving in with these amazing ambassador animals. Once you have experienced these majestic creatures individual personalities, you will have the confidence to take the next step and dive Looking Glass, a popular Nelson Bay shark dive site. Wondering about the name Irukandji? The Irukandji Jellyfish may be the most deadly thing in the world! Coming soon you will see them with your own eyes and learn about the Jellyfish blooms that are currently taking over the ocean like never in history. If you are after an out of this world experience that can be shared with the whole family (even tiny babies get a wetsuit to wade with the sharks) then Irukandji is your next adventure waiting to happen.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
315 reviews
Excellent
224
Very good
58
Average
23
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4
Terrible
6

Lola81Singapore
Singapore, Singapore151 contributions
Apr. 2022 • Solo
The experience seems to be more suitable for children who would like to feed the stingrays. A stick was given and the staff would clip the squid on it. Some squids especially the sharks didn’t seem very impressed with all the sticks poking into the faces though. There’s only one main pool with the makn stjngrays and sharks. The other pods were small and deep - couldn’t hardly see much. It was cool touching the stingray other than that, it wasn’t much of a fun for an adult.
Written 14 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Lola81Singapore, Thank you for taking the time to leave us feedback. It saddens us to hear that you didn't get as much enjoyment feeding and interacting with our animals, as your children did. We pride ourselves on offering a unique experience that can cater to people of all ages. I am sorry if you felt differently. I can assure you that our animals are incredibly well loved and looked after-their health and wellbeing are our number one priority at all times. This is why we ensure guests watch a safety briefing video (with captions) upon check in, that demonstrates the correct way to feed and pat our animals. At the next check point, another staff member reinforces the safety briefing, while guests are always accompanied by one of our fish keepers whilst in the water and feeding our gorgeous fishy friends. Due to disruptions to supply changes as a direct result of Covid, our second phase that was originally due to open before Christmas, had to be unfortunately postponed. We did open up our brand new pool as a 'sneak peek' during the NSW Easter School holidays- so I am sorry to hear that you unfortunately missed out on experiencing our second natural style lagoon during your visit to Port Stephens. We are finalising the build on our second enclosure over which will see a brand new INDOOR Tropical lagoon. Next time you are in Port Stephens, we hope you can visit us again and check on our progress. Kind Regards The Irukandji Team
Written 9 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alanna G
13 contributions
Feb. 2022 • Friends
We had the best time here! We did the snorkel tour and got to get up close and personal with some beautiful sharks and rays! Our snorkel guide Noah was great and so knowledgeable! It’s clear the staff here really care about their animals and are really passionate about their health and conservation status in the wild! A great day!
Written 24 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Alanna G, Thank you so much for the lovely feedback! We think Noah is pretty great too and will be sure to pass this onto him. Our staff are incredibly passionate about our animals, and it warms our heart to hear that you were able to take away some valuable information regarding the conservation status of some of our beautiful friends. Hope you can visit us again sometime soon! All the best. Kind Regards The Irukandji Team
Written 28 March 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sydneytribe
Sydney, Australia62 contributions
Jan. 2022 • Family
Awesome experience, scuba diving with rays and sharks was a fantastic experience for our entire family. Definitely out of my comfort zone - but worthwhile doing it. Hubby and teens loved scuba diving. The talks were very informative and feeding the rays and sharks was so much fun. We had to drag our kids away. The staff are super relaxed. The water was not crystal clear - but we weren’t expecting the barrier reef.
The park is in the process of expanding - will definitely visit again. Only negative no coffee shop :)
Written 16 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Sydneytribe, We are so glad to hear that the family enjoyed our Tropical Snorkel experience! It is a fantastic way to get up close and personal with our friendly Sharks & Rays, whilst completely immersed in their environment. We are looking at moving into our second phase of expansion over the coming weeks! Please visit us again to check on our progress. Phase three will see the completion of a Cafe, as we all appreciate the need for a good brew aswell! Thank you once again for taking the time to leave us a 5 Star Rating. It really means the world to our family business. We wish you all the best. Take care. Kind Regards The Irukandji Team
Written 28 March 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LondonLou123
Manly, Australia69 contributions
Dec. 2021 • Family
As per the last reviewer, we were disappointed about the poor visibility here. We couldn't see anything in any of the pools as the water was so murky - totally different to what is advertised. The main 'lagoon' was also murky but you could see the rays once they came up for you to feed. We were told the poor visibility was due to them expanding and so there is alot of building work where the dust has blown into the water. They do their best to keep it clean but it's a huge endeavour (they said) and while I do sympathise and imagine it's a great experience when you can see it all, I do wish we had complained to get our money back as it's a bit above average pricing to get in. I also think that people should be told about the poor visibility and then it's up to you if you want to go in. I know they do good work and need to make money to keep that up however I do feel we over paid for a below average experience. I would like to point out the staff inside talking about the animals were all absolutely lovely. Such a shame!! It will be wonderful when the work is done and visibility is back to normal.
Written 29 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi LondonLou123, Thank you for your honest feedback. We value all of our guests suggestions and opinions as we are always looking for ways to improve. Yes, during the Christmas School holiday period we unfortunately experienced some water clarity issues due to intense rain, dust & wind, that affected the visibility of our lagoon. It absolutely broke our hearts, especially after a tough year of lockdowns and restrictions. Our lagoon and pools are all outdoors, so our animals can enjoy natural sunlight, but unfortunately, this also leaves us at the mercy of unprecedented natural events. It was an unfortunate time that absolutely broke our hearts, as it coincided with our busy school holiday period, which was a further hit to us after the last two years of the pandemic. Please accept our sincere apologies. We have taken on your advice, and agree that someone should have mentioned it to you when you checked in. We tried to notify most guests, but sincerely apologise if you were not informed. That is on us. We are looking at moving into our second phase of expansion over the next coming weeks and hope that you may consider giving us a second chance, by visiting us again and experiencing Irukandji at its best. Thanks again for taking the time to provide feedback. We wish you all the best. Kind Regards The Irukandji Team
Written 28 March 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Matt
1 contribution
Dec. 2021 • Family
After not being able to go for our cruise due to the weather, we decided to come to here here seeking an enjoyable experience and were very quickly disappointed. Most of the pools were very murky meaning you can hardly even see the rays and sharks. Might be fun doing the feeding for young children but we didn't bother. We were very pleased though that they gave all our money back due to our very average experience.
Written 10 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Mattadvusor, We are sorry to hear that your experience did not live up to expectations. We did experience water clarity issues during the Christmas School Holiday period due to a combination of intense rainfall, dust and wind. Please accept our sincere apologies. It was an unprecedented event that absolutely broke our hearts. Our lagoon and pools are all outdoors so our animals can enjoy natural sunlight, but unfortunately, this also leaves us at the mercy of unprecedented natural events. We hope you may consider giving us a second chance as we look at moving into our second phase of expansion over the coming weeks. We wish you all the best. Kind Regards The Irukandji Team
Written 28 March 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jono13
Lake Macquarie, Australia207 contributions
Oct. 2021
What a great way to spend three hours. This was a fascinating experience sharing the water with some amazing creatures. I believe this is a new location and the experience included sharing the pool with some super-friendly rays and sharks. The two girls who were our guides were very knowledgeable and shared that knowledge freely. It was great feeding and patting the sharks and rays. We learned so much and the time passed quickly. We have a new awareness of how to protect and care for our sharks and rays. We hired the wetsuits but that was not absolutely necessary, and there were a range of other experiences available. Well worth a visit and you leave knowingly much more and feeling you are contributing to the protection of our wildlife.
Written 22 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks so much Jono13! Your glowing review has left us with all the warm, fuzzy feelings! We are grateful to receive such wonderful feedback to help us keep doing what we love. We're so glad you found the experience fun and educational and it helped change your attitudes towards sharks and rays and environmental conservation. Thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review us, we really appreciate the support. Have a wonderful day! Warm regards from the Irukandji team.
Written 10 November 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MKiiing
Greater Sydney, Australia2 contributions
Jun. 2021 • Couples
Use your $25 NSW Discovery voucher here! DO NOT GO TO THE OTHER business! We were highly recommended by friends to come visit and we were NOT disappointed. This was a birthday present by my girlfriend and we went over the long weekend on the way back to Sydney.

Upon entry, there is a massive carpark with wheelchair accessible entry. There were two staff members who greeted us at the counter at around 2pm.

Cost was ~$30 for an adult ($5 only after voucher use). This was for entry and also allowed you to see the show (20mins) and pet the friendly sharks and rays from the edge. You could feed them too if the staff allowed you and the animals were hungry.

There were experience add ons which allowed you to enter the water in their socks, hired wetsuits and/or snorkels ($15-$75). We weren’t sure which experience to add on and the staff member was very friendly and informative with our questions. She allowed us to enter and pay for an experience once we had a look at what was on offer. (Sorry I forgot your names)

A safety presentation was played prior to entry. This business takes a lot of care for their animals and takes safety as a priority. Treat the animals with love and care or you risk being ejected.

We were told this was their new venue and they are still expanding. It was an outside pool with two sandy shallow bank where the animals would come for feeds or pets. There were two other unground deep tanks as well. You could be given a feeding stick and feed by the marine biology educated trainers for the various animals.

I immediately fell in love and quickly went to book in a snorkel experience as it was the last time slot for the day, while my partner opt’d to only get her feet wet on the sand banks ($60 for me).

They have wetsuits ranging up to XXXL and in long or short. You get a locker to place your belongings in and if there are towels left, you can use theirs at the end. Socks are included for all experiences. There’s also hot outdoor showers available!

You are instructed to not kick your feet in the water as you might hurt the animals. It’s better if you make less movement and be one with the rays and sharks. The snorkel experience was well worth the money. You got 1hr snorkeling around and were allowed on the sandbanks after to sit in the water and feed the animals (pending trainers approval for their comfort). I recommend spending your time on the left side near the sandbank as the animals do loops around there mostly. Remember to look before you plant any limbs on the ground as there maybe an animal! Shuffle your feet to get out too!

The animals were incredibly friendly and some stopped for more pats when you touched their backs.

My partner enjoyed her time as well in the water on the sandbanks feeding the animals. I joined her after and got to sit on the sandbanks while all the string rays and sharks got up close and personal during feeds. I was like a child in Disneyland. Those that only paid entry also got to enjoy feeding the animals by the edge as well.

I didn’t get a chance to see if there were any food or drinks available to purchase so best to supply your own. There’s ample grass area for a picnic if you’d like as well.

Call in advance to see how busy they are as that’d impact on how personal you got to the animals. Support this local business doing great things for these friendly stingrays and sharks. Don’t expect an aquarium sized zoo experience. Definitely not one to miss. Where else can you close and feed friendly sharks and stingrays?!

I’m bringing the kids next time!

Thank you for an amazing experience from all the friendly and knowledgeable staff!
Written 14 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi MKiiing, Wow! What a detailed and thorough review! We are so glad you have enjoyed your visit with us. You certainly have experienced our animals and attractions the way we intended. I'm glad you thought the snorkel was worth it. On a beautiful sunny day there is really nothing better to do than relax in the deeper water with our animals! You mentioned bringing the kids here next time. I hope you do, as we are starting the build on our new lagoon soon and when it is finished we will have an amazing snorkel experience for children over 7 years old as well! With regards to your comment about the cafe: at this stage we only have snacks and drinks available. In future we plan to have a full cafe with amazing food and drinks. For now, if you want to have lunch here, we'd love people to bring a picnic with them and take advantage of our large grassy picnic area. Thanks again for your kind words. We are a small family business and your support means the world to us. See you next time. Warmest regards, The Irukandji Team
Written 24 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MissKirstsTravels
Sydney, Australia680 contributions
May 2021 • Family
Great morning out.

We really enjoyed our visit at the new location.

The staff were super friendly and their knowledge and passion for the animals is clearly evident in the way they speak & care for them. We found them all so interesting to speak to & hear their stories.

Patting & feeding a port jackson shark and stingray was a highlight for our 4 year old & he hasn’t stopped talking about it.

The animals were super friendly and even had little personalities trying to get your attention by splashing you.

It was absolutely freezing the day we went, so unfortunately the in water experience was too daunting for us. A tip would be to dress warm as it is outside.

For those who complain about the cost of entry, if you consider the costs involved in running such a facility, it is very much worth it.

I love reading about the animals and learning quirky facts - perhaps some little plaques around describing the animals, and some of the quirks some of the individual ones have.

A great way to spend a morning. The ticket is valid all day, so you could go away and have some lunch, and come back again in afternoon.

Look forward to returning again after the next stage is done :)
Written 30 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi MissKirstsTravels, Thanks so much for your complimentary and comprehensive review! We are so proud of our staff and the passion they have for the animals and the work they do here. I will be sure to let them know that you appreciated them! As for our animals, they are our absolute pride and joy and we're so happy that you enjoyed your encounter with them. Did you know that the next stage of our development will be a fully indoor facility with a heated pool to house our tropical animals? This will definitely help keep everyone happy on cooler days. In the meantime our water is heated to around 23 degrees so it's quite pleasant for anyone who wants to get in and get closer to the sharks and rays. We also plan on having more information around about our animals for visitors. Thanks for that suggestion! We're glad to know that our visitors want to learn more about these fascinating creatures. Thank you again for your feedback and support and we look forward to seeing you when you visit again! Warm regards from the whole Irukandji Team.
Written 2 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

hstarz
Newcastle, Australia1 contribution
May 2021
We were very excited to go to the shark and ray centre and were happy to spend the prices for our children to enjoy their time there
My 5 year old son was spoken to terribly by a staff member who was doing the feeding encounter and even told to get out of the pool because he wasn’t concentrating on what she was saying enough . I heard the young girl speak terribly to other children there too so I’m surprised if there hasn’t been complaints before
This totally turned our day around so we left after an hour !
Such a shame as the other staff seemed to be quite friendly :( :( won’t be recommending to anyone that has children !!!!
Written 27 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi hstarz, This is very sad to hear, I would love to get to the bottom of it as it doesn’t sound like any of our staff. Do you think you could contact us on lia@sharkencounters.com.au so I could get a little more detail about the incident? Did your son have the potential to hurt the animals at all? We have given permission to the staff to put our animals above everything else even if that means getting people to leave Irukandji completely. We are so sad this has happened please get in touch to help us achieve the best we can be Warm Regards Lia
Written 28 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Petra
9 contributions
May 2021
Usually its better to book but we managed to get in and absolutely loved sitting on a rock inside a pool with lots of rays , sting rays and sharks swimming around our legs. We choose the 'basic entry" plus the 'Shallows' which means we can get our feet/legs wet but don't need to get into a wet suit. We enjoyed the educational talks. The staff there is very knowledgeable and burst with passion for the animals. The park is run with the animal's welfare (I believe most of them had been injured and rescued) in mind and it felt like an aquatic version of the reptile park. They are currently at 'phase 1' and the park will expand further. The pools are fairly large and outdoors but partially under cover.. This business is not to be mistaken for the other Shark and Ray center nearby. No stingers as yet. The stingrays and sharks are completely harmless and a strict safety and 'interaction' protocol is enforced for the sake of the animals which I appreciated. This was the best experience of the whole weekend.
Written 10 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Oceaswimmer, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a 5 star review! As a small family business, we really appreciate the feedback and support. The Shallows Encounter in Socks is a great option for those that don't want to get completely wet, but still have an interactive in-water experience. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed getting up close and personal with our friendly and affectionate animals. Education is incredibly important to us, and our staff are extremely dedicated in sharing their knowledge about our amazing animals and spreading awareness around conservation. Phase 2 is just about to begin, hoping to be completed by the end of the year! We are all very excited about the next level of expansion and hope you visit us again to check on our progress. Glad we were able to provide you with such a memorable experience. Thanks again for visiting! Take care and have a lovely weekend. Warm Regards The Irukandji Team
Written 29 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters

Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


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