In 2015 I went to the Sydney Aquarium, which wasn’t too bad all said, but earlier this year I had the chance to visit the Melbourne Aquarium and compare the two. I’ve got to say I think Melbourne has Sydney covered in this regard.
The Melbourne Aquarium is pretty well located in Melbourne. There’s a tram that goes past it and it’s not that long a walk from the main station – Flinders Street Station, to get there if you have 20 minutes up your sleeve. It’s pricey though, at $41.50 online (plus a booking fee I think which doesn’t make it much cheaper than turning up) for an adult, $32.50 concession, but that’s pretty much the same (or 50 cents cheaper) for Sydney. That’s Aussie dollars so around $31-$32 US dollars for an adult.
The experience is great though, I think it’s a great aquarium although I’d say it’s hard to top the one in Osaka. There are so many fish to get up close to, there’s a part where you can touch coral and the like, and such a range of different kind of fish with such wonderful bright colours (fans of Nemo will NOT be disappointed!) that three hours in the place can go by pretty quickly.
It’s clean and well organised, and there are a few eatery options which aren’t too bad all considered pricewise, although don’t look for anything gourmet. Am I the only one who feels though it’s not quite right eating seafood in an aquarium?
You can stand over the Yarra River as well and see Southbank if you pop out on to one of the balconies. On that floor (not sure which one it is) you’ll also see crocodiles if you’re lucky. The best part of course is the tunnel though (comes a bit earlier) where the big fish swim over you including sharks and rays. You could stand mesmerised for hours.
The aquarium also does short talks and you can see feeding time which is quite fun to see. BUT the final thing you see before you leave are the penguins! And they are THE highlight of a visit. King Penguins are quite big, they run around in a winter-icy land having fun, diving into water and sliding down slides. It’s really brilliant, and worth the entry fee alone to see them.
So. If you like sea life or even just penguins, and you’re in Melbourne, I do happily recommend visiting Melbourne’s Aquarium. Thanks for reading – May the Journey Never End!