On our recent visit to Melbourne we found our location at the Crown Metropol was ideal for a visit to Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne. It was the perfect place to cool down in air-conditioned comfort on a hot day in the city. This was our second visit to the aquarium and on this occasion, it was just a mother-daughter visit. Last time we were there as a family and found it was a great wheelchair accessible activity, which BJ thoroughly enjoyed.
Before kids came along, Hubby would spend quite a lot of time diving on our trips away and I can certainly understand why – it’s so easy to get lost in the underwater world. I’m not a diver so I’m grateful for the large viewing windows the aquarium offers visitors.
Sea Life Melbourne has a combination of lift and ramp access making it a pleasure to visit as a wheelchair user or for families with a pram. The windows and tanks are at a great height for both young children and for visitors using mobility aids. The aquarium is divided into 11 areas including Bay of Rays, Coral Atoll, Rainforest Adventure, an Ice Age cinema experience and more. In each section there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the ocean’s inhabitants.
Kids always enjoy the opportunity to interact when visiting an attraction and the rockpools offer visitors the opportunity to touch a starfish or sea cucumber. A Sea Life staff member is on hand to answer any questions and to share information, while ensuring the safety of the underwater critters.
Stepping into the underwater tunnel we were entertained by the sharks, sea creatures and huge Stingrays who, judging by their grins, thought the joke was on us. The 2.2 million litre Oceanarium allows visitors to get up close to the glass with the tunnel being glass from floor.
It’s wonderful to be immersed into the Stingray’s word.
ICE AGE 4D CINEMA
The Ice Age 4D Cinema is new since to the aquarium since our last visit. Kids will enjoy playing the Ice Age touch screen games while waiting for the movie session to start. We decided to go and check out the penguins while we waited and got so caught up with their antics we missed the start of the movie. As we were short on time we asked a staff member about wheelchair access and we were advised there is wheelchair seating at the front of the cinema.
Watching the penguins is my favourite activity at the aquarium. I was particularly excited to spy penguin chicks. Most were nestled under their parent but one of the older chicks was out and about.
The penguins are a little clumsy on the ice but in the water they are graceful and mesmerising.
The aquarium is a lovely outing for all ages but it’s been particularly interesting to see how different aspects appeal to the kids at their varying stages.
When the kids were younger they loved stamping their Sea Life booklet at the stations throughout the aquarium. It was all about the interaction and as parents we’ve always welcomed the opportunity for the kids to learn through these experiences.
Hanging his skinny legs over the crocodile at Sea Life Melbourne appealed to BJ’s wicked sense of humour. I don’t think they were meaty enough to even entice the croc to move but BJ loved the glass floor.
Sea Life Melbourne has excellent access throughout with a mixture of ramp and lift access between the levels.
Accessible bathrooms are available. The best one, with press button entry, is located at the end of the aquarium.
The Australian Companion Card is accepted.
We visited Sea Life Melbourne as guests but as always, our opinions are our own and based on a wonderful experience, not once but twice!
You can read more about Sea Life Melbourne on their website.
Our friend Christine from Adventure Baby has spent quite a lot of time in Melbourne and has some great suggestions for activities with kids here.