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Behind the scenes

Happy 30th Birthday SEA LIFE Sydney

The iconic Darling Harbour attraction celebrates 30 years of creating magical memories

In September, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium celebrated 30 fin-tastic years of fun, conservation and magical underwater memories since it first opened its doors in 1988! For 30 magnificent years, the iconic Sydney attraction has continued to innovate and expand, earning its reputation as one of the world’s leading aquariums.

Following two years’ of construction, the aquarium opened in 1988 as was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest aquarium in the world! From seals and sharks, to stingrays and schools of vibrantly coloured tropical fish, ‘Sydney Aquarium’ as it was known at the time, quickly became the place to be to discover the underwater world. Now 30 years young, Sydney’s premier attraction is home to over 700 species of sea life across seven themed exhibits.

In 2008, Sea Life Sydney became home to two of only five dugongs in human care at the time. The rescue dugongs who have served as ambassadors, help educate the public and assist staff to better understand the species for future research and rescues. In 2016, the state's first colony of sub-Antarctic penguins hopped on in to their very own Macquarie Island-inspired exhibit, featuring the world’s first ride-through penguin experience,

2018 saw the launch of Sydney’s only cageless shark diving experience, Shark Dive Xtreme in April and the birth of miracle ray Ani in June. Through the rare scientific phenomenon of parthenogenesis, an 11 year-old eagle ray gave birth despite not having contact with a male for over nine years. The  attraction also unveiled its latest project in November – a $5 million interactive exhibit, Day and Night on the Great Barrier Reef, taking guests on a colourful, sensory experience of the world-famous coral reef.

“Sea Life Sydney has come a long way in the last 30 years – the time has just swum by! Personally, it is an honour to work at a world renowned site with world class aquarists and creatures that have made so many memories for international and local guests" said Richard Dilly, General Manager of Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

December 2018


Merlin Entertainment