Kelly Tartlons Sealife Aquarium, Auckland New zealand.
Auckland, New Zealand
KELLY TARLTONS SEALIFE AQUARIUM , AUCKLAND
So, whilst looking on GrabOne we found a voucher for Kelly Tarltons Sealife Centre Penguin Discovery. We had seen the shark cage experience in the hostel but there was nothing about this penguin o...ne. Being great fans of the penguins work, on offer at $159 we thought we would give it a go. Normally $200 (buy online is $159) so not the cheapest of activities but with admission to the aquarium, free shuttle return, backstage tour, feeding the big fish, a hot drink and all your pictures of your penguin experience (given to you on a very cute penguin USB) we deemed it good value for money.
Just a 15 minute bus to the aquarium we entered this (used to be underground sewage works) discovery. The place itself isn't massive and if not doing one of the activities it's not really any different to other aquariums. That said this was well worth the money, never again would the opportunity to be literally face to face with King and Gentoo penguins ever arise.
After a small talk backstage and a splashy feed of the big fish we got suited and booted to go see the colony of 83 penguins. At 0 degrees it gets pretty cold but it doesn't matter as the sights are amazing. It's so surreal to be there next to these awesome creatures just waddling about and singing in your face. We sat on a small rock and spoke about penguin facts for about half an hour. Penguins come say hi then waddle off some get right in your face and personal space one of them touched kellies bum. One King penguin in particular called Toddy stayed with us the whole time singing on command. He was old and experienced so he liked to show off, another Gentoo penguin that was friendly was Rocky who is actually one of a dozen penguins that are going over to live at Birmingham which is cool.
After leaving the enclosure we got our stuff and went out to get some food. They don't do a great choice of food just a few pies, paninis, salads and sandwiches and these are averagely priced. The rest of the aquarium is full of your standard fish, (massive) sting rays, shellfish and sharks with a viewing tunnel and various tanks. Meh... It's all about the penguins. We watched the penguins get fed and then watched other fish, crabs and eels get their eat on before going to get our pictures and leaving.
We arrived at about 9.50am and left at 1pm so it's not a full day thing but I'd recommend this to any animal lover especially those who like penguins. The shuttle bus is a giant shark...yea that happened.