Visiting aquariums is our thing, it’s what we do when we travel and we absolutely LOVE it. Both of the boys have always been a tad obsessed with all things ‘ocean’, an interest Dave and I can wholeheartedly get behind.
When we confirmed our (very) last minute trip to the Sunshine Coast, a visit to Mooloolaba and its famous Sea Life Aquarium was top of our must-do list. Ethan saw it featured on a TV doco years ago (which we all watched on repeat hundred of times!) and had been super keen to visit ever since.
Our first full day in Cotton Tree was a drizzly Sunday morning, perfect for a lazy, unrushed visit to Sea Life.
The drive took 10 minutes and at 9ish, we were able to find a carpark easily, though I can imagine this would get more and more difficult throughout the day.
We had a behind the scenes experience booked in at 11.30am so set about following the kids around, exploring the many stunning exhibits on offer.
The one we came back to again and again, was actually the very first you come across upon entry. Nixon absolutely loved the Tidal Touchpool. It was so engaging for him, I think he discovered a new fish or starfish to observe, and yes, touch, each time he led us back there.
We were so surprised by how quiet it was in the morning, we were really able to take our time and move around at our own pace.
A family fave was the Freshwater Streams zone. Seeing the giant Barramundi and Australian Lungfish, species we don’t have in New Zealand, was awesome, they are huge fish!
We also loved the Ocean Tunnel. The Grey Nurse sharks are the biggest we’ve ever seen, even bigger when we got to see them from the surface on our Behind the Scenes Tour.
This tour was an absolute treat. We have never upgraded our entry tickets to include any experiences before so this one was so engaging for all of us but especially for our two young boys, one of whom has always aspired to be a marine biologist. I’m not sure why but I’d always assumed that the thick tunnel walls in aquariums magnified the size of the creatures on the other side – turns out the opposite is true! Being able to observe the inhabitants of the Ocean Tunnel from above and hear their stories made for such a memorable experience, both of the boys gave our guide their full attention throughout the tour which also included the turtle rehabilitation area – great environmental message for everyone here.
We are so stoked to have been able to tick Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast off of our travel bucket list. It’s such a perfect family excursion and provided a really interesting morning for both of our boys, even with their 8.5 year age gap which can sometimes be a tough ask!
Thanks for having us guys!