Explore The Spooky Seas At Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
Mums & Bubs
By: Christine Huynh, ellaslist explorer
Ever wanted to explore the underwater kingdom? Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is the place to be this spring to discover the eerily enchanting creatures of the Spooky Seas. The kids will have fun learning about sea creatures through the Spooky Seas quiz. They may even learn a thing or two about conservation and it will seem like fun!
Marine Life Paradise
Watch the Wobbegong sharks vanish into the landscape. Prepare to be enchanted by the graceful stingrays and Grey Nurse Sharks, and terrified by the tricky turtles. The giant cuttlefish will make you believe in magic when it changes colour to tell you it’s spooky secrets. You may even see a colourful seahorse rocking about near the shiny starfish. Visitors are also invited to touch and feel the marine animals that have made the rock pool their home (we were surprised by the swirly shape of the hatched shark eggs). If you book in advance, adults can swim with the Grey Nurse Sharks, stingrays and turtles completely cage free.
Throughout the day, there are also lots of fun activities available that will keep adults and kids entertained:
- Penguin feeding
- JAWsome Sharks and friends tour
- Sanctuary Snack Time Feed & Talk
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is located on Manly Cove, so we enjoyed all of these activities as well as the stunning view of the beach.
Quizzes And Tours
The Spooky Seas quiz was a great way to discuss sea animals with our curious toddler, but the tours were our preference. We could sense that the staff are highly motivated and passionate about conserving marine life. They pointed to bite marks on the Grey Nurse Sharks, which are a result of mating season; they revealed the hiding place of the Wobbegong shark that had cleverly camouflaged itself into the bottom of the tank. Even the toddler was amazed.
Highlight: Penguin Feeding
Our highlight was the penguin feeding session at Penguin Cove. My toddler squealed with delight when she first laid eyes on the little penguins standing in a perfectly straight line. She gasped in awe as the little blue penguins splashed in the water and kicked their tiny feet. When the penguins were fed, they sounded like they were singing in tune. It was like a scene from Happy Feet. Penguin feeding only occurs at certain times during the day so I suggest arriving 10-15 minutes early so that you can get a good seat.
Shark Harbour was also a delight for the whole family. We loved learning about the different types of sharks and how they are bred in captivity. My toddler enjoyed seeing the giant stingray loom above our heads as it momentarily darkened the space. She was fascinated by the colourful fish and was amazed to see a real-life sea horse. The smile on her face was priceless!
Playtime And Halloween
During snack time, we entered the Shipwreck Shores Playzone, which also has a beautiful view of the beach. Our toddler enjoyed climbing and crawling through the ocean themed play area, just before we asked her to wave goodbye to the underwater kingdom.
Come along and join the fun this Halloween. If you dress up as your favourite Halloween character on the 29, 30, 31 October, kids will receive free entry with a full paying adult.
Nearby Attractions: Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is located in the heart of Manly, and a stone throw away from Manly Cove and bustling cafes. After visiting the Sanctuary, have a swim and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Getting There: For further information, check out their website.
I recommend taking public transport as it is a time saver and you will not have to worry about finding parking. We travelled by car with our infant and toddler and we spent a lot of that time stuck in traffic so I recommend driving during off-peak time.
Parking: There is no onsite parking but the surrounding roads have 2 hour free parking. There are also long-stay parking options. Check out the Council Website for more information.
The Essentials – Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
When: Manly SEA Life Sanctuary is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day from 9.30am to 5pm (last entry 4.30pm).
Where: It’s situated only a 2-minute walk from Manly Ferry Wharf. There are parking stations, nearby or you can park in one of the nearby streets (most have limited 2 hours parking).
Cost: pre-book your tickets online and save at least 10% on the door price. Online prices from $17.50p/adult, $11.90p/child 4-15yrs, family passes (2 adults + 2 children) from $58
See our event post for more information on the Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary Spooky Seas event which runs 17 September to 31 October 2016.
To celebrate Spooky Seas at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, ellaslist has an exclusive offer for little boys and gouls to go FREE all October! Kids go free with full paying adult. Simply enter the promo code 5132 in the promotional code section on the tickets website (click BUY NOW and navigate to the Promotional Codes tab) or show this page at the admissions desk. Not valid with any other offer, concession, group or combination tickets. Expires 31/10/2016.
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