ellaslist Reviews: Merlin❜s Summer of Amazing Discoveries
“Can we do something exciting today?” is the daily question I receive from my four-year-old son. So when Mr. Four popped his question this morning I immediately responded with, “Yes! We are going on an adventure”. And what could be a more exciting adventure than visiting four of the top attractions Sydney has to offer? SEA Life Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney, and Sydney Tower Eye were the big four on our exciting adventure list today!
Arriving into the city was a breeze as I had pre-booked parking at Wilson Parking: 321 Kent St (entry via 86 Sussex St) using the code MERLIN to get $21 all-day parking. This parking location was an easy five-minute walk to the Darling Harbour attractions and a short ten-minute walk to Sydney Tower Eye. With that sorted, it was time for our adventure to begin!
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
The amazing underwater world of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium never disappoints no matter how many times we visit. Our experience began with a 10:30 am Behind the Scenes Tour. This new tour allowed us to venture into areas that are not usually open to the public and discover the inner workings of the aquarium. The tour began with a focus on Pig the dugong who, after being rescued, is one of only two dugongs in human care in the world. As Pig is a BIG eater who feeds every five minutes and eats about 30kg of cos lettuce a day, our first task was meal prep. Mr. Four was beaming with pride after he had carefully prepared a tray of cos lettuce for Pig.
Next, we discovered the current conservation projects at SEA LIFE Sydney. We walked through the back of house areas to the conservation room where we were mesmerised by hundreds of baby seahorses and Cauliflower coral. It was great to hear about the success SEA LIFE Sydney has had in releasing these animals back into the Harbour. We also got the opportunity to put on white lab coats and pose for some fun photos.
The excitement at SEA LIFE Sydney is endless. Mr. Four is always highly fascinated by Shark Valley, the Penguin Expedition (don’t miss the Penguin Boat Ride), and Turtle Beach. Today, we were also highly entertained by the stunning colours of Jellyfish Lullaby and the interactive features of the aquarium such as the bioluminescence projection of Moonlight Beach. I can’t forget to mention the Discovery Rockpool where Mr. Four was thrilled to be able to not only touch starfish and sea urchins but to hold a real shark egg!
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Today was our first time visiting WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and boy were we impressed. I was blown away by the beautifully designed enclosures with large glass windows, which allowed for viewing the same enclosure from multiple viewpoints. They also have regular daily Zoo Keeper Talks for those interested in learning more about the animals. Mr. Four could not wait to check out the Crocodile Billabong with three brand-new freshwater crocodiles.
The Crocodile Billabong was an impressive sight, with a stunning waterfall and huge model crocodile which, of course, made the perfect photo opportunity. The three freshwater crocs could be seen from both above and below the waterline. There is an underwater viewing dome in the centre of the enclosure so you are always bound to be able to spot these three beauties. Mr. Four was elated.
As we walked through the iconic Australian habitats on display at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo we encountered some of the most loved, and feared, animals that call Australia home. The Kangaroo Walk About, Tasmanian Devil’s Den, Koala Rooftop, Wallaby Cliffs, and Mini Beasts World were highlights of our trip. WILD LIFE Sydney even has a magical replicate Daintree Rainforest enclosure that is home to a beautiful Southern Cassowary named Princess.
Madame Tussauds Sydney
Madame Tussauds Sydney is all about discovering a world of famous fun. The attraction is categorised into various zones including Australian history, world leaders, fashion, the royal academy, and TV/film. If taking photos with famous people and characters is not fun enough, many of the zones entail a variety of interactive experiences.
In the sports zone, we engaged in the Dylan Alcott interactive wheelchair tennis serve game. In the Sydney Live music zone, we met Dua Lipa and sang on stage with Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. Mr. Four was most impressed with the Marvel and Justice League zones. It was in these zones that we came face to face with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Flash, Superman, Batman, and Aquaman. There were so many interactive elements and immersive theming which added a whole other level of fun and surprise.
Madame Tussauds Sydney offers the opportunity to create your own wax hand (cost additional). Even if you decide not to purchase your wax hand, it was engaging to watch other people’s hands get dipped. Please note, this experience is exclusive to weekends and school holidays.
Sydney Tower Eye
Sydney Tower Eye is located on Level 5 of Westfield Sydney. Upon arrival, there was an optional 4D cinema experience. Wearing our fashionable 3D glasses, we entered the cinema and were presented with a lovely short film following the journey of a bright and colourful Rainbow Lorikeet who was exploring some of the most iconic sites of Sydney. I don’t want to give too much away but the bubbles were a delightful surprise.
Next was the elevator ride which took us 268 metres above the city. Exiting the elevator was breathtaking. We were instantly faced with 360-degree views of Sydney from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye. Whether we looked North, South, East, or West there was always something to look at. Mr. Four was thrilled when he spotted a train traveling down the tracks.
And with that concluding our adventure, it's safe to say I’m not looking forward to my daily morning questions from now on. How am I going to top this?
Best Value Ticket Information
With the Sydney Big Ticket you can:
- Save up to 50% on a combo four ticket to Sydney’s top attractions. Something for the whole family, and great value
- Can be used over 60 days, so doesn’t have to all be done during the holidays – can come back another day or at weekends –you just need to pre-book a slot
With an Annual Pass you can:
- Visit attractions in VIC, NSW, and QLD, all year round!
- Unlock access to 10 attractions
- Receive awesome deals and exclusive benefits across a great range of food and beverages, photo products, and experiences.
So if you want to visit the attractions again and again, all year round, then a Merlin Annual Pass is brilliant value—giving you access to attractions in VIC, NSW, and QLD too!
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