Melbourne Aquarium is a must-visit if you are holidaying in the city.
Especially, if you are traveling with kids.
Also known as Sea Life Melbourne, it is one of the largest and richest collections of marine life in the Southern hemisphere.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before visiting the Melbourne Aquarium.
How to reach Melbourne Aquarium
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is on the corner of Flinders Street and King Street, Melbourne.
It is right opposite Crown Entertainment Complex, on the Yarra River.
Melbourne Aquarium address
King St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.
The city of Melbourne has excellent public transport, which you can use to get to the Aquarium.
If you prefer a train, try and reach either the Flinders Station or the Southern Cross train station.
Flinders Station is 800 meters (half a mile) away from the Aquarium and a quick 10-minute walk can get you there.
Southern Cross train station is also a ten-minute walk from the Melbourne Aquarium.
Sea Life Melbourne’s tram stop is on Flinders Street, right in front of the tourist attraction.
You can opt for either routes 70 and 75, or hop onto the free City Circle Tram.
Melbourne Aquarium parking
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium doesn’t have public parking.
However, at a short distance of around 250 meters (820 feet), there are two prominent public car parking facilities.
Both the recommended parking facilities offer discounts for Melbourne Aquarium visitors.
All you must do is park your car at the below mentioned recommended car parks, show your parking ticket at the Aquarium’s Admissions Desk and get a ‘discount ticket.’
While taking your car out of the car park, enter this ‘discount ticket’ into the Car Park payment machine after the original ticket.
It is located at 474, Flinders Street. They charge 22 Australian Dollars from Monday to Friday and 10 Australian Dollars on weekends & public holidays. Directions
It is located at 522, Flinders lane. They charge 18 Australian Dollars from Monday to Friday and 10 Australian Dollars on weekends & public holidays. Directions
Melbourne Aquarium hours
Melbourne Aquarium is open all through the year. Yes, that’s right – on all the 365 days!
Melbourne Aquarium opening hours differ on different days of the week.
From Monday to Friday, the Aquarium opens at 10 am and closes at 5.30 pm.
On such days, the last entry is at 4.30 pm.
On weekends, local school holidays and public holidays they open early at 9.30 am and to accommodate the crowd they stretch till 6 pm.
On such days, the last entry is at 5 pm.
Keeper talk & feeding times
Two of the highlights of the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium are the amazing keeper talks and feeding sessions.
If you are traveling with kids, it becomes even more essential to plan your visit according to the Aquarium’s these activities.
1. Bay of Rays Talk
This is a once-a-day event, which happens at the Bay of Rays. The locals love this 11.30 am session because it is about Melbourne’s iconic Port Phillip Bay.
2. Penguin Talk
Everybody loves Penguins, and that’s why this session is always crowded. Happens twice daily – at 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm at the Penguin Playground.
3. Crocodile Talk
This happens in the Croc Lair and the session times are at 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. You come to face to face with Australia’s largest saltwater crocodiles.
4. Turtle Feed
If you would love to feed turtles, make sure you are at the Rainforest Adventure at 2.30 pm.
5. Rockpool Talk
Rockpools are where you can get your hands wet and touch the sea creatures inside. Line up for this once-a-day session at 2.30 pm, early because it gets crowded.
6. Ocean Predators
This session happens at 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm daily at the
Shipwreck Explorer. You get to see what happens deep down in the oceans.
7. Coral Atoll Talk
This talk also happens at the Bay of Rays. If you miss the 12 pm session, you can always line up for the next one at 1.30 pm.
8. Seahorse Talk
The Seahorse Pier houses the stunning seahorse and sea dragon species, which is a hit among kids and adults alike.
Line up for the Seahorse Talk at 3 pm.
9. Rainforest Talk
If you love forests and want to know more, this is one session you must not miss. It begins at 3 pm, at the Rainforest Adventure exhibit.
Best time to visit Melbourne Aquarium
The best time of the day to visit the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is at 10 am, as soon as it opens.
This will help you avoid the long lines which start in the middle of the day, especially if you are making a trip in summer or during school holidays.
Visiting the Aquarium early in the morning will also help you have a better hands-on experience in the Touch Pools.
As more and more people dip their hands, the sea creatures get tired.
It is best to be at the Aquarium early also because you can then include the Aquarium’s interactive sessions in your schedule.
Most of the keeper talks and feeding sessions are scheduled before 2 pm.
If your objective is only to avoid the crowd, 3 to 4 pm slot is also an excellent time to visit Melbourne Aquarium.
How long does Melbourne Aquarium take?
Once you are inside the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, you can spend as much time as you want to explore.
The entry tickets don’t have a time limit.
On average, most tourists take around two hours to explore the Melbourne Aquarium.
If you are with kids, who prefer spending extra time with the exhibits, you may need one more hour.
If you want, you can also turn it into a full-day outing.
You just must pace it slowly, and explore all the different activities, exhibits, keeper talks and feeding sessions.
Melbourne Aquarium discount
Kids 2 years and below get a 100% concession on the ticket price – and thus can enter for free.
The next best Melbourne Aquarium ticket discount is reserved for kids aged 3 to 12 years – they get a 33% discount on the adult ticket price.
However, many visitors don’t know that the best discount you get on Sea
Life Melbourne tickets is what you get by booking them online.
Depending on the day of your visit (non-peak day or peak day) you get a discount of either 10% or 20% when you book tickets online.
Yes, that’s right – buying the tickets at the venue is costlier.
This is because when you buy your tickets at the Melbourne Aquarium, you pay what’s known as ‘ticketing window surcharge,’ the cost of maintaining a ticketing window and a person managing it.
It is smarter to buy your tickets in advance. Book your tickets now
iVenture Card is a discount card, which helps you access the Melbourne Aquarium for a massive discount.
While buying this card, you get to choose 3, 5 or 7 top attractions as per your own interest.
You can then visit these attractions at your convenience without paying any entry fee. Find out more
Melbourne Aquarium tickets
There are three kinds of tickets you can buy to explore the Melbourne Aquarium.
1. Regular Melbourne Aquarium entry ticket
2. Penguin Passport ticket
3. Shark Dive ticket
Both Penguin Passport and Shark Dive tickets include access to Melbourne Aquarium.
These three tickets are smartphone tickets.
That is, immediately after you purchase them, the tickets get emailed to you.
On the day of your visit, you just show the tickets on your phone and walk in.
Yes, that’s right – there is no need to take print outs!
All the three tickets can be canceled for a full refund, up to 24 hours before the day of the visit.
1. Skip the Line Melbourne Aquarium tickets
This is the most popular ticket and gives you access to all parts of the Aquarium, including all the keeper talks and feeding sessions.
It also helps you skip the lines, which comes in handy during peak days such as weekends and school holidays.
Melbourne Aquarium prices
Adult ticket (14+ years): 42 Australian Dollars
Child ticket (3 to 13 years): 28 Australian Dollar
Infant ticket (0 to 2 years): Free Entry
2. Penguin Passport at Melbourne Aquarium
If you are visiting Sea Life Melbourne with slightly elder kids, this can be a perfect surprise for them.
Besides regular access to the Aquarium, the Penguin Passport allows you to put on Antarctic snow gear and spend 45 minutes with the King and Gentoo Penguins of the Aquarium.
This ticket also gets you access to the Penguin Parade which is held daily at 1.30 pm.
The minimum age requirement for this experience is 14+ years.
Penguin Passport prices: 149 Australian Dollars / person
On the ticket booking page, select the ‘Penguin Passport’ ticket.
3. Shark Dive at Melbourne Aquarium
With this ticket, you can swim with sharks at Melbourne Aquarium.
Yes, that’s right.
You will wear a wet suit and a Scuba mask, and enter the Oceanarium to share the space with nurse sharks, sea turtles, and other fantastic fish.
Swim among sharks, stingrays and other magnificent marine creatures with a thrilling shark dive at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium!
Melbourne Aquarium shark dive is 30 minutes long, and no prior SCUBA experience is necessary.
All equipment will be provided you will also undergo a 1-hour briefing period, and expert guide will be with you all through.
The best part – your friends and family can watch you from the viewing area.
On the ticket booking page, you can select one of the two Shark Dive times – 8.45 am or 12.45 pm. Most tourists prefer the afternoon slot.
What to see at Melbourne Aquarium
There is a lot to see and do at the Melbourne Aquarium. We list them below –
1. Penguin Playground
In this section, you get to see Melbourne Aquarium’s penguins.
It houses two types the majestic King Penguins and the cheeky Gentoo penguins.
This section is quite popular because the inmates are always slipping and sliding is the snow or splashing in the pool.
2. Coral Caves
Coral Caves is a vibrant, colorful section which houses some extraordinary sea creatures. Don’t miss the Clownfish, made famous by ‘Finding Nemo.’
3. Bay of Rays
This is an amazing peek into the underwater world of Port Phillip Bay.
You get to see Fiddler rays, Port Jackson shark and other marine creatures which we usually don’t get to know because they are always underwater.
4. Mangroves and Rockpools
Kids love part of Melbourne Aquarium. Also known as Discovery Rockpools or touch pools, in here you can get your hands wet and touch Sea stars, Shark eggs, etc.
This section also has a Mangrove Nursery.
5. Crocodile Lair
This is where you get to see Melbourne Aquarium’s crocodile.
Pinjarra is Australia’s largest saltwater crocodiles, and you can view them from two different levels, and from all angles.
6. Mermaid Garden
Mermaid Garden is the name given to Melbourne Aquarium’s 2.2 million liter Oceanarium.
You walk underneath it and get a panoramic view of the sea with huge stingrays, massive sharks and thousands of multi-colored marine creatures swimming by.
7. Coral Atoll
Coral Atoll is a colorful underwater world teeming with life. Remember the forgetful ‘Dory’ from ‘Finding Nemo’? You can spot her here.
This exhibit hosts a variety of exotic animals and hundreds of multi-colored fish.
8. Interactive Wonder Wall
The Interactive Wonder Wall at the Melbourne Aquarium is a digital installation.
You can move, dance or sway and see how the creatures inside this wall react.
When here, do try and touch the Pufferfish and see what happens.
9. Seahorse Pier
As the name suggests, this section hosts the seahorse and sea dragon species.
You will get to see some weird and yet beautiful creatures in Seahorse Pier. When you are here, don’t miss the Giant Cuttlefish.
10. Rainforest Adventure
The Rainforest Adventure section is a deviation from the rest of the Aquarium.
In here you experience the lush greenery and humid temperatures of the tropical North and see unique Australian animals such as Lungfish, turtles, snakes, frogs, lizards, etc.
Melbourne Aquarium food
You can bring your own food to Sea Life Melbourne and use the Café seating to eat and drink.
However, during crowded times preference is given to visitors who buy from the Aquarium’s café.
There are two cafes in Melbourne Aquarium – Adventurer’s Café and The Croc Café.
Adventurer’s Café is the bigger one and serves hot and cold drinks and hearty meals. Their Menu also has a kid’s section.
The Croc Café is the smaller outlet and operates out of the Rainforest area.
It is perfect for a quick break before continuing with the Aquarium exploration.
Melbourne Aquarium map
To experience and explore as well as save your precious time while visiting the Sea Life Melbourne, you must have knowledge of the space and the location of the exhibits.
A map of the Aquarium will help you find the exhibits as well as all the other visitor services like washrooms, café, elevators, etc.
We recommend you bookmark this page or print out of the map for later use.