Sydney Aquarium – tickets, prices, discounts, what to see

Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is a huge tourist draw for families and solo travelers alike.

It showcases more than 700 species of sea creatures, including sharks, dugongs, rays, tropical fish, etc. – a true reflection of the waters around the Australian shores.

Sydney Aquarium’s most popular exhibit is its 100 meters (328 feet) long ocean-tunnel walk-through.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know before visiting the Sydney Aquarium.

1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Tour duration
5. Ticket discount
6. Aquarium tickets
7. What to see?
8. Shark Dive
9. Aquarium map

How to reach Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium stands right in the heart of Sydney and is located on the city side of Darling Harbour.

The Aquarium’s central location makes it an ideal place for tourists visiting Sydney.

The Aquarium is at 1-5 Wheat Road, Sydney NSW 2000. Directions

By Ferry

You can travel by the public ferry services to Darling Harbour, which is 800 meters (half a mile) from the Sydney Aquarium.

From Circular Quay Wharf 5 a ferry departs every half an hour to Darling Harbour.

One of the advantages of traveling by ferry is the stunning views of the Sydney Harbour which you get to enjoy.

Sydney Aquarium by Captain Cook Cruise
Many tourists combine their Sydney Aquarium visit with a Sydney Harbour Cruise on one of Captain Cook’s boats. This 2-day pass can also help you get to the Aquarium. Find Out More

By Train

If you decide to travel by train, get down at Town Hall Station.

Then walk towards Market Street and continue walking West, down the hill towards the Darling Harbour. The Sydney Aquarium is 10 minutes walk from the train station.

You can also get down from the train at Wynyard station and head towards King Street and walk downhill to reach your destination.

By Bus

If you are riding the Big Bus Sydney you must get down at the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium stop on Wheat road under the footbridge.

If you are riding any other bus service, get down at any stop near the Market Street or King Street and walk on foot down the hill to reach the Darling Harbour. 

Sydney Aquarium Parking

Sydney Aquarium has lots of parking options nearby.

Get your parking ticket validated at the Aquarium’s gift shop while exiting the Aquarium and save money in the process.

However, if you don’t want to drive your own car, you can book an Uber or taxi and ask the driver to drop you at the rear of Cockle Bay Wharf or at the King Street Wharf.

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Sydney Aquarium hours

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium opens at 10 am and closes at 6 pm, every day of the week.

In the month of April, because of the school holidays, the Aquarium opens half an hour early – at 9.30 am.

Last entry to the Sydney Aquarium is always 5 pm.

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Best time to visit Sydney Aquarium

Best time to visit Sydney Aquarium

The best time to visit the Sydney Aquarium is at 10 am, as soon as they open.

When you start early, you don’t get stuck behind the crowd, the creatures in the touch pools are most active and you can attend most of the Aquarium’s interactive sessions.

If you can’t make it to Sydney Aquarium in the morning, the next best time is after 3 pm, because by then the crowd has left.

If you want to avoid crowd and long queues at the ticket counter, it will be best to avoid visiting the Aquarium during the weekends and school holidays.

Tip: When you buy Sydney Aquarium tickets online, you save time by avoiding the long lines at the ticketing counter.

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How long does Sydney Aquarium take

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the World.

It is home to over 13,000 marine creatures from 700 different species.

To explore all the different zones of the Sydney Aquarium you will need anywhere from one and a half hours to 2 hours.

However, families visiting with a couple of kids, end up spending up to three hours exploring the Aquarium.

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Sydney Aquarium discount

Many tourists end up searching for Sydney Aquarium’s cheap tickets.

This is because, at 46 AUD per adult ticket (16+ years), Sydney Aquarium’s ticket prices are slightly on the higher side.

Here are ticket prices of two more Sydney attractions for comparison:

Sydney Tower Eye @ 24 AUD per adult

Sydney Opera House Tour @ 42 AUD per adult.

This is the reason why tourists end up looking for ways to get a Sydney Aquarium discount.

Worry not, for here are the four ways to get a discount at Sea Life Aquarium.

Online ticket discount

When you buy Sydney Aquarium tickets online, you pay 20% less.

Yes, that’s right.

When you don’t buy tickets in advance and end up buying them at the Aquarium you also pay what’s known as ticketing window surcharge (the cost of having a ticket window and a person to manage it). Buy now and save money

Age-based discount

Kids in Sydney Aquarium

On regular Sydney Aquarium tickets, kids below 3 get a 100% discount – that is, they can enter for free.

Children aged 4-15 get almost 30% discount on the adult ticket.

Discount through combo tickets

The best way to get a discount while visiting Sydney Aquarium is by buying a combo ticket, which includes access to a few other attractions.

These combo tickets help get discounts of up to 45% on the value of the individual tickets.

Let’s understand this in detail.

Here are the adult ticket prices for four of the top Sydney attractions –

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium: 46 AUD
Sydney Tower: 24 AUD
Wild Life Sydney Zoo: 35 AUD
Madame Tussaud Sydney: 35 AUD

If you were to buy them individually, it would have cost you 140 AUD.

However, if you buy a combo ticket which includes access to all the above attractions, it will only cost you 80 AUD.

You will end up saving 60 AUD – a saving of almost 45%.

These combo tickets are perfect for first-time visitors in Sydney.

If you want to include the Harbor Cruise as well, go for this combo ticket.

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Sydney Aquarium tickets

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium tickets are valid for 1 day and showcase some of the most beautiful sea creatures of the World including Grey Nurse Sharks, Little Penguins, Sting Rays, Seahorses, and Dugongs.

Enjoy interactive exhibitions with experts, storytelling sessions by aquarists and special light showcases which provide an incredibly unique experience.

It is essential to know that queues can get really long during weekends and school holidays.

If you want to avoid standing in long queues to get tickets, you should consider booking your tickets online and save up to 20%.

Sydney Aquarium tickets are timed

The Sydney Aquarium online tickets we have recommended below are timed.

You need to arrive at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium within the time mentioned on your ticket.

For example, if your booking is for the 11.15 am – 11.30 am slot, you must arrive within this time slot. If you arrive later, you may have to wait a while.

You will be given a chance to enter the aquarium at the next available opportunity.

Sydney Aquarium prices

Adult ticket (16+ years): 46 AUD
Child Ticket (4-15 years): 33 AUD

Infants 3 years and below can enter for free.

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What to see at Sydney Aquarium

The Sydney Aquarium has various zones which makes it an informative and exciting trip for everybody in the family.

1. Day and Night on the Reef

Day and Night on the Reef is the brand new zone in the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium where you will witness the largest exhibit of the Great Barrier reef.

It is uniquely designed to recreate the reef transitioning through night and day which creates a visually interactive experience like never before.

The exhibit showcases over 500 sea creatures including jellyfish, tropical fish, turtles etc.

The zone also recreates the phenomenon of bio-luminescence through an interactive light show.

2. Penguin Expedition

The Sydney Aquarium’s Penguin expedition is a ride which will take you close to the Aquarium’s King and Gentoo Penguin colonies.

You will get a chance to witness Penguins sliding and swimming mere meters away from your eight person raft.

3. Shark Valley

Take the adventure to the next level by walking over some of the biggest Aquarium sharks of the World including Grey Nurse Sharks.

Journey deep into the valley to face some of the most fearsome species of Sharks including the huge Queensland Groper.

4. Dugong Island

This unique exhibit showcases the beautiful mammalian herbivore also known as Dugong.

Some legends claim that they were mistaken for mermaids by sailors when they first arrived at the Australian waters.

The exhibit also includes other creatures like the White Spotted Eagle Rays and various other species of sharks.

5. Discovery Rockpool

Rockpooling at Sydney Aquarium

The Discovery Rockpool helps you make startling discoveries.

Have an exciting time in the Rockpool where you will be able to see and touch amazing creatures like sea stars, corals, shells, shark eggs, etc.

The Aquarium’s experts guide you through the experience.

6. South Coast Shipwreck

This exhibit showcases the creatures native to the Southern seas and is primarily known for its Little Penguin colony.

This exhibit is set in the beached shipwreck environment.

Some of the other creatures you might witness in this exhibit zone are Port Jackson Sharks and Moon Jellies.

7. Sydney Harbour

The Sydney Harbour Zone of the Sydney Aquarium is home to over 600 species of fishes native to the most iconic harbor in the World.

This exhibit recreates the mesmerizing World that lies beneath the harbor.

It shows how vital the harbor is in maintaining the ecological balance of the Sydney coastline.

Some of the creatures that you will see in this zone are Silver Sweeps, Cuttlefish, Mado, etc.

8. Jurassic Seas

This exhibit transports you to the old World – into the depths of the ocean where you will get to watch mysterious living fossils.

Jurassic Seas lets you understand evolution and discover unique species such as Nautilus, Lungfish, and Peacock Mantis Shrimp.

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Sydney Aquarium Shark Dive

At the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, you can actually swim with the sharks.

In fact, it is one of the few places in the World where you can book an underwater experience with sharks.

Shark Dive at Sydney Aquarium

What is Shark Dive Xtreme?

Shark Dive Xtreme at the Sydney Aquarium can be experienced with no previous diving experience. Book Your Dive

You will scuba dive into a tank full of sharks and other sea life.

Dives run up to 4 times per day with a maximum of 5 people per dive.

The duration of the Sydney Aquarium Shark Dive is 30 minutes.

This experience is available only for guests of 14 years and above.

This activity is very much in demand, so book early to avoid disappointment. 

What do you encounter?

The Shark Dive allows you to swim with fantastic Grey Nurse Sharks, up to 3 meters (10 feet) long.

You will be diving with them without any cages.

You will also have the company of Sydney’s varied local marine life including massive stingrays (and we mean MASSIVE), Port Jackson Sharks, Wobbegong Sharks and hundreds of fantastic sea creatures.

What will be provided?

The following things will be provided during your Shark Dive –

First, you will be given an introduction to scuba diving.

After your training session is completed, you will be provided with all the dive equipment and wetsuit.

This preparation stage usually takes 90 minutes.

After you finish your dive, you will be awarded an ‘I dived and survived’ Shark Dive Xtreme certificate.

When you book a Shark Dive ticket, full day admission to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is included.

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Sydney Aquarium map

Sydney Aquarium Map
We recommend you bookmark this page or take a print out of the map for later use. Image:

The Sydney Aquarium is a vast area with multiple dynamic zones.

To explore it well and to save your time, it is better to know the location of the exhibits.

Besides the exhibits, a map of the Aquarium will also help you find visitor services like washrooms, restaurants, elevators, souvenir shops, etc.

Popular attractions in Sydney

# Sydney Opera House
# Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
# Taronga Zoo
# Sydney Tower Eye

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