Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, Auckland Overview
Dive into this fascinating Sea Life aquarium, with engaging displays and intriguing tunnels taking you through over 30 live animal exhibits. Located on 23 Tamaki Drive, Auckland, a short 7 km drive away from central Auckland, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium is one of New Zealand’s most innovative and largest aquariums. An endeavour of New Zealand marine biologist Kelly Tarlton, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium used a new method of acrylic shaping that allowed clear acrylic to take curved shapes. The aquarium was also among the first of its kind to use travelators that move people slowly through a long, see-through tunnel.
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Tickets and Prices
General Admission Ticket
Adult - NZD 32 Child - NZD 22
The general admission ticket allows ticket holders to set a date on when they wish to visit the aquarium and tourists may only come on the selected date.
Flexible Admission Ticket
Adult - NZD 39 Child - NZD 27
The Flexible Admission Ticket gives the ticket holder the freedom to come to Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium according to their convenience. The mobile ticket also gives them priority access and allows visitors to skip long queues and lines.
Adult - NZD 46 Child - NZD 29
The behind-the-scenes tour gives visitors the opportunity to see how the aquarium functions and gives them exclusive access to the exhibits. The behind-the-scenes ticket also gives holders all-day access to the aquarium.
Penguin Passport Encounter
NZD 159 per person
The Penguin Passport encounter gives visitors a chance to come face-to-face with the southern hemisphere's largest penguin colony. Unrivalled access to New Zealand's only Sub-Antarctic penguin colony is sure to leave tourists with a new-found appreciation for our tuxedo-clad feathered friends.
Things to Do
Antarctic Ice Adventure
The Antarctic Ice Adventure exhibit at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life aquarium is home to the largest colony of aquarium penguins in the world. Observe three species of penguins, including New Zealand's only Sub-Antarctic penguin colony, along with colonies of King and Gentoo penguins.
The Turtle Bay sea-turtle display at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium has the distinction of being the only sea-turtle rehabilitation facility in New Zealand. Sick and ailing sea-turtles that have washed up onto the shores of New Zealand are taken in and rehabilitated until fully fit, and then released back into the wild. The Turtle Bay exhibit is also a glimpse into the work that marine biologists and conservationists do to save the lives of these turtles.
The Shark Tunnel at the aquarium was the first in the world to use made-to-fit, curved, transparent acryclic sheets as viewing platforms that separate visitors from some of the world's biggest aquarium sharks. The concept has since been duplicated at aquariums around the world. The Shark Tunnel even has a travellator that slowly moves viewers along as some of the ocean's apex predators glide above you.
Shark Cage Snorkel
To get truly up-close and personal with some of the ocean's most feared carnivores, the aquarium offers visitors the chance to step into a metal, bite-proof tank that is then submerged into the water. Watch in amazement as these majestic creatures swim inches past you. The Shark Cage Snorkel is surely an experience that will leave you with a new-found respect for these sharks.
Scott's Hut is a replica of the cabin that Captain Robert Falcon Scott lived in during his Discovery Expedition of Antarctica. This 50 x 25 sq ft model shows visitors how the cabin was insulated, the fuel sources that he used, and the equipment that was needed to survive the frigid conditions.
How To Reach Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
Situated on 23 Tamaki Drive, Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium is a short 7 km drive away from central Auckland and many transport options make it easily accessible. Free parking is available at the aquarium for those that decide to drive themselves up.
The aquarium runs shuttle buses that ply the route from the Britomart Transport Centre to the aquarium at hourly intervals. The shark and penguin-themed buses are unmistakable and are free of cost. Only ticket holders have the option of reserving seats.
Auckland's hop-on-hop-off bus, the Auckland Explorer also stops at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium.
The TamakiLink public line buses depart at 15-minute intervals from the Britomart Transport Centre towards the aquarium.