Imagine this. You’re in a tunnel that’s made of glass. Behind that glass are all sorts of fish, manta rays, and sharks, all swimming above and around you. It almost feels as if you’re underwater with them. Like that manta ray’s fin will graze over your head at any second. Or the shark will take a nibble out of your leg (though I’m sure they’re probably harmless) with one false movement.
I think that was the idea that Sea Life Melbourne was going for. In fact, when I found out they had these tunnels at the aquarium, that was the main selling point that got me to go there. All of the pictures looked like a dream! Then when I finally laid my eyes on it, I realized it was a dream. In reality, they were small and unimpressive. Kids were running around everywhere. It was noisy. Selfie sticks were flailing about. It all just took away from the experience. It was nothing like the oasis I had pictured in my head. But I guess it’s not the aquarium’s fault. I mean, it was pretty cool to see fish swimming above your head.
To get to the aquarium, you can either take a 20-minute walk from the CBD, or you can take the free tram for about five minutes. Sea Life Melbourne is pretty small (at least compared to other aquariums I’ve been too) so at $38 a pop, I thought it was pretty expensive (save 20% if you book online, using a student ID, or with a coupon from your hotel). Sure, you get to see the creatures that live in this neck of the woods, but I heard the Sydney Aquarium is a lot better. So if you make it to Sydney, check that one out instead (and let me know how it is!)