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“much better than i remember it as a child”

Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
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US$28.08*
and up
Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium Entry Ticket
Ranked #19 of 265 things to do in Auckland
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World is home to New Zealand's only sub-Antarctic penguins and offers a myriad of opportunities to get up close and personal with incredible marine life from the Pacific and Southern oceans.For a truly incredible experience, take the plunge on an Animal Adventure – we offer cage-free shark dives, PADI-recognised diver training, snorkel and scuba safaris through the Oceanarium or the chance to hand-feed the giant stingrays!
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
267 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
“much better than i remember it as a child”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

I think the last time i went to KT's was 20 something years ago. The development and advancement of this aquarium is amazing. Buying tickets online is easy, fast, and you get a discount. My family and a friend and his family spent 3-4 hours here on a Monday morning which was relatively quiet, perhaps school groups don't visit on momnday's? The penguin display is incredible, particularly how you can watch them swim, interact, and view their beauty close up. This is preceded by a 3D moving snow tunnel which is rather exciting, however not if you have vertigo. You walk along a path that is stationary, however the surroundings that are revolving around you (like a very large pipe you are walking through) create an optical illusion that you are also rotating when you really are not. This i explored a few times as it is a surreal sensation, just a cautionary note if anyone has reduced balance you may like to take extra care.

Otherwise the cafe is great, there are many interesting exhibits and very friendly staff to talk to, including exhibits kids can touch and engage with. The travelator is phenomenal and well worth a few several complete revolutions of this tank to observe the sharks and many other fishes habituating in it. Lastly you can find you way to other smaller tanks at the end of the aquarium itself with the sea horses which are amazing to observe close up.

Have fun at Kelly Talton's, they also have a free pick up bus from Auckland City, KT's is approximately 10 minute drive along the waterfront and has free car parking also.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank taqueeney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KTSLA, Manager at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Thank you for your response regarding your recent visit to Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. It is great to hear you enjoyed your visit. Glad to see you enjoyed many of our highlights – the famous tunnel through the ocean tanks, amazing seahorses and our wonderful penguins. As you noticed we have a commitment to innovation and change, and have had a complete renovation in 2012. Our penguin enclosure is now larger and provides a better experience for our customers to walk through. We hope to see you again soon.
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Chickamauga, Georgia
Level Contributor
123 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Penguin Discovery Experience was amazing!!”
Reviewed 16 June 2014

On our trip to Auckland, my cousin and I were able to the do the Penguin Discovery Experience at Kelly Tarlton's. After we got in our warm suits, gloves, hats, etc. and were explained the rules of being on the ice with the penguins we were able to go in. We were warned that walking in it would be really cold which was to be expected. We were taken to a corner of the ice and were able to sit as the trainers explained all about the penguins. We weren't allowed to touch them, however, penguins are very curious and came to us. They have a photographer on the ice with you to take pictures of you with the penguins, and the photographer was in perfect position to capture of picture of the penguin kissing me on the cheek. (or that is what it looks like in the picture) I love that picture!! We spent about 20-30 minutes on the ice with the penguins and loved watching them. We were also taken behind the scenes and heard the history of Kelly Tarltons which was very interesting. After the penguin experience we toured the rest of the facility on our own and had a great time. One caution though, from sitting on the ice so long the wet soaked through the suit we had on and we had a huge water ring all over our bottom. I went in the bathroom under the hand dryers to get most of the wet out, but we walked around with wet bottoms for a little while. I would definitely go back on a visit.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Tammy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KTSLA, Manager at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Thank you for your response regarding your recent visit to Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. It is fantastic to hear you enjoyed our Penguin Discovery – we all think it’s an amazing experience so we’re happy to hear you thought so also. As you mentioned, our penguins are very curious they love to interact and get up close and personal with our customers. We hope to see you again if you make another visit to Auckland.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“My Daughters Loved It”
Reviewed 10 June 2014

My daughters loved it so much we spent almost the whole day there. The penguins were a big hit with my 5, 3 and 9 month. Holding the starfish to walking under sharks was a great experience for them.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank KarsinOhana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KTSLA, Manager at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Thank you for your response regarding your recent visit to Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. Glad you and your daughters enjoyed their visit. Our Rock pools are a great highlight and we are glad your children enjoyed them. We hope to see you back again soon.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Awesome aquarium, with a shuttle bus”
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

We had a great morning at the aquarium after getting of our cruise ship. The shuttle bus was frequent ( every 20/30 mins) from the port/Main Street to the aquarium. Tickets are a reasonable for the aquarium/zoo range and there was plenty to see, fish feeding and interactive sections where the kids can't get there hands wet with some fish ( supervised).

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Zekzor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KTSLA, Manager at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Thank you for your response regarding your recent visit to Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. It is great to hear you enjoyed your visit. Glad liked our Rock Pool where you can touch some sea creatures.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
74 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“School holiday visit”
Reviewed 4 June 2014

An excellent outing, enjoyed by all (i.e. me, my daughter and two primary school grandchildren). We all loved the penguins, sharks and rays as well as the Antarctic hut display (including immersing our hands in freezing water!!). Great layout and informative displays plus very friendly, helpful staff.
The kids loved the photo book which I bought for them at the end ... definitely a 'show and tell' for school.
I'm not sure about the cost of the outing as one of my grandchildren had won a family pass.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank HMR2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KTSLA, Manager at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Thank you for you response regarding your recent visit to Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your visit. Glad to see you enjoyed many of our highlights – our historic replica of Scotts Hutt, our wonderful ocean tanks full of amazing creatures such as our majestic stingrays. We hope you were able to catch our exciting animal feedings which happen daily. It is fantastic to know our staff are doing great around the aquarium. We hope to see you back again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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