The World under the Sea and Beyond at Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne

By Christina Kim - September 14, 2015

It looks like a ship at its dock; with its pristine white hull resting atop the peaceful water of the river.

Amid the varying shapes of the buildings decorating its background, it just seems as though a ship has docked in the heart of the city.

Only, this is not a  real ship, but one that takes on the form of a ship cleverly designed to convey its intent close to the identity it holds.

This architectural design by Peddle Thorp Architects is ingenious and apt for the site of the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, the place where the lively beings from the ocean and the marine culture comes to life, swimming in tank enclosures and huge display aquariums.

That is exactly how the Sea Life is like, just the way one could easily imagine (especially if you have gone through numerous sea worlds and aquariums everywhere else in the world).

IMG_6079_FotorDark and dimly lit in a cave-like surrounding, with holes through the walls mounted with smaller-sized aquariums filled with the varying species of fish in multitudes of colors, shapes and sizes swimming gleefully; weaving their carefree ways in and out of the whims of the sea weeds and anemones decorating the tanks.


The environment is created as such to emulate that of the deep ocean; the natural and living habitat of these beautiful sea creatures.

It takes a lot to maintain the water level, the temperature, the content of the water and the lighting to ensure these fish and marine life feel just right at home, in almost every live aquatic museum around the world.

It is a massive conservation effort to maintain the comfort of the sea beings which in turn preserves their livelihood and the continuation of their species as well.




While the Sea Life is aimed at educating the general public on the aquatic life in general, there is also the shared vision among all these live aquariums to create the awareness of the importance of the marine life to the overall ecosystem and to protect them from extinction or irresponsible and illegal poaching which could in turn create potential hazards to the environment should the natural ecological balance be toppled.

It is definitely more than just the fish swimming in the tanks.

Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne is a place recommended for families; for the children could enjoy the tour around the place, watching and learning about the different types of fish and sea creatures as they indulge in hide-and-seek game with the fishes rubbing their noses against the glass window displays and even get down and touchy with the real-life creatures at one of the sections, guided by the Sea Life staff.


Be prepared to a minimum of two to three hours to complete the tour of the Sea Life here; as the Sea Life Aquarium in Melbourne is divided into four levels; Level One, Ground Floor, B1 and B2.






The depth of the building extends at another 7 meters (23 ft) into the below the surface of the streets so as not to be based on the same level as the streets.

The current Sea Life is an extension of its former self in 2000; now extending from the Yarra River to the Flinders Street and officially opened in 2008. 
The expansion project was also handled by Peddle Thorp; the ones behind the original design of the place with a new entrance located at the corner of Flinders and Kings Street.

One of the main features of the place is a huge aquarium; or rather, the world's first 'Oceanarium' filled with 2,200,000-litre (580,000 gal) right in the centre to give their visitors that real-life experience of being there, deep down in the ocean itself with the marine life all swimming around them, located at the level B2; at the Mermaid Garden.



Besides the deep sea creatures, Sea Life also features a variety of the other marine species and the new expansion of the building now houses a section dedicated to the Antarctic region; with fish and marine life from that part of the world, making them the first in Australia to welcome the brood in an aquatic museum.

There are also penguins; with most of them sourced from another similar establishment in New Zealand; Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World.


A staff inside the Antarctic display, preparing snow showers for the penguins to simulate the Antarctic environment.

Display section on the gear needed to survive in the harsh temperatures of the Antarctic
IMG_6436_Fotor IMG_6437_Fotor

Spending time in a place like the Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne is probably exciting for the little ones; with the bright young minds lighting up at the sight of real life sea beings swimming before their very eyes, which were previously only found on the pages of their colored books and encyclopedias.

It is not just for the young ones for even adults will enjoy the exhilarating experience of reliving their knowledge of these aqua culture and most will be an eye-opening and mind-blowing experience as there are just so many species out there that we may not even be aware of.

The world is truly huge out there and the aquatic world is just one of them.

I think I will always be excited to visit a place like this, regardless the age.

It feels like I am swimming with the fishes, thousands of feet deep down in the ocean.

This is the place where the corals come to life and many other sea creatures hidden in the realms of the deep blue sea and on the ocean floor.


It is a surreal experience as one walks through passages leading from one zone to another; anxiously anticipating the next sight in line while surrounded by a simulated underground cave with that occasional sight of fish peering from their humble abodes in the little holes in the wall.

It is a world of imagination; where one can swim with the fishes, walk through the underground caves and even among the magnificent corals and anemones.
Even the sharks and giant sea turtles are part of that world, swimming in their carefree manner, as though unperturbed by our presence.



Here at Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne, I felt like I was part of that world.

That underwater world and the world surrounding it.

The world which comes alive, right under the sea and even much more beyond it.

This is what makes the world, the complete system; of all that is seen and unseen before our very eyes.

Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne is not all about the life that goes under the sea, but all that is around and beyond the sea.

This is the world we live in, amidst all the unknown but make up the wholesome balance to our very existence and being.



Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne is a brand owned by Merlin Entertainments; the brand behind Legoland and Madame Tussauds, adding to their list of more than 100 attractions worldwide, officially in 2012 when Merlin acquired the earlier owners, Living and Leisure Group.

Merlin Entertainment has invested more than $8 million on the redevelopment and refurbishment of the place and officially relaunched under the Sea Life brand in the late 2013.

Sea Life Aquarium Melbourne is home to more than 10,000 aquatic creatures.
Besides the underwater world, there are also sections dedicated to the reptiles, amphibians, insects and such. The list includes crocodile, spiders, frogs, toads, lizards, etc.
The latest addition to the Sea Life is the Antarctic section; with the king penguins and gentoo penguins.



Official Website here
Please check for the entrance fees and operating hours on the website.

Tickets are available for single visits, group visits, and even annual passes.
*Online booking are subject to discount and one can save more when you book online.

Open everyday (including public holidays) from 9.30am -6.00pm
Last entry allowed is at 5.00pm.

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and preferences and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

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