There are certainly enough attractions in Auckland, New Zealand to satisfy any and all visitors. This is the country’s largest city, and there is plenty to enjoy when it comes to dining, shopping, nightlife and fun-filled activities. If you are traveling with kids, or just want to awake your own inner child, a visit to Kelly Tarltons in Auckland is an ideal addition to your Auckland travel itinerary. Found just under 4 miles from downtown Auckland, resting nicely on the Auckland waterfront at 23 Tamaki Drive, Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World is a place where you can view penguins, sharks, seahorses and all kinds of other wonderful creatures.
Kelly Tarltons Underwater World opened in 1985, and though some thought Mr. Tarlton a bit bizarre for building an aquarium in the city’s waterfront sewers, over 10,000,000 million visitors have enjoyed the experience thus far. The sewers here were no longer in use, and really, where better to build an aquarium then on or near the water? The tanks that house the marine exhibits at Kelly Tarltons Underwater World overlook the Waitemata Harbor, just below the Auckland suburb named Orakei. Kelly Tarlton died just months after his Underwater World opened, and he was just 47 years old. He would certainly be proud to see what his original aquarium has become.
In 1994, Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter was added to the complex, and it was the first Antarctic environment for penguins to be built underground. As you might imagine, the challenge of building an underground, frozen world where animals can thrive is pretty daunting. You’ll likely find yourself both intrigued and enthralled when visiting Kelly Tarltons in Auckland, and it’s certainly a wonderful place to hang out if you like animals. Pairing a trip to Kelly Tarltons with a visit to the Auckland Zoo is always a great idea.
Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter offers a realistic journey through an Antarctic environment that will have you thinking you’ve been transported to Antarctica. Start your journey with a stop at the replica hut of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, a renowned South Pole explorer. Afterwards, you’ll board a heated snowcat and be off to observe the self-sustaining Gentoo and King penguins. You can even watch the penguins swim underwater in the saltwater pools here. After “visiting”Antarctica at Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter, you will certainly want to see what the exhibits have to offer at Kelly Tarltons Underwater World.
A moving walkway will transport you through an underwater tunnel fashioned from transparent, acrylic panels. This is a good introduction to underwater life for those who might be considering doing a little New Zealand scuba diving. You’ll be able to observe the amazing aquatic creatures in Kelly Tarltons Underwater World without having to get wet, and at times, these often large creatures will swim right over your head. The stingrays here are large, the broadnosed sevengill sharks intimidating, and the bronze whaler sharks just as menacing. But, fear not, you’re safe in the oxygen-filled tunnel. After enjoying a trip through the tunnel, you might head over to Stingray Bay for feeding time, or be off to the fish gallery to observe over 1,500 different species.