Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is an aquarium and activity centre located at Manly on the city's north shore.
Formally known as Oceanworld Manly, it is smaller in comparison to Sydney Aquarium, however this Sydney attraction provides the chance to see oceanic aquatic wonders, with an emphasis on Sydney Harbour’s wildlife, in an intimate environment.
What sets the Sea Life Sanctuary apart, is that it's a marine life rescue and education centre, the feature of which is a colony of Manly's own Little Penguins.
And it offers scuba diving packages where you can swim with the animals, which include sharks, turtles, fish and sting rays.
Taking around 1 hour to experience (3 to 4 hours with scuba dive activities), Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is great for kids and adults alike.
And a great thing about the space is that the crowds are relatively
This attraction in Manly is easy to locate on the West Esplanade at Manly Cove, and is just 200 metres from Manly Wharf.
The best ways to get to Manly from the city is by the Sydney Ferries Manly Ferry from Circular Quay. Taking 30 minutes, it's the city's premier ferry service, passing many iconic Harbour sites of east Sydney Harbour.
Open from 10am – 5.30pm daily (except Christmas Day).
Last tickets sold at 4.45pm.
General Admission Family Tickets
Kids 3 years and under can enter for free.
Note: You must have your online ticket printed before you visit this Sydney attraction.
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is partnered with Wild Life Sydney, Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds. It is possible to buy combo passes for convenience and combined entry to these attractions from any of their websites.
Online prices are again cheaper by $5 - $10 when compared to walk in prices.
Family tickets are valid for 2 adults + 2 children OR 1 adult + 3 children.
You must visit the attraction which you buy your pass from first to receive your tickets. You have 30 days to see all the attractions.
Ticket Combo Online Prices
A daily schedule of talks, feeds and tours operates at this Sydney attraction, in conjunction with Shark Dive Xtreme activities.
These activities include,
The aquarium tanks display animals of Sydney Harbour.
Our favourites included
the cuttlefish tank, which also contained a flathead, and an extremely
well camouflaged flounder.
Other favourites were the sea horses and the toad fish.
A touch pool allows you to touch some common small fish and sharks eggs.
Manly Cove is a breeding ground for Little Penguins between July and February.
Being so close to urban areas results in many interruptions to their breeding. This includes dog attacks, and interference from other human activities such as boating and fishing.
This colony has been listed as endangered. National Parks and Wildlife Services set up Penguin Wardens to educate people about the penguins, and to monitor and protect the colony to ensure breeding continues to be successful in the wild.
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary has converted their upper level tank into a Penguin habitat. Visitors can now see and learn about the penguins all year round. By having the colony isolated from outside interference should ensure their breeding cycle continues successfully.
You can pier into the Penguin Cove tank from the staircase access that leads to the cove. Here you can witness the underwater activities of the Little Penguins.
Or at the top you can view the Little Penguins from above as they go about their daily business.
Take the stairs to the bottom level to access the Shark Harbour tunnels, which I think are the highlight of the attraction.
The tanks are bright and clear and allow excellent views of the animals swimming about.
The animals in the tank include large fish (snapper, mulloway and cod), sharks (Grey Nurse, Spotted Wobbegong, Port Jackson), sting rays and a Loggerhead Turtle.
We did two laps of the tunnel as we were so impressed. Amity took about 20 pictures of the lapping turtle, as it was a tricky animal to get a good photo of.
When a scuba diving party entered the tank, we ended up watching them, with 10 other people, for about 15 minutes. And Amity took another 20 photos!
There is a Shark Dive Xtreme scuba dive option for people of all diving levels.
Sea Life Sanctuary provides all equipment, though you can bring your own wetsuits and masks. Lockers and hot showers are available for use.
All scuba dive options include a 30 minute dive in the shark tank, free entry to Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, optional in-water photography, a de-briefing and diving certificate.
Any family and friends who would like to watch the action receive 20% off entry to this Sydney attraction.
Here are the dive options:
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