26 April 2009

Sydney Aquarium

Neo in front of the aquarium wall, with the fish over and on either side - a viewing tunnel

On Wednesday, 15 April, we went to the Sydney Aquarium. We again bought the DayTripper Family pass from the Woy Woy Train depot. We rode the train in to Sydney....but this time it was standing room only! We were able to board the train in the doorway of the last car. Every other car was packed - no room for another person to enter. We stood in the entryway of the train for about 1/2 the trip. Then we had the good fortune to sit. Most of those on the train got off at Strathfield exit - so they were on their way to The Royal Easter Show - which is not unlike the Wisconsin State Fair meets Summerfest. We had no problem taking the Circle Train then Wharf 5 on Circular Quay for Darling Harbour.

I took a few pictures during our ferry ride across Sydney Harbour. I thought this water taxi was cool

The Aquarium had long lines for admission. There were examples of aquatic life from the Murray Darling River Basin. I was intrigued by this area since Kevin Rudd's stimulus plan was passed by 1 vote - after a generous contribution to engineer a solution to the Murray Darling River Basin problem.

One of the main attractions to the Aquarium was the Dugong - a creature related to the Manitee. There are only 5 dugongs in captivity and the Sydney Aquarium has 2 - 1 male and 1 female. The story goes that the Sailors mistook the dugongs for mermaids. That's why the Aquarium had "mermaids" at the entrance to the dugong pool.

The largest tank areas of the aquarium appears to be a large boat anchored to the harbour floor. To enter the area, guests walk across gang planks and go down a ramp to the floor of the boat. The viewing area is from the ocean floor. The fish swim overhead! It's a really cool way to view the fish.

Diver cleaning the glass of the viewing tunnel over Clara's shoulder

There's a please touch rock pool area for kids to feel some sea creatures. There were some very large glass areas where the sharks reside. It was really well done, and a different perspective from other aquariums I've visited (Boston and Chicago).

One of the things I learned at the aquarium is that the jellyfish we saw in Queensland were not blue bottle - instead they were Box jellyfish. The instructions for dealing with these stings was vinegar then seek medical attention - can cause death. So that girl that was stung when we were in Queensland should have been seeking medical assistance. Blue bottles are much smaller - and there are many of those here.

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