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Oceanworld Manly Visit to Oceanworld

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Hix, 28 Jul 2009.

  1. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    4,555
    Location:
    Sydney
    I recently visited Oceanworld at Manly (on Sydney’s Northern Beaches). The last time I was there was back in the 70’s and I have a very very faint recollection of the shark tanks. Since that time it has undergone major renovations, but the structure of the building remains the same – circular with three floors, the lowest floor is below sealevel.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/oceanworld-90546/
    You enter on the middle floor. There is a large central room in the middle of this level, with the entrance, a café, souvenir shop, offices and some smaller display tanks around the perimeter of the building.

    The central room had a large circular reef tank with tropical fish in the centre of the room. Around the walls were tanks with both tropical and local species of fish. One of the most interesting was one with about two dozen Cuttlefish and a single flounder. I spent more than 20 minutes trying to photograph them with mixed results.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/tropical-tank-90504/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/tropical-tank-90502/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/cuttlefish-tank-90520/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/cuttlefish-90519/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/cuttlefish-90516/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/cuttlefish-90513/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/flounder-90528/

    Other tanks housed starfish, lionfish, clownfish, angelfish, triggerfish, wrasse, tangs, moray eels, puffer fish, stripey and mado. Plus a tank with a young Saltwater Crocodile.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/stars-stripes-puffer-90566/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/starfish-90565/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/tubefeet-starfish-90564/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/picasso-triggerfish-90547/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/lionfish-moray-eel-tank-90541/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/lionfish-90540/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/moray-eel-90545/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/moray-eel-90542/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/fish-90526/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/clown-triggerfish-90505/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/blue-tang-90499/

    The exit from this room led to a tank housing some baby Port Jackson Sharks and baby Wobbegongs.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/baby-shark-tank-90498/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/baby-wobbegong-90577/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/baby-port-jackson-shark-90558/

    Around the corner from the baby sharks were several small tanks with some interesting but smaller animals: Seahorses, boxfish, frogfish, stonefish, blue-ringed octopus, crayfish and Coral Banded Shrimp.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/small-display-tanks-90563/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/crayfish-90509/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/coral-banded-shrimp-90507/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/blue-ringed-octopus-90500/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/blue-ringed-octopus-90501/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/seahorse-90575/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/stonefish-90569/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/stonefish-tank-90571/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/eastern-frogfish-90523/

    Taking the steps up to the top level you pass by five tanks housing the world’s five deadliest land snakes: Death Adder, Tiger Snake, Coastal Taipan, Eastern Brown Snake and Inland Taipan (or Fierce Snake). The upper floor used to have a large pool where seals performed. Most of this levekl is taken up with tiered seating. The pool is gone and has been converted into three large reptile pits. The first houses some freshwater turtles and Eastern Water Dragons. The second has a pair of Lace Monitors and the last – desert-themed – has Central Bearded Dragons, Eastern Bluetongues and Cunningham Skinks.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/top-level-showing-three-reptile-pits-90562/

    At the back of the seating were some reptile and invertebrate tanks – spiders, centipedes, baby Lace Monitor, baby Frilled Lizards and a pair of Stephen’s Banded Snakes. Both the pits and tanks were adequate for reptiles, but nothing special.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/stephens-banded-snakes-90567/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/juvenile-lace-monitor-90538/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/juvenile-frill-neck-lizard-90529/

    The bottom level of the building is below waterlevel. It is essentially one large almost circular tank, viewed by the public through a tunnel. This is the shark tank, and has about a dozen grey nurse sharks cruising around, as well as Port Jackson Sharks, Wobbegongs, eagle rays, lobsters and smaller fish.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/tunnel-shark-tank-90572/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/grey-nurse-shark-90536/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/grey-nurse-shark-90535/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/underside-port-jackson-shark-90561/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/port-jackson-shark-mouthparts-90560/

    Smaller enclosures have been created by walling off areas – one houses three enormous giant cuttlefish. It was hard to estimate exactly how large they are, due to refraction, but I guess they were each about 4 feet long.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/giant-cuttlefish-90531/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/giant-cuttlefish-90533/
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/giant-cuttlefish-label-90537/

    And for a few hundred dollars extra, you can go Scuba diving with the sharks.
    http://www.zoochat.com/1027/divers-sharks-shark-tank-90522/

    I expected to be in and out in around 45 minutes, but ended up spending more than two hours. Most of that time was spent trying to photograph the inhabitants. Most of the tanks were viewed through Perspex which makes it difficult to get sharp images. And a flash on curved Perspex means there will be a reflection somewhere. But with some persistence I got some half decent shots.

    :p

    Hix
     
  2. Ara

    Ara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    1,124
    Location:
    Sydney (Northern Suburbs)
    Wow, another great review, Hix, and really good photography too.

    If and when you bring out a book I'll be the first to buy a copy. :D
     
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    4,555
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thanks Ara!

    I might just do that one day!

    I should have mentioned, for anyone in Sydney - Oceanworld recently joined up with the same group that runs Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World. If you have an annual membership to the Aquarium/Wildlife World, you get free entry to Oceanworld too.

    :p

    Hix
     
  4. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,511
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Thanks for the review Hix nice photos too
     
  5. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    370
    Location:
    Emmen, the netherlands
    I visited the aquarium two days ago ( because it was prt of the 4 atractions pass I bought) and I was quite amazed. I had seen on the leaflets they had a large aquarium with an acrylic tunnel, but hd expected it to be a little bit smaller. I had expected them to have more smaller aquariums than they actually had.

    The oceanrium was much larger, I read somewhere that it contained 4 million litres, which is quite a lot, especially for such a small aquarium. I counted 7 grey nurse sharks ( the number I am certain of) at least two more then sydney aquarium has. I have also been reading it's history, which is also quite amazing. I didn't know they had the first acrylic underwatertunnel in australia, for instance. And I have seen the white shark's story concerning ' Bruce' at discovery channel, I didn't know it was in manly however, I thought it was in sydney aquarium.

    The rest of the aquarium was quite in contrast with the oceanarium, the ground floor has a large circular fish tank, with living coral, and is surrounded by some smaller aquariums, but with a quite acceptible collection though. The upper floor had one tank, which is meant to disply a coral lagoon, in which people can snorkle. There are not very much corals and fish in this tank though.
     
  6. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    3,040
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I wonder if Merlin will keep this place open. It doesn't appear to do anything in particular that Sydney Aquarium doesn't do, but it does compete with its now-sister facility. It seems like an unnecessary duplication within the same market. However, I suppose if it's profitable there's no reason to shut it down. Looking at the website, it might be a bit more child-oriented than Darling Harbour?
     
  7. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    370
    Location:
    Emmen, the netherlands
    I have read that the sydney aquarium company already bought it in 1999. But manly offers the opportunity to dive with the sharks and snorkle in a coral lagoon. I think that's the biggest cash cow of manly. And perhaps it displays some animals who don't have a place in the sydney aquarium anymore.