Underwater World is Queensland’s largest aquarium and oceanarium and is located at The Wharf in central Mooloolaba.
Stingray reef is the first exhibition you encounter. It is marvellous watching these graceful creatures. Allow yourself some time here and you’ll clearly see their different personalities, some are quite shy while there was one in particular that was really inquisitive, pushing his head out of the water to get a closer look at all the humans. Just keep in mind that this is non touching area.
Only a few steps away you will find Rocky Shore where young and old can plunge their hands into the tank for a close encounter with sea urchins, slugs and starfish. The ground level houses an impressive display of tanks filled with brightly coloured sea anemone, tropical fish and seahorses. I would like to specially mention the flashing fish housed in a blacked out tank. Take your time as it is hard to see at first. Another fabulous exhibition is a SUV that was transformed into a tank, complete with surfboard still on the roof!
The cold water habitat is another amazing exhibit. You can actually feel the temperature of the water by touching a bar next to the tank – unbelievable how anything can flourish in such temperatures. The pine-apple fish and the leafy dragon are two species that impressed us. Other areas to explore on this level are Theatre of The Deep, Seal Shop, Octopus Garden Café, Otter Encounter and Upper Billabong.
Go down to Basement 1 for underwater seal viewing, World of Frogs and a closer look at the freshwater billabong. The highlight for many people is located in Basement 2: the Oceanarium Tunnel. It feels like you are at the bottom of the ocean when gazing up through the 80 metre transparent tunnel as sharks, rays and gropers swim above you.
The last exhibit you’ll see before exiting is Crawly Creatures. This takes you from land to deep under the ocean showcasing the world’s largest marine, land and migratory crab species.
Still this is not all Underwater World has to offer. You can swim with the seals or have a close encounter with one of the playful and cheeky seals without getting wet. There is also the behind the scenes tour where you’ll experience a day in the life an aquarist. Lastly you can experience the ultimate adrenaline rush: diving with sharks and stingrays in the ocenarium. Additional costs and conditions apply.
Throughout the day you can attend any of the following presentations: Stingray reef talk and feed. Billabong talk and feed. Rocky Shore and touch pool talk. Sheal show “Seals Behaving Badly”. Otter show Shark Guided tour Crawly Creatures Talk These presentations are free of charge and no bookings are required.
2009 Pricing: Adult: $28.50 Concession/Student: $21.00 Child (3-15yrs): $18.00 Child (0-3yrs): Free of charge Family (2 adults + 2 children): $84.00
Seal Swim (adult): $76.00 Seal Encounter (adult): $40.00 Dive with sharks (certified): $155.00 Dive with sharks (non-certified): $195.00