Shark Cage Snorkeling at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
Auckland, New Zealand
- The cage: If you're not quite ready for the Xtreme experience, mesh walls and a clear Plexiglas bottom provide a nice comfort zone as sand tiger, school, wobbegong, and broadnose sevengill sharks glide by.
- Welcome to the neighborhood: Other residents include colorful fish from New Zealand coastal waters and short-tail stingrays weighing up to 400 pounds.
- Tanks for the memories: The cage snorkeling experience includes all the instruction you need.
- All of Sea Life: Enjoy all the exhibits included in general admission – the Antarctic Ice Adventure, the Shark Tunnel, Stingray Bay, Jurassic Seas, the Seahorse Kingdom, the Fish Gallery, Shipwreck Discovery, the Southern Oceans Discovery Zone, the Shipwreck Shores kids play area, and Scott Base, a replica of the 50 x 25-foot hut from Robert Scott's 1910 South Pole expedition.
About This Auckland Tour
If you look closely at the rocks on the bottom, you may see a wobbegong camouflaged against the rocks. Its ornately patterned hide evolved just for that purpose, and is the reason the species is also known as carpet sharks. It's a nice interior design touch that goes back to the Early Jurassic era.
That's right: This "ambush predator" has been lurking in the rocks for almost 200 million years, just waiting for crabs, lobsters, shrimp, octopuses, squid, and small fish to unwittingly come to dinner. (They don't even have to be that small – the wobbegong carpet shark has been observed swallowing other sharks whole.) If the cupboard is bare, they'll eat coral.
You, suspended high above their rocky lair and safe within the netting of the shark cage, won't have to worry about an ambush. In fact, you should worry about them. They're one of several shark species caught and killed solely for their fins, and warming oceans threaten their reef habitats – after 200 million years, the wobbegong may soon be gone. Key to their conservation? Aquariums like Sea Life, where their placid nature adapts them well, and any carpet has to be waterproof.
No point in stinging the hand that feeds you
After his death in 1985, the ashes of Kelly Tarlton – the legendary adventurer, treasure hunter, underwater archeologist, conservationist, and inventor who built Sea Life – were scattered over the Poor Knights Islands, 30 miles east of the North Island. It was one of his favorite diving grounds, and happens to be a congregating area of the world's largest stingray: the short-tail. As you'll see in the shark tank, they're massive, weighing more than 400 pounds. As you'll also see, those short tails still have their poisonous barbs attached, which they politely fold on the side opposite a staff member feeding them.
Please make your way to 23 Tamaki Dr, Orakei, Auckland to begin your experience.
Maximum six people per session.
All persons aged 17 and under must have signed parental/ guardian consent (guardian must be 18 year or older).
All persons aged 17 and under must be accompanied into the Shark Cage by an adult.
All persons aged 14 and under must be accompanied into the attraction by an adult.
Participants must follow instructions given by the guide.
All participants must complete and sign both the Kelly Tarlton's Animal Adventure Terms and Conditions which includes a Statement of Understanding and Assumption of Risk Agreement and the Medical Declaration. If applicable, a doctor's medical clearance must be displayed to the adventure guide.
This program is designed for swimmers from intermediate level and up. This tour is not wheelchair accessible due to the nature of the activity.
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
For safety reasons and the effective operation of this tour, travelers must be a minimum of 1.3 meters to participate in this tour.
Special Medical Restriction
If you are pregnant you will not be allowed to participate in this Shark Adventure.
Non-refundable if canceled within 7 days of requested services.
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