I’m missing Australia terribly.
Like I said, it’s been a while since I have been out of the country. I wish I could just drop everything now & hop onto the next plane to somewhere bizarre & foreign.
And then proceed to do something bizarre & foreign! Perhaps something along the lines of eating exotic animals/plants, fly a plane, jump off a cliff?
I don’t know. You tell me!
Thinking back, one of the more bizarre activity I had experienced when I was in Aussie was the Shark Walk at the Melbourne Aquarium. It was an exhilarating & tremendously heady feeling, walking on the “ocean” floor, with sharks, sting rays & turtle gracefully gliding past you within inches from your body!
Yes, with that astronaut -like helmet too! I was suited up in a proper wetsuit, and the astronaut helmet itself was nearly 20kgs. It was fitted onto my neck by a machine, and the cables attached to the helmet were only released when I was underwater. Yup, the water bouyancy made sure it won’t break my neck!
It all started here…
The Shark Walk program started from the back of the spectacular 2.2 million litres Oceanarium. We were ushered pass the viewing galleries & taken to the “operations” area at the back where we were suited up & met our “tour guide” for the walk.
A 30 mins brief by an experienced dive instructor was compulsory. I was literally shaking with excitement for the dive as she babbled on about do & don’t and bla blaa bllaaa … Hehe.
Then the walk itself was monitored & supervised by another diver who joined us underwater, ensuring our safety at all times. I wish I have more pictures to share, but since we were in the Oceanarium we couldn’t take any pictures of ourselves, and could only rely on my kind guide to snap some shots of us.
This is the “operations/back-end” area of the Oceanarium, and we enter the Oceanarium by going into these blue tanks.
Below: Me about to enter the Oceanarium, where halfway down the stairs, I will be fitted with the helmet.
Another shot with our dive instructor & Wilson.
The Shark Walker Experience in a nutshell:
The new Shark Walker experience at Melbourne Aquarium offers visitors the chance to walk underwater, stepping into the 2.2 million litre Oceanarium, while breathing naturally with a custom-made Shark Walker helmet.
The 45 minute tour doesn’t require any previous dive experience or training, only bathers, towel and a lot of courage!
So yea! I did it!!
And yes, there were stingrays, sharks, turtles & fishes swimming all around me!
Coming out from our little adventure in the Oceanarium, we took a leisure walk around the aquarium. As you can imagine, it was nothing as thrilling like my shark walk. Looking at the sea life through the glass paled in comparison to having these same fishes swimming around you!
Well, now I know how divers feel. I think I should get a diving license soon!
Another amazing attraction here at the Melbourne Aquarium is the Antarctica World. It is one of the 4 exciting and entertaining worlds here. Marvel as the majestic King & cheeky Gentoo penguins play in the pool and slide across the snow-covered ice.
Thase are Gentoo Penguins.
It was shedding time for these Gentoo Penguins so their fur were looking real fluffy!
More on the Gentoo Penguins:
This poor fella must have been naughty (a natural trait for them anyways) & injuired himself somehow..
At another aquarium we saw these regal & majestic King Penguins. Well, there must be a reason for their names right?
With their vibrant plumage, impressive stature and majestic nature, King penguins are mesmerising animals to watch.
They were really beautiful, and extremely fast swimmers. Very active, they were seldom stationary even for a second! I had to continously snap (without flash of course, as advised by the Melbourne Aquarium personnel in charge) so I could get some shots that are non-blurry.
Moving on was colourful and vibrant “Weird & Wonderful journey” – another of the four amazing world’s at Melbourne Aquarium.
This amazing world allows you to experience some of the strangest marine animals in the sea. Observe the extraordinary habits of colour-changing cuttlefish, spiky lionfish, camouflaged sea dragons, armour-carrying crabs and everyone’s favourite marine movie star, the clownfish or “Nemo”.
Then we headed over to River to Reef; the 3rd of the four amazing worlds to see at Melbourne Aquarium.
Spread across two levels, you will come up-close to the amazing island inhabitants – rainbow fish, turtles, snakes, catfish, barramundi, deadly poisonous arrow frogs and fearsome-looking Speartooth Sharks.
Below: Some sort of snake coiled up within the branch.
At the same area is also the amazingly vibrant Coral Atoll, a newly refurbished display that exhibits some of the most magnificent tropical animals that swim right next to you in the spectacular floor-to-ceiling display.
For the little ones, there are educational sessions with the counselors where they learn, touch & satisfy their curiosity about the animals around them. Perfect for the family-oriented day out!
About Melbourne Aquarium:
Melbourne Aquarium is a unique journey over four levels featuring displays of coral atolls, mangrove swamps, billabongs and a rock pool, which lead to a spectacular 2.2 million litre Oceanarium. Enjoy a close encounter with sharks, stingrays, sea turtles and dozens of schools of colourful fish.
Cnr. Kings Way & Queens Wharf Road
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9923 5999
Fax: (03) 9620 0222
Thanks again to Tourism Australia & Tourism Victoria for the fabulous 10 days trip!
And if you are ever in Melbourne, you must go for the Shark Walk!!
My overall Aussie trip video: 10days, over 70 places visited & 5 hotels!