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“A piece of the past and now..”

Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium
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$27.35*
and up
Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium Entry Ticket
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s is New Zealand’s most famous aquarium! It is home to New Zealand's only sub-Antarctic penguins and offers a myriad of opportunities to get up close and personal with incredible marine life from the Pacific and Southern oceans. For a truly incredible experience, take the plunge on an Animal Adventure jump into the shark tank and go snorkeling with 14 massive sharks or jump on the ice and get up close and personal with the King and Gentoo penguins!
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went for my nephew's birthday and enjoyed it. It was nice to have fun flashbacks of the past stepping on and off the conveyor belt, as well as make new memories with our young children. The place was busy but we still saw everything as often as we liked and the staff were so accommodating. The kids each received food boxes which also had little toys of the animals. Their boxes contained mini pizza, bacon and egg mini pastries, and fruit salad. No complaints there.
The penguin joined us to sing happy birthday and hugged and teased him during it.
I'm sure there are much better aquariums around the world but this place offers enough to warrant the fee and it's a piece of Auckland's history. I think if they changed everything it wouldn't hold all the memories.

Thank dominiquem_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, Manager at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Good morning - thank you so much for coming to visit and for taking the time to leave your feedback. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your time with us, I will be sure to pass it on to the team. We completely agree that Kelly Tarlton's is a piece of Auckland history and we would not want to change anything that would make it less so. Did you know that the tunnel here now is still the same one that Kelly Tarlton made himself in 1985? I hope that we will see you and your family here again soon! Kind regards, Emma.

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Write a ReviewReviews (2,481)
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"penguin enclosure"
in 94 reviews
"moving walkway"
in 60 reviews
"shark bus"
in 53 reviews
"shark tank"
in 49 reviews
"underwater world"
in 47 reviews
"free shuttle"
in 66 reviews
"conveyor belt"
in 31 reviews
"glass tunnel"
in 29 reviews
"underwater tunnel"
in 28 reviews
"king penguins"
in 27 reviews
"quay street"
in 27 reviews
"feeding times"
in 25 reviews
"rainy day"
in 76 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 25 reviews
"school holidays"
in 25 reviews
"mission bay"
in 30 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 40 reviews
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19 - 23 of 2,481 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My first time going to Kelly Tarltons was in 2012 and it was Ok. Today I took 3 international students there and we all ended very disapointed. Tickets are 39nzd for and 30nzd for students. Some tablets with info don't work. The whole place look tired and old. Animals look sad. Very depressing! No much variaty in fish. The big water tank is horrible! I think is good for 3 to 8 years old but definetly no for teenagers and adults. After seeing other Aquariums around the world this is one of the worst I have ever been.

Thank SAP L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, Manager at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Good morning - thank you for coming to visit us and also for taking the time to leave a review. I am sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with your visit. We take immense pride in the variety of both local and international species of animals we have on display - did you know that we have more than 60 species of animals, over 2,000 animals in the tunnel alone and the largest colony of penguins in any aquarium/zoo in the Southern Hemisphere? The welfare of our animals is our number one priority with the displays being specifically designed to suit their needs. Our animals and the displays that they live in are cared for and maintained by the support we receive from our guests when entry tickets are purchased - so some of the money you spent will go towards keeping these animals happy and healthy and we thank you for that! I hope that you will visit us again - I would recommend taking in one of the many presentations/feeds that occur almost hourly throughout the day. These are great for people of all ages - especially teenagers and adults who would ;like to gain more knowledge and understanding of our animals and the work that we do here. Kind regards, Emma.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Went there today and was very dissatisfied with the whole experience.

Pre ordered tickets online and when we tried to contact them to amend our booking we discovered there isn't a phone number to get in touch only online help.
They took 48 hours to reply with help to our problem which was too long.

The whole place needs a revamp as it is tight, smelly and very dated.

There was way too many people in the building so actually seeing some of the exhibits was quite hard and I would hate to think what would happen if there was a fire or earthquake.

The carpark is very small and there really isn't a safe walkway to get through it and while we were there somebody parked stupidly over the exit and left their car there so people could get in but not out leading to chaos, even the shark bus was blocked in for a while.
While not entirely this business's fault but just demonstrated how inappropriate this place is.

It took us less than 45 minutes to get through the building and at least ten of those minutes were spent lining up to see counter staff.

Don't bother getting the $6 little ranger pack for your kids either, that was a complete fail too.


Very disappointed with this place as it has been on my to-do list for as long as could remember and was lacking in every aspect.

Thank Triple B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, Manager at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Good morning, thank you for coming to visit us and thank you as well for taking the time to leave your feedback. I can see that you visited us on a very busy long weekend and I apologise that this seems to have affected your experience with us. On rainy, long weekends we are a popular place for many people (both tourists and locals alike!) which does result in a busy car park and often a number of people enjoying the displays at any one time.

I hope that you will come again one day and please let me recommend coming either before 10.00am or after 3.00pm to avoid our busiest part of the day. You may also like to take advantage of our free shuttle service that runs from the CBD every hour so that you don't need to worry about finding a park. My final recommendation would be to take the time to listen in to one of the many presentations that occur throughout the day - these are a great way to spend some extra time here and gain a better understanding of the animals that we have as well as the work that we do.

We hope to see you again in the future - please do bring the Ranger Pack back as well so that it can be completed, there are heaps of challenges and fun facts to be learnt! Kind regards, Emma.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

One of the perfect places to visit if you have small children or baby. A small but worth seeing aquarium especially the lovely penguins.


Thank yushisushi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, Manager at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Good afternoon - thank you for coming to visit us, and also for taking the time to leave us some feedback. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your time with us, I hope that we will see you again in the future! Kind regards, Emma.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Definitely a must-see! Lovely sociable penguins steal your heart at the start very well designed and kept place, with an important conservation aspect.

Thank tinkiebellie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, Manager at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Good afternoon - thank you for your review! I am so glad that you enjoyed the penguins, I hope that you were able to see them being fed as well. It is good to know that the conservation aspect is appreciated - we believe that it is so important very everyone to be aware of ways that we can all help conserve our natural environment! We hope to see you again in the future. Kind regards, Emma.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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