When I grow up, I want to be a penguin handler

by ~Tina · 26 comments


Ok so some people might think that I am a cheap skate but I try to plan our family outings (if it involves heading into the City by train) on a Sunday so we can take advantage of the Sunday Family Fun Day. With a $2.50 ticket that covers the whole day of trains, ferries and (I think) some buses, you can’t go wrong.

manly sealife sanctuary

On a recent Sunday, we were up early to catch a train and the Manly ferry across Sydney Harbour so we could visit Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. It was the last place on our list of attractions looked after by Merlin Entertainments Group. We had already visited Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, WildLife Sydney, Madam Tussauds and Sydney Tower Eye.

manly sea life sanctuary

I think I might have mentioned a time or two that if the water is choppy, I don’t handle it very well and get a bit nervous. We were lucky to get a good day and the ferry ride was uneventful. So, I’m a chicken. Don’t judge me.

manly sea life sanctuary

Armed with a map, I wanted to head straight up to Penguin Cove, but I figured we’d better check out everything.

manly sea life sanctaury

manly sea life sanctuary

Heading downstairs, we joined the tunnel tour. I don’t know about you but I love listening to the talks. As do my kids. While the other kids in the tour group rush through the tunnel, my kids stand and listen to what the tour guide has to say about the sea life that live there.

manly sea life sanctuary

That turtle was friggin’ huge! And because the glass apparently makes the animals looks smaller than they actually are, that turtle and the sharks in there are pretty impressive.

manly sea life sanctuary

Can you imagine coming across a shark with a jaw that size? I can’t because there is no way you will find me in open water. Ever.

Unless it is on a cruise ship. But that is another blog post.

After browsing the aquariums and touching shark eggs and sea anemone, we finally headed up to the Penguin Cove.

manly sea life sanctuary

I could have sat there and watched them for ages. And who knew that these little fairy penguins are the noisiest breed of penguin?!

manly sea life sanctuary

We sat and listened to the penguin talk.

Have you ever been on a tour and the tour guide just droned on and on boringly? That didn’t happen here. The two young women that lead the talks we listened to were both very friendly and informative. And spoke in a way that was enjoyable for adults and kids.

Did you know that there currently is a little penguin family living under Manly Wharf? And that there is a group of lovely people who volunteer their time daily to make sure that these penguins are safe? How cool is that?!

manly sea life sanctuary

This little guy in the photo below was SO funny! He stood there, considering whether he was going to jump in or not, then would walk off the rock, only to come back again and tease the audience. We didn’t see him jump in. He walked off the rock and ended up sliding into the water from the beach side. Heh.

manly sea life sanctuary

I think I would love to be a penguin handler when I grow up.  How cool would it be looking after these gorgeous little beings?

Oh, and if this photo isn’t proof that I actually enjoyed the ferry ride back to Circular Quay, then nothing does ;)

manly sea life sanctuary

A huge thank you to Merlin Entertainments Group for inviting us as guests to Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. We had a great time! x

Tell me, have you been to Manly Sea Life Sanctuary? Do you think penguins are as awesome as I think they are? What’s YOUR favourite sea animal?

1 Rhianna October 23, 2012 at 7:35 am

I love penguins as well, they are just so so cute. Glad to hear you had a lovely day out.

Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

2 ~Tina October 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

They are, aren’t they? I love that my kids love visiting places like these as much as I do :)

3 Mel @ Subversive Reader October 23, 2012 at 7:52 am

Penguins! I adore penguins and try to see them whenever I can. I have a deal with myself that I can buy a stuffed penguin every time I see real ones – and my collection is definitely growing!
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4 ~Tina October 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I love the deal you have with yourself! I have quite a few little penguin things around here too :)

5 Ai Sakura October 23, 2012 at 9:03 am

The penguins are so cute! We haven’t been to Manly Sea Life Santuary but we are gonna bring our little girl to our local UnderWater World. She’s very into sea creatures and mermaids now! :)
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6 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I love seeing the kids’ reactions when they see the sea creatures for the first time :)

7 Becc October 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

What a lovely day you had!
I love the penguins and their cute little waddle. I too can watch them for hours.
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8 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm

For me it’s penguins at the aquariums and chimps at the zoo :) I could stand there and watch both for ages.

9 Josefa October 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

looks like a gorgeous family day out!
we have a whole little island dedicated to penguins down in Melbourne – will be spending some of summer down there
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10 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Is that Philip Island? I would LOVE to visit it!

11 Alicia October 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

You wouldn’t catch me in the open water either! I’ve been to Manly when the water was choppy, kinda freaked me out too. Penguins are so cute, real characters too by the sounds.
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12 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm

My family thinks it’s hilarious. Everyone else on the ferry is all calm and here is me hanging on to the seat.

13 Kirsty @ My Home Truths October 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I think the $2.50 ticket on a Sunday is gold – it’s great value, particularly for those of us outside Sydney. I will definitely have to take the kids to the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary – it looks awesome and it provides a great excuse to have a ferry ride too!
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14 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

You could totally make a day of it over in Manly. I didn’t realise that the water slides are still open too. Would be great to come across during Summer.

15 iSophie October 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

My mother in law’s favourite thing in the world are penguins! Easy to get her presents, just anything with a penguin on it.

Maybe that last photo you are actually using your toes to cling on for dear life? hehehe

16 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Haha! My kids think the same. If they’re buying something for me, they know they’re safe with something penguin :) And nope, definitely relaxed. My last photos had me with my hand over my mouth and looking a bit green!

17 Catherine Rodie Blagg (Cup of Tea and a Blog) October 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm

We’ve never been to the sea life centre, it looks wonderful!
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18 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

We love it. It was a nice day out :)

19 carmen October 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Ahhh my love is the otters! Soooooo cute and full on! Bit like Master five really. I already have experience! Woohoo!
Definitely looks like you all had fun! We only have Australia Zoo here. :P
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20 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Aww, otters are too cute as well! I’d love to visit Australia Zoo. On the bucket list.

21 jess@diaryofasahm October 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I wish I could take my kids to some place like this. I know that they would just love it so very much!
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22 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Stick it on your bucket list, chick. It’s a great day out – any aquarium.

23 Martine@themodernparent October 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

They are very cute but I probably have seen more animated ones thanks to Happy Feet than I have the real ones. Oh and at Phillip Island in Victoria, but that was a while ago now so maybe time to check them out again!
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24 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Happy Feet is one of our all time favourite movies. And I NEED to visit Philip Island!

25 Melissa October 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm

How cute! I’ve not been to the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary but it looks great. And I’m with you on the Open Water thing. If I can’t see the bottom, then I’m not doing it.
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26 ~Tina October 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I kinda feel silly because going out there on that day, there were smaller boats on the water and here’s me freaking out on a big ferry.

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