A Trip to Manly Sea Life Sanctuary

This review was going to be about Sydney’s Powerhouse museum but an epic toddler tantrum meant that I opted for the supposedly easy option of Manly aquarium or Sea Life Sanctuary to call it by the proper name. I have a Merlin pass so entry is free as both my kids are under 4. The aquarium has relatively recently been rebranded and more emphasis is placed on rescue, rehabilation and protection.

I say easy, but what is easy with two kids aged one and three. The beach is a bit of a no go on my own, we only do fenced playgrounds and staying at home is like refereeing a WWF wrestling match combined with UN style peace keeping when the baby takes the toddlers toys. My husband always questions why I am  not more adventurous with the kids: Why don’t you go into Sydney more often. The answer is because my kids play up for me and I have the fear.

However, I love the aquarium. We can kill 10 mins in the first room looking at the fish tanks trying to spot Dory, Nemo and Marlin. We love the new jellyfish tank and the turtles. The splash/touch pool is at least 15 mins. Running around the circular tanks, 3 minutes in the party room colouring, climbing up and down the steps at least 5, penguins probably 30 seconds but jumping on the coloured fish and playing sharks in that upstairs room probably 12 minutes and then easily 20 minutes in the shop. It is normally me that calls time in the shop activity after about 10minutes Jasper has taken all the magents of the wall, Gaby has destroyed the display of little fishes and there is no cuddley toy left on it’s original hook but all in all a mornings activity.

The staff are also brilliant because on my return I had a missed call and a message:  Mrs Broomfield, We have one small grey converse shoe but we are still looking for the pink Crocs!

Thank you. I will pick it up on our next trip.



The Manly Sea Life Sanctuary has a mums and bubs offer. If you take your toddler down between 10am and 11am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings you get  discounted entry and discounted coffee. There are also some kid-friendly activities: story time, learn about the animals in the touchpool, have some face-painting, or dance along to some music!

When: Tuesday and Thursdays during Term Time

Time: 10-11am

Cost: $14 for entry for mum and bub (under 4 years)