Back to nature
The Antarctic exhibit here is a favourite with all kids. The large king and gentoo penguins waddle right up to the glass and kids crouch down, thrilled to be nose-to-beak with these endearing creatures. They laugh and point at the clumsy gait of the penguins as they clamber around on snow, then watch in awe at the effortless way the same animals glide through water. Other highlights for kids: having giant stingrays swim right overhead, and the excitement of seeing divers in the water with sharks.
Cnr King and Flinders sts, Melbourne; (03) 9923 5925
■ Keeper talks and feed times throughout the day; check the website for details. One of the favourites for kids is ‘Talk to a Diver’, when a diver answers questions inside a tank full of sharks.
King penguins have the longest breeding cycle of any bird. It takes the parent birds 14–16 months to raise a single chick. The fluffy, brown chicks look nothing like their parents. King penguins are the second largest penguins in the world (emperor penguins are the largest).
■ The layout of the aquarium is rather confusing, with exhibits spread out on several levels connected by ramps, lifts and escalators. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful staff members.
- Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne, In city