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SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

23 Tamaki Drive, Ōrākei

Auckland 1071

New Zealand

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Open Times

We are currently closed!
The aquarium is closed in response to COVID-19
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium




As part of the most recent updates to the containment plan for the Covid-19 coronavirus we have been advised by the Australian Government to temporarily close SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's. The move is consistent with the closure of other venues and postponement of events in order to prevent further outbreak. The closure is effective across all Merlin attractions in Australia as of midday on 23rd March, 2020.  

If you have a school excursion booked with us and think it may be impacted by these measures, please contact a member of our Education Team at +64 9 531 5157 or email learn@kellytarltons.co.nz. They will be able to assist you in providing an alternative date or a refund where appropriate.

While Kelly Tarlton's is closed, rest assured, our staff will continue to feed, care for and provide enrichment opportunities for the animals in our care and will no doubt keep each other company until we re-open.

To help you during this period of remote learning we have just launched Merlin's Education Toolbox, an online hub for teachers and parents with a variety of FREE resources that can be used to supplement lesson plans and provide enriching activities whilst students are at home. Check it out here


We have something fun and inspirational for all ages!

In addition to our amazing aquarium experience, we work closely with schools to develop information that engages and inspires young people. Self-directed visits as well as curriculum-linked semi-guided tours and classroom sessions are available for schools, and we give daily creature presentations for groups to watch and enjoy as well.

From Turtle Rescue to our famous Shark Tunnel to ‘Amazing Creations’ where your students drawing come to life, we allow students (and teachers alike!) to dive deeper into the underwater world of the marine creatures they meet throughout their visit.

If you’re hungry for more, we offer unforgettable sleepover experiences under the SEA! These even include an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour where our expert staff will fill you in on the daily diet of sharks and the breeding habits of seahorses!

Throughout the year, we host a programme of fun educational events, like Plastic Free July and Sea Week, to raise awareness of marine conservation issues.

What you can discover at Kelly Tarlton's

With displays ranging from marine to freshwater, sub-Antarctic to tropical – we certainly have a lot to offer! Some of the zones you will be able to discover and explore include:

  • Antarctic Ice Adventure with the largest colony of penguins on display in the Southern Hemisphere, and a replica of the historic Scott’s Hut.
  • Turtle Bay featuring the current residents of New Zealand’s one and only turtle hospital!
  • Shipwreck Shores – an unforgettable play area where you really can find Nemo.
  • Shark Alley and Shipwreck Discovery showcasing thousands of native marine animals.
  • Fish Gallery hosts tropical, freshwater and temperate animals. The most diverse section of the aquarium with inhabitants all the way from Africa!
  • Seahorse Kingdom full of weird and wonderful sea horses, as well as sea dragons that cannot be seen on display anywhere else in the world.

Three ways to explore and learn!

There are three ways to explore SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's with your school group - self-directed, classroom session or semi-guided tours. You can learn more about these options on the Plan Your Excursion page.

Our programs are also tailored to suit the needs of each stage of learning and development. Find out more about each of these below.




School Aquarium Sleepovers

Join us for a magical underwater sleepover where you and your students can exclusively experience SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium after the sun goes down. Your students will LOVE seeing their favourite marine animals in a whole new light!


Ocean Youth Ambassador

Ocean Youth is a programme targeted at teenagers keen to get involved in marine conservation and nature-based learning. Not only will they gain valuable experience, but they'll also develop transferable skills and meet like-minded "oceanpreneurs". Young sea-loving leaders will have the opportunity to create and collaborate on projects that will help our oceans survive and thrive into the future.


What question would your students most like to ask our experts?

Kids have the most inquisitive minds, their questions range from the weird to the wonderful and we love them all! Why not share this video with your class and invite your students to send in their burning questions to our keepers and aquarists. We will send a personal reply and will choose the best ones to answer as part of our next video! Closes 30th April.  

Submit your student questions here!

Tell us who to address your reply to

Aquarium Volunteering

Anyone with a passion for the marine environment and a flair for customer service can join our team as a volunteer. With full training provided on-site, our volunteers ensure that each and every one of our guests has a magical and memorable experience; as well as walking away with a greater understanding on our oceans and the animal that live there.