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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're Open 7 Days!
Open daily 9.30am - 5pm (Last entry 4pm)

06 Nov 2012 09:36:20

Honour for Aquarium Founder

Kelly Tarlton HEADER


The visionary marine conservationist Kelly Tarlton is to be inducted in the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame this week.

Mr Tarlton died soon after his waterfront aquarium opened in Auckland in 1985, but he's been recognised for his work promoting awareness and conservation of the underwater world.

Mr Tarlton crammed a lot into his47 years - not just diving, but archaeology, conservation and the building of an aquarium out of unused sewage tanks.

Mr Tarlton died seven weeks after his beloved aquarium's opening, after putting in 18-hour days to realise his vision.

Kelly Tarlton INLINEBut 27 years later he still inspires his daughters and grandson Tane - a young ambassador for the aquarium.

"I'm really, really proud of him and I love the aquarium," says his grandson. "I think it's amazing."

Now Mr Tarlton's widow will be in the Caymans when he's inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of fame there this week.

The Hall of Fame's citation says Mr Tarlton's concept has been emulated internationally and his innovative techniques such as curving the acrylic tunnels are still used today more than a quarter of a century on.

In fact, the tunnels exemplified number eight wire ingenuity. They went to a soap factory in South Auckland, used the old ovens there and bent the acrylic themselves, because the Japanese said it was going to cost $2 million.

In the end, Kelly Tarlton's was built for $2 million total, but Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium remains one of our top tourist attractions.

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FLEXIBLE ADMISSION TICKET

No need to book a date or time

ONLINE ONLY

$39

Per adult (Child $27)
  • Flexible entry - arrive anytime in the next 12 months
  • Skip the queues with express mobile ticket entry
  • Free admission under age 3

BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR

Fishy fun for the whole family

$53

Full Price

$46

Adult From (Child $29)
  • Learn what happens behind the scenes on a unique tour
  • Enjoy a rarely seen view of the aquarium exhibits
  • All day aquarium admission included