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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 re-opening Monday 31 August!
Regular days of operation: Thursday - Monday Bookings are essential - purchase your tickets online 24 hours in advance with a discount of 20%!
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

Meet the Keeper

Junior Penguin Keeper

13 Sep 2020 20:06:27

Meet Shannon

Q: How did you landed this dream job?

A: It took a lot of patience and hard work to become a penguin keeper. I am super passionate about marine life and working at Kelly Tarlton's was a dream job so I applied for every single opening I could find here. I actually applied around 12 times for many different jobs at Kelly Tarlton's before I got an interview and was employed as a Guest Experience Host. From this role I gained valuable animal husbandry experience and with my background studying Marine Biology at University, I landed a role as a penguin keeper.

Q: What is your favourite part of the job?

A: My favourite part about being a penguin keeper is definitely being able to observe the penguins behaviour as they are such fascinating animals. I love watching how their behaviour changes at different times of the year and how they interact with each other. They are super funny animals and always bring a smile to my face.

Q: Does being a penguin keeper put you off having fish?

A: For me, not at all. Recreational fishing is something I love to do with my family and we make the best homemade fish and chips!

Q: Who is the cheekiest penguin?

A: One of the cheekiest penguins is DJ who loves to bite anything he can reach. He is also super sneaky and tries to steal the microphone when we are presenting penguin talks!

Q: What is your favourite time of year as a penguin keeper?

A: I look forward to the King penguins catastrophic moult, especially when we have chicks who will be getting their adult feathers. The King penguin chicks look like 2 birds morphed into one as they shed their baby feathers and their adult feathers come through. The Kings also look super scruffy and sometimes they miss spots when preening themselves, like the top of their head which gives them a mohawk.


  • Enjoy unlimited entry for a full 12 months!
  • Discounts on experiences, food & beverages, and much more!
  • Skip the queues with express Annual Pass attraction entry


Full Price


Adult From (Child from $23.20)
  • Book online a day in advance to save 20%
  • Express entry with mobile ticket entry
  • Price includes a Digi Photo Pass giving you 10 digital photos – valued at $26!