Richard & Stacy's Round the World Trip 2001

Up
The Sydney Aquarium
The Vampire
The Onslow
The Maritime Museum

The lead-in exhibit for the Sydney Aquarium is the platypus exhibit. 

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Attempt #1 to capture a platypus swimming by. Its in constant motion.   Attempt #2. The platypus is swimming away from the camera, bill down, sweeping back and forth.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A shot of the shrimp in the platypus tank, its main food.    Although tough to see, near the middle of this picture is a large turtle, head sticking out of the water, holding perfectly still.

Next we walked through a series of small exhibit tanks. 

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A huge salt-water eel. Eewww!   The barramundi - this one is about three feet long.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Smack in the middle of this picture is a mudskipper, a fish able to breath air for extended periods.   In the back corner of the same exhibit was a hermit crab.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Who said "small exhibit tanks"? This is a six foot long salt-water alligator, better known as a "saltie".   The above-water view of the same crocodile. He was holding perfectly still... looking directly at the keeper's door into the pen.
Click to see a larger version...   A tree frog, partly hidden behind a large leaf. He was perfectly still, almost seemed plastic. There were a number of other frogs in the tank, but this one was the only one easily visible by the camera.

Past the series of tanks was a larger, outdoor tank for the Australian fur seal lions.

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
In the front tank was a floating rock, with two fur seal lions snoozing in the sun.   In the back tank, one seal lion sat up and studied the people studying him...
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Then a second one showed up, with great noisy self-generated fan fare. You can see the tail of the other seal lion on the left.   Hey! Who's that in the tank? Its a Pacific Coast Harbour Seal, a long long way from home. Nope, no explanation for why its here, other than its not supposed to be.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Then a third pops up and argues with the second about who had the best entrance.   The original seal lion chases the other two off the platform, then with a look back, jumps into the water as well.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A fourth sea lion was swimming at high speed around and around the tank, every so often leaping from the water from this spot. This is an attempt to photograph the leap - before...   ...and after. You can see the tail still poking out of the water. Digital cameras (and their operators), just aren't fast enough to keep up with acrobatic sea lions.
Click to see a larger version...   A short while later, one of the three that were previously on the platform returns, and does some serious scratching.

There was an underwater portion of the sea lion display, but the seal lions wouldn't hold still long enough to get a decent photo... 

Back in the indoor part of the aquarium, we visited more tank displays of exotic Australian sea life.

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
This sea horse swam around the tank at a good clip - for a seahorse. Its about three inches long.   In another tank nearby was a HUGE crab - about three feet across.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Two rocks over in the same tank, another huge crab. Wouldn't want to run into those claws.   This is a large indoor penguin exhibit, with a glass ceiling to let in the light. The pool is kept very cold.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Just as this picture was taken, the penguin turned in the water and scratched.   This penguin swam past the glass repeatedly, eyeing the children.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A tank filled with jelly fish and lit with blue light to make them shine.   Its hard to see, but this is another kind of seahorse, an odd orange colour.

The next display had us walking down long ramps that spiraled below sea level and then through tunnels in a massive tank filled with ocean life.

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A heavily touched-up photo of a sea turtle, sitting quietly in the corner of this otherwise very busy ocean tank.   A bright orange moray eel pops out and menaces a passing fish.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
SHARK! The tank was full of a variety of nasty looking sharks.   On the left!
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
On the right (no, not the same picture flipped)!   Right over our heads in the tunnel.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Another one travels over our heads.   A great look at the mouth of this leopard shark - row on row of teeth.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Right out of Little Mermaid - a head on view of a large leopard shark.   A peek over the lip of the tunnel shows a little nurse shark, able to sit perfectly still on the bottom.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Also in the tank was this HUGE ray, you can get an idea how big it is by the size of the person in the bottom right. It was at least ten foot tip-to-tip.   Another shot of the giant ray.
Click to see a larger version...   This is a different ray, smaller, banking away from the tunnel. You can see behind the ray another tunnel going through the tank.

Back out of the deep tank, we entered a Great Barrier Reef display, which focused on the many corals of the reef.

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Here's a set of corals and a sea cucumber in the foreground.   A huge anemone, with a few fish in it.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Its tricky to make out, but there's a school of butterfly fish popping their snouts out of the water here...   Here's a view of the same fish from under the water. Weird, innit?
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A gigantic anemone, covered with fish... at least four foot across.   This fish is bright fuchsia. Isn't fuchsia an artificial colour that doesn't occur in nature?

One more big tank, this one wasn't so deep and had a different array of sea life living in it.

Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A gigantic parrot fish comes right up to the glass - at least four foot long.   An equally huge shark ray swims by, eye tracking people as it goes by.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Right under our feet was more glass and more strange creatures - this is a different species of shark ray, laying on the bottom.   Another huge fish - this time a grouper.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
A look at the sheer size of this tank, it goes back a long, long way.   Another school of angel fish, these swimming together in erratic patterns under water.
Click to see a larger version...   Click to see a larger version...
Near the exit of the aquarium is this huge window, able to view the whole length of the big tank.   How huge is huge? All these people are sitting in front of the tank, watching the creatures inside.

Like all well designed tourist traps, the exit to the aquarium forced us through the gift shop (we resisted) and the coffee shop (we bought a drink, is that giving in?), then outside.

Back to the main page...