Richard & Stacy's Round the World Trip 2001

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Obviously set up for many more people than were there the day we visited, there was lots of room to wander back and forth and explore the remarkable array of things Kelly Tarlten had gathered together over his remarkable life. These included a number of artifacts from the Antarctic, which is of keen interest and involvement to New Zealand, one of the farthest southern countries in the world.

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Near the entrance to the exhibits are a couple of examples of the vehicles used in the Antarctic - at the front is a kind skidoo, behind is a snowcat.    A mock up of the kitchen in Robert Scott's south pole hut from 1910.

There is a remarkable collection of penguins at Kelly Tarltens, apparently they have one of the most successful breeding programs in the world for penguins. A mock-up of a snowcat transported us on a track around the penguin facility.

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The emperor penguins hanging out on the ice. In the top left hand corner is a temperature gauge - its -1 degrees Celsius in there.   Close up of penguins swimming by the tank, checking us out as we ride a snowcat-type ride past the penguin tanks.
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An interesting shot, notice the wave of bubbles showing the stroke of the wing of the penguin - they literally fly through the water.   A staffer feeds a emperor penguin by hand, must be darn chilly in there...
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An adolescent penguin takes a look at us as we roll by.   A bit further on were a number of young penguins in downy dark coats.

After the penguin facility was the aquarium - a number of normal tanks with various exotic sea life forms and also a pair of massive tanks: the heart of the facility. Originally built as a sewage treatment facility, Tarlten bought the facility after it had been closed down for years, cleaned it out and used the facility to create these massive tanks. Plexiglas tunnels allow you to walk through the tanks and see the amazing array of sea life there.

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Big clawless lobsters move and hide around a large open tank near the beginning of the aquarium.   An amazing collection of sea horses in their own tank offered some excellent photo opportunities.
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Here one of the smallest in the tank swim by, moving pretty fast - somehow we managed to blur the background and keep the seahorse in focus.   Another seahorse comes close for a look.
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A very pregnant male seahorse - in the seahorse world, the male carries the babies, the female places the eggs into a pouch in the male for fertilization.   In another large tank, a massive fresh water eel sniffs around a tortoise.
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A collection of shark jaws in a display case near the walk through tanks.   A small sting ray hangs out near the edge of the tanks, checking out the tourists as they walk by.
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This is a MASSIVE lobster, probably ten pounds worth. Dinner, anyone?   A moray eel peers out through a crack.
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A large sting ray swims by overhead of the tunnel.   A small sea turtle swims among the fish.
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The same sting ray swims by at eye level, you can see one of the metal frames that support the tunnel.   A view through a large window at the end of one of the tanks - you can see the columns that support the tank and a bit of the Plexiglas tunnel that passes through it.
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In the second tank, a sand shark swims past - this one has a banged up nose.   A seven-gill shark checks us out.
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A huge sting ray swims by - easily eight foot across the wings.   Not sure what this was, but it sure was big, and ugly... it didn't move a bit, just breathed water and was ominous looking.

After the aquarium, there were a number of displays of Antarctica, and of course the obligatory gift shop. It was an impressive collection, especially considering it was privately owned, rather than a public facility.

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