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Snorkelling with sharks at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

My son, Raff, is such a fan of the underwater world he decided he wanted to spend his eighth birthday tossing three of his best friends in to a tank full of sharks at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. He’s odd like that.

Luckily, his pals were happy to join him for the aquarium’s immersive Shark Reef Snorkel.

The 90-minute underwater adventure offers guests five and over a unique opportunity to swim alongside sharks in the two million litre Great Barrier Reef exhibit! But, it’s not a scary as it sounds, as it all happens in the safety of a “tank within the tank”.

The see through snorkel tank meant the kids became the sharks’ pet goldfish in the bowl, inside their two million-litre tank, and they could view the boys as if they were the exhibits.

The boys could enjoy the sensation of snorkelling the world’s largest coral reef, in safety, without even leaving Sydney.

And they didn’t even require snorkelling experience to take part, just a swimsuit and a towel. The aquarium provided instruction, wet suits, snorkels, and access to a deliciously warm shower after the event.

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium

Before our little adventurers took to the water they were given a full briefing by the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s “super cool” Jason, who took them to look into the tank from the outside and introduce the kids to some of the gravely endangered creatures they were about to meet.

Jason had the kids riveted to his every word as he spilled all the inside info on the shark’s habitats, diets and behaviours.

Raff was especially excited to learn that though there are around 440 known breeds of shark, only four are dangerous to man. These are the Great White, Tiger Shark, Bull Shark and Oceanic White Tip Shark - None of which were in the tank he would be hopping in to. Indeed the sharks in this tank were just like cuddly underwater teddy bears … with sharp pointy teeth.

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium

Once kitted out in their wetsuits, shoes, gloves and snorkels, the motley crew of eight-year-old shark lovers submerged into the water as a group of enormous sharks - including Raff’s favourite, a gorgeous leopard shark called Brian - swam past.

For the next twenty minutes, the boys enjoyed face-to-fin encounters with five different species of shark, the critically endangered sawfish and zillions of quirky and colourful tropical fish.

And while they were sharing the same water as the sharks, the walls of their Perspex sanctuary meant there was no way any of their fishy new friends could take a nibble on Raff or his snack-sized party pals.

sydney sea life aquarium

The verdict from Raff and his adventurous crew? Epic!

Looks like we’ll have to dip them in with the Grey Nurses at Manly Sea Life's Shark Dive Xtreme next.

sydney sea life aquarium

Shark Reef Snorkel Sessions are at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm daily. Sessions are immensely popular so book online to reserve your spot.

When she’s not treading on Lego and being forced to watch Frozen on loop, Aleney de Winter is a travel, food and parenting writer. She shares tales of travelling and eating along with the hilarious antics of her globetrotting seven-year old foodie son and daredevil four-year old daughter on her blog, Boy Eats World

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