Thursday, July 12, 2007

Travelog: Gold Coast - Sea World.

Since Channy was working at Sea World for her holiday job, she scored discounted tickets for J and I. We got it at AUD$25 a piece, and to me that was an amazing deal.

It is winter in Australia at the minute, so business at theme parks is a little slow. Sea World was not as crowded compared to summer, so we were able to walk around and explore the park as idyllically as we wanted. Just the way we like it. Channy said there were about 4000 visitors that day, and in summer, it could go up to 50,000!

Imagine queueing for just a bottle of Coke with 50,000 other thirsty people. Ergh..

Anyway Sea World is a fantastic place to visit!

I have to admit, I always had the misconception that Sea World was just another giant aquarium with very little to see. Boy, was I wrong.

Granted, I did not take pictures of every attraction in the park, but I do advise you guys to go there early if you don't want to miss out on all the performances around the park.

I visited Shark Bay. There are 2 lagoons at Shark Bay, Reef Lagoon and Shark Lagoon. Reef Lagoon is the reef-themed lagoon that is home to smaller sharks and a large variety of fishies including Nemo and Dory.

[3 lagoons actually. Another 1 is a shallow one where you can pet and grab the fishies.]

We have the fugu, or pufferfish.

Never fails to remind me of Homer and his experience with fugu.

Check out this guy.

I think this is a Nervous Shark. No, I'm not naming it, that's honestly its name. If I identified it correctly.

What is this fish? Any takers?

It is a Shovelnose Ray. All that time while staring at it through the thick glass that separated it from me, I thought it was just a funky shark. Who knew ray looks like this?

Now check out this magnificent maneater.

Sea World actually has a few packages at Shark Bay that visitors can sign up for. You can touch starfish and other tiny harmless fishies that won't bite off your hand at Touch Pools. And starfish feels hard and rough to the touch! I thought they would be mushy, like Play-doh or something.

I would actually love to go scuba diving or snorkelling at the Reef Lagoon. It will be awesome to swim along schools of fish. You may be mistaken as food but that's a risk I'm willing to consider.

Another package actually puts you in a plastic cage and lets you feed the shark. All that stands between you and a very hungry shark that will tear your limb/head/body off is plastic. Wow.

-- You = Shark Bait.

Sea World has a Dolphin Nursery, and recently they just welcomed 2 baby dolphins! Mom and baby stay together in the nursery, and I wonder why they can't be with the rest of the dolphins. Are dolphins territorial and new additions threatened?

Aerial view of the Dolphin Nursery.

-- You can see the difference between the big ones and the little one!

I was standing by the Nursery, trying to spot the baby when the big one swam next to me!

-- Yes, you beautiful fearless creature.

As if it wasn't amazing enough, another of its dolphin buddies came over.

-- Mom and Dad dolphins?


[If I figure out how to upload videos, I will post one up of the dolphin. I know they look like plastic toys but they are not! ]

We went out pirate ships, rollercoasters, cable car, ferris wheel and log rides that plunge down and splash water all over you while you look ridiculous in the photos they took of you while you scream. Typical theme park rides but it was a first for J and I. We had never been to a theme park together and we had heaps of fun.

Shark Bay looks beautiful from the cable car.

-- Click on the photo to spot the fishies!

Beautiful overview of the park.

-- Front bit of Sea World.

From top to bottom:
Visitor center, lagoon where the waterski show is, seal show at the pirate ship, dolphin nursery, and the blue buildings are where the shops, restaurants and children's rides are.

The back bit of Sea World where the resort, water theme park and Dolphin Lagoon (the one with the white canopy on the right) where the dolphin show is at.

We saw polar bears, sea lions, jumping dolphins doing tricks, seals, pelicans, waterski show and lots more interesting things at Sea World. Definitely made me feel like a child again. I swore I was grabbing J around the park, map in another hand and pointing at lots of things like a very excited child.

I know this entire post feels like a Sea World sponsored promo post but it is not. I wish they have a killer whale, like Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego (or is it Orlando?). It will be very cool to see a whale up close. <-- Major hint!

[I just realised Sea World Gold Coast, and SeaWorld USA are not the same! I assumed they were affiliated, like Disneyland HK and Disneyland Anaheim.]

A fantastic place to spend the day. Sea World rocks my socks!

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