Located in the beachside suburb of Manly on Sydney’s northern shores, the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is a much-loved aquarium, dedicated to the conservation of marine species. It first opened its doors in 1965 as Marineland and has undergone numerous name changes and revamps since, eventually being launched as Manly Sea Life Sanctuary in 2012.

The aquarium is divided into three sections - Penguin Cove, Shark Harbour and Underwater Sydney - with everything from octopuses to lion fish, seahorses and baby sharks on display. Penguin Cove is home to a colony of Manly’s famous little penguins and is the aquarium’s newest attraction, while Underwater Sydney features many of the species found in the surrounding waters.

Shark Harbour boasts a four million liter aquarium where a variety of sharks, stingrays, turtles and tropical fish are displayed. It’s also here that guests can participate in an exhilarating Shark Dive Xtreme experience and swim with massive gray nurse sharks.

If you’re traveling with young ones, then be sure to visit the Shipwreck Shores zone where they can learn about marine conservation through fun activities and play equipment. It features a kid-friendly splash area and an imagination zone where young guests can take on the role of a captain, marine biologist or an aquatic animal, as well as a sea cave filled with colorful corals to crawl through.

Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is dedicated to breeding local marine species, particularly those which are endangered, as well as rescuing threatened individuals. They nurse many species back to health each year with the aim of eventually releasing them into the wild.