After months of procrastination, this afternoon Jo and I finally decided to go and visit the Melbourne Aquarium. $22 per head to get in the door came as a nasty shock, I’m glad we made use of the discount voucher and got in for half prices — I hate to think how much it would cost to bring a family and kids here!

As it was, there was a deafeningly loud squealing throughout the entire place as a large group of small children ran riot at a birthday party. If there was that level of noise in a factory, the Unions would make hearing protection mandatory! We just had to put our fingers in our ears, grimace, and bear it.

I’m trying hard to remember far enough back to compare it to the aquarium in at the 1998 World Expo — from memory, the tanks there were larger. The layout and displays all looked much neater here, but that could just be the intervening 5 years and improvements that museums everywhere have put in place.

I was grateful to see that there wasn’t the incessant hammering and tapping on the glass by all the visitors — conversely, there didn’t seem to be any signs asking them not to! The curved walkways through the main tank are very impressive, as is the 20cm thick chunk of plexiglass showing the thickness of the main tank walls. Being separated by less than 10cm as a huge stingray slides overhead is quite an unusual experience.

There are little tanks with lots of colourful fish, reef tanks with reef fish and sea snakes — and some very ugly looking stonefish. Small tanks of jellyfish, including some fascinating ones that wind their tentacles in to nothing, or extend them out until they’re about 60cm long! None of them were very easy to photograph, the dark rooms, backlighting in the tanks and the movement of the beasties were all more than this photographer and his equipment could cope with. It didn’t stop me from trying though.