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Turtle Bay & Turtle Rescue

Did you know that we are New Zealand’s one and only turtle hospital? Discover our work with rescued sea turtles!
A Child Watches One Of The Turtles In Turtle Rescue

Turtle Bay

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's is New Zealand's only turtle hospital. Working in conjunction with the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM), it is our aim to rescue and release as many sea turtles as we can!

Sea turtles are ancient creatures – the earliest fossil record dates back to 2.5million years ago! This means that they were here before the dinosaurs, survived mass extinction events and were present for the evolution of birds.

Today, all seven species of marine turtles are either endangered or critically endangered. This means that it is absolutely crucial to the survival of the species that we protect and help them any way that we can.

Turtle Rescue Zone

Our turtle species

Of the seven marine turtle species, 5 are found in New Zealand waters they are either endangered or critically endangered. Experiences like Turtle Rescue help educate the broader public on how their behavior in and around the water can impact local marine life.

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Turtle Rescue

Did you know that Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's is the only place in New Zealand that works with rescued turtles? For over 20 years we have been making sure that the sick turtles that wash up on beaches all around New Zealand return back to the wild fully fit! Now, you get to experience how we work with these amazing creatures in our all new-new interactive zone, Turtle Rescue.

Sea Life Trust

Turtle Release

We specifically release turtles during the summer months because of their preference for warmer waters. They are taken further North and released into an off-shoot of the East Australian Current (EAC). This current carries warm water from the tropical regions and gives our turtles the best chance of survival. As sad as it is to say goodbye, every turtle we release is a chance for the future of the entire population!

Turtle Talk

Turtle Talk

Turtle Talks are available throughout the day at Turtle Bay. Make your aquarium experience even better, join our expert team for a feed or talk.

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