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30 Fun Facts about SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast

  • Friday 7th June 2019

SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast (formerly Underwater World) is turning 30! For three decades, it’s been a favourite with local families, and those making the easy day trip from Brisbane. Here are 30 fun facts to start the SEA-lebrations!


  1. Give a ‘big wave’ to our oldest resident, ‘Tsunami,’ the brown Coachwhip Ray. He’s been here since Underwater World opened in 1989!
  2. Here’s a turtle-y awesome fact – we’ve rehabilitated over 1,000 turtles.
  3. Over 30 years, we’ve fed our animals approximately 750 tonnes of food.
  4. In 1991, we opened ‘Seal Stadium,’ so audiences could see our seals up close.
  5. In 1995, Jackie Chan filmed ‘Police Story 4: First Strike,’ at the Aquarium, but luckily the release of the killer shark was only special effects!
  6. 1992 saw the commencement of our legendary ‘Sleep Under the Sea’ adventures!
  7. In 1997 we welcomed ‘Teiko,’ the first endangered Sea Lion born at Underwater World.
  8. 1997 was also the year we became the first Aquarium in the world to successfully breed Grey Nurse Sharks. With a little intensive care, we hope to breed more Grey Nurses this year.
  9. The epic ‘Monsters of the Deep’ exhibit in 2006 featured a giant squid, preserved in ice, with an eye as big as a human head!
  10. In 2008, our seals ‘took the future into their flippers,’ kidnapping 6 people; all part of the show!
  11. 2008 was the year we auditioned hundreds of kids for a chance to be the voice of a seal on ‘Seal Island.’
  12. In 2012, our Ocean Tunnel opened, allowing visitors to stroll along the ocean floor.
  13. 2013 saw Underwater World relaunched as SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium
  14. With our new name came 11 new discovery zones, including ‘Jellyfish Kingdom’ and ‘Seahorse Sanctuary.’
  15. In 2013, we initiated the SEA LIFE Trust charity, to support local environmental projects.
  16. Our regular beach clean-ups began in 2014; removing tonnes of rubbish from our beautiful Sunshine Coast beaches.
  17. Watch out for the ‘Acid Frogs!’ In 2015, we helped preserve their natural habitat, adding a mural to illustrate what these gorgeous green creatures look like.
  18. SEA LIFE Trust Charity has been involved in many exciting conservation projects, such as the ‘Loggerhead Turtle Hatchling Study,’ using satellite trackers.
  19. In 2014, we launched ‘Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity,’ gifting 5,000 passes each year to seriously ill, disadvantaged and disabled local kids.
  20. In 2015, we went digital, with the launch of ‘Octonauts!’ Kids went crazy for the 3D animations, led by swashbuckling ‘Captain Barnacles.’
  21. In 2015, ‘Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity’ gave a helping hand to the ‘Sunny Kids’ charity.
  22. In 2016, SEA LIFE partnered with Disney for the release of ‘Finding Dory,’ with an exhibit that helped ‘tell the story of the sea.’
  23. Our ‘Ocean Youth Program’ launched in 2017, with monthly workshops to encourage future marine biologists.
  24. Local teens, Jye and Maggie, became our ‘National Sea Turtle Champions’ in 2017!
  25. Congrats again to Jye and Maggie, our 2018 ‘International Sea Turtle Champions!’
  26. 2018 also marks the release of our 1,000th rehabilitated sea turtle!
  27. Jawsome Sharks are back, with the introduction of three new Grey Nurse Sharks from Manly aquarium.
  28. In 2019, The Wharf in Mooloolaba relaunches after a $10 million revamp.
  29. In 2019, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast celebrates 30 incredible years!
  30. What’s next? Watch this space for details of our exciting new animal exhibit, opening at the end of 2019...