Sydney's Underwater Classroom
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Education programs are available Monday, Thursday and Friday during the NSW school term. Our opening hours are from 10am to 4pm.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium school excursions provide place-based and curriculum aligned learning.
Centrally located in the centre of Sydney’s Darling Harbour precinct, the aquarium is easy to get to either via public transport or bus, with short term parking available.
Before your visit
- Enjoy a complimentary visit in order to plan your excursion and complete a risk assessment. Please request your pre-excursion visit via our teacher pre-visit booking form. One visit per year is permitted.
- Book your excursion as early as possible to ensure your first choice date is still available. Please note, your booking is not confirmed until you have been contacted by a booking agent. As some periods are busier than others, please make sure you have a few date options in mind when booking.
- Bookings are essential and should be made at least two weeks in advance.
- Payment is made in advance by school cheque or credit card. Students cannot pay individually and we are unable to accept payment on the day.
Some useful documents to download before your visit:
COVID-19: Information for Schools
We are excited to be able to welcome school groups back to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium! We are continuing to follow all government recommendations closely to ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests and will make any necessary adjustments as changes are announced. Please watch our COVID safety video or review our current health and safety policies for more information.
Teacher resources for the classroom
We have a range of classroom resources available, both on this website and via Merlin's Education Toolbox, which provides a range of educational worksheets, inspirational video and craft activities across all Merlin's ANZ attractions. See the links below to explore the selection.
- Curriculum-based excursion resources (primary and secondary)
- Additional resources that can be used independently of an excursion
- Merlin's Education Toolbox
On the Day
- Bus - A bus drop off area is available behind the Aquarium on Wheat Road and bus parking is available nearby at the King Street Wharf coach layover. Privately owned school buses are not permitted to use the layover area as this is not property owned by SEA LIFE Sydney.
- Train - If you are travelling with your students by train, the closest train stations are either Town Hall or Wynyard, both a short 10 minute walk to the aquarium.
- Car - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers all guests cheap parking deals close to Darling Harbour. Just remember to validate your parking ticket at the front desk before you leave.
Arrival and entry
- Please make sure you arrive in time to enter the aquarium in the time slot you have booked. This is especially important during times when capacity in the attraction might be reduced due to government recommendation. A late arrival risks entry not being possible during busy times when capacity is capped.
- Bathrooms are available in the foyer of the aquarium for your group to use before you start your tour. Please note toilets are not readily accessible throughout your tour through the aquarium so it is recommended that this is the first stop off for your school.
- If you have booked online and have tickets already issued to you, please go directly to the aquarium entrance where your ticket can be scanned, either via a printed copy or on a digital device. If you do not hold ticket already but you have pre-booked, the teacher can approach the admissions desk to collect. Students do not need to line up if you have pre-booked and would likely be more comfortable waiting off to the side with other adult helpers while the allocated teacher completes the admissions process.
Recess and lunch
- There are a number of public areas located within Darling Harbour around the attraction that are suitable for large groups to sit down and have lunch. For health and safety regulations food should not be consumed in the aquarium.
Bookings & Enquiries
Contact our education booking team to make a school excursion booking.
You can also request a booking using our online excursion booking form.
There are currently two options teachers can choose to use when coming to an excursion to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. The options are: self-guided tour using our suggested worksheets or your own worksheets to guide the students around the aquarium. The other is the SEA LIFE OCEAN Guided Tours - this is a 60 minute interactive tour with your own education officer. This class is an additional cost to your entry ticket.
On average a self-guided school excursion takes around 1.5 hours to see all areas in the attraction. This time can vary depending on how you plan your visit, which marine talks you want to see and if your students are completing worksheets.
We highly recommend when possible to break your large group into smaller groups of 10 with a leader and another teacher to help look after the group. This allows for spreading out your school so that not all the students are trying to see the same exhibit at the same time.
If you have divided your students into smaller groups there are several areas in the aquarium where we suggest you can all meet up as a whole group again. These spots are also good places to have morning tea and lunch breaks with your students. Dugong Island deck and Reef Theatre are great areas to regroup, take a break and mark the roll.
Our SEA LIFE OCEAN Program Guided Tours are conducted throughout the aquarium at different exhibits. On arrival at the aquarium your education officer will meet you at the admissions desk and take your first group into the aquarium.
Yes, due to limited space in the SEA LIFE aquarium we have a maximum class size of 30 - 40 students depending on their age.
The guided tours for schools run for approx. 60min in total. The session times that you can book for these classes are at 10am each day, Monday to Friday during school term.
Buses can drop off and pick up students from the bus bays behind the aquarium on Wheat Road, Darling Harbour. For all day parking buses can park for free at the King Street Wharf Coach layover parking which is found off Lime Street if they are a tourist bus. Private school buses will need to find parking in other locations. Please note that buses cannot pick up and drop off from this location.
Yes, we encourage teachers to visit to help plan and prepare your risk assessment and become familiar with the aquarium layout. This provides you with the opportunity to view the attraction and get familiar with the different exhibits, places to eat and what to see before you bring your students. Please go to our pre-visit ticket page for more information or to request your complimentary visit.
We now have a facebook page just for teachers, where we share videos, images and fun educational facts that you can use in your classroom. Discover behind the scenes footage, find out what a day in the life of an aquarist is like and keep up to date on all the news from SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and other Merlin attractions across ANZ. Check it out here!