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Penguin Expedition Boat Ride

Get up close to the cutest penguin colony in Sydney.

Meet Sydney's only sub-Antarctic penguin colony

The Penguin Expedition Boat Ride is the worlds first-of-its-kind penguin encounter raft ride where you can get up close and personal to a spectacular colony of King and Gentoo Penguins. And guess what, Explorers? The Boat Ride is FREE with your general admission ticket to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium!

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Group of guests in the Penguin Expedition Boat Ride encountering a colony of Penguins

Hop Aboard!

Penguin Expedition Boat Ride is the world first-of-its-kind penguin exhibit and close encounter raft ride where you can get up close and personal to a spectacular colony of King and Gentoo Penguins at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

This immersive ride-through adventure is a continuous chain of boats, each with a capacity of 6 guests, that carries guests on a journey along a river and through the heart of our penguin colony. Watch from just metres away as they interact, slide across the ice and dive into the water!

Penguin Expedition creates an explorer out of each and every guest as they travel in a raft through a rugged sub-Antarctic environment, through flurries of snow, at a cool-but-comfortable six degrees Celsius.

See King and Gentoo Penguins swimming on our penguin expedition boat ride

Inspired by Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies in the south-west Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. It's home to many species including the King and Gentoo Penguins.

Our Penguin Expedition voyage takes you face-to-flipper in an awe-inspiring recreation of our King and Gentoo penguins’ home, including magical flurries of snow, whistling winds and the stunning southern lights.

This amazing zone aims to educate guests by highlighting the impacts of plastic pollution and habitat destruction affecting these majestic birds.

Amazing discoveries await after disembarking thanks to the researchers at the Macquarie Island Explorer Hut. Guests will find out about SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s penguin breeding program and what they can do to help conserve Macquarie Island.

Guests on the Penguin expedition passing a group of penguins on the ice

Get up close to our Penguins

On your journey through our penguin expedition zone, you will get the chance to get up close to our King and Gentoo Penguin species through a number of viewing points.

 You could say it is a close encounter of the penguin kind - the King and Gentoo kind.

Our penguins are fed several times a day including a pool feed where you will get to watch as the penguin glide through the water to catch their lunch! Did you know Gentoo penguins are the fastest species of penguin? They get up to speeds of 36 km/h in the water! 


General Admission

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2 Attraction Pass

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The Penguin Expedition Boat Ride is open... 
Weekdays - 10:30am - 3pm
Weekends - 10:30am - 4pm

Yes! Penguin Expedition is included with all SEA LIFE Sydney tickets.

To protect the health and safety of our guests, there are a few rules and height restrictions that apply for the Penguin Expedition boat ride:

  • Children under 90cm must be seated next to a responsible adult
  • Children over 90cm but under 120cm must be seated next to or in the row immediately in front of a responsible adult
  • Children over 120cm are free to ride without adult supervision

We have multiple boats at Penguin Expedition and each boat can sit up to 6 guests.

To meet our sub-Antarctic penguins, guests will be transported by boat through a cool yet comfortable six degrees Celsius. We did say that this was an immersive experience!

The approximate depth of the water is 42cm.

  • This is a boat ride experience and as such is suitable for guests who can safely board the boat unaided.
  • Any mobility devices will be left with staff during the ride.
  • Only one non-ambulant guest can be on the ride at any one time. 
  • Accompanying them guests will need a minimum of two companions over the age of 16. If travelling alone, let our friendly staff know and we can organise a staff member to ride the experience with you.
  • Guests must be able to sit upright without assistance. 

However, guests can still view our spectacular penguins from the large viewing windows surrounding the display!

For all accessibility information click here

The boat ride through the sub-Antarctic to meet our majestic birds takes approximately 2 minutes from start to finish. 

No, guests who do not wish to go on the boat ride can still view our majestic birds from the large viewing windows surrounding the display!

**PLEASE NOTE - Every effort is made to limit our penguin expedition ride closures. However, the boat ride may be closed during your visit due to unforeseen maintenance issues which will exclude the viewing area of the penguins.

The safety of both our animals and our guests are our number one priority.