Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Melbourne Aquarium

Living fossil the Nautilus.

My little sister has recently started working at the Melbourne Aquarium, so being the great big sister that I am this meant that I had an obligation to go an embarrass her as only family can. Also it was a great excuse to see their new Seahorse Pier exhibition. 

A Leafy Sea-dragon, one of the inhabitants of the Seahorse Pier exhibit. 

I hadn't been to the aquarium since it originally opened. I had not really wanted to go back, as I thought it was a little disappointing especially compared to the Sydney Aquarium. Perhaps it's because I am now quite a bit older and enjoyed the experience in a different way or because I have studied exhibition design and could appreciate the work that goes into arranging and re-arranging the relatively small space with each new exhibition. For whatever reason it was I found that I really enjoyed the experience.

I would have to say that the penguin exhibition was by far my favourite. I arrived early and had the exhibition to myself for some time, but even once families started to arrive the little kids where so thrilled with the King and Gentoo penguins that I didn't witness a single tantrum. Miracles do happen!

Gentoo Penguins.
At the time of my visit five of the King penguins were sitting on eggs, great to see. It was also very entertaining to see some of the younger penguins sitting on balls of ice, pretending they had eggs. Practicing for the real thing I guess, the penguin version of little girls pushing their dolls around in mini prams. Since my visit two of the eggs have hatched, a first (and second) in Australia. While the King penguins were magnificent it was the cheeky Gentoo's that stole the show. Their chicks had hatched earlier in the year so the adults were much more active. They chased each other underwater, performed belly slides and tried to trick the keepers into giving them more fish.
I would recommend a trip to the Melbourne Aquarium if you are visiting Melbourne or looking to kill some time in the city. There is always something different to see and if you are visiting in summer it's completely air-conditioned (anyone from Melbourne will understand the joy of this) or if you are visiting in winter it is a great way to see some of our local marine life without having to brave the freezing temperature of the bay.

My least favourite marine creature, an octopus. 
A Pipe Fish, a type of Seahorse in the Seahorse Pier Exhibit. 
The aquarium is located on the corner of Flinders Street and King Street, opposite the Crown Entertainment Complex and is open every day of the year 9.30am until 6pm. Getting there is easy, I would recommend catching the train to either Southern Cross or Flinders Street Stations and walking. You can also catch a tram; the aquarium is serviced by the free City Circle Tram and also routes 70 and 75. The free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle also stops at the aquarium. If you are driving into the city, I recommend parking at the Crown Entertainment Complex, $10 max for the whole day and $15 on the weekends if you are still there after 5pm otherwise its $10 max. Allow yourself at least 2 hours to see all the exhibitions.

If you do go make sure you check out the dive feed in the fish bowl. It’s pretty funny watching two divers being harassed by giant rays for some yummy dead fish. Also feel free to ask my sister lots of embarrassing fish related questions. Her name is Jess.
Another inhabitant of the Seahorse Pier exhibit.
Me standing in a life size replica of a Megalodon jaw. I am rather glad these guys are extinct.

For more information on the Melbourne Aquarium visit their website, or call +61 3 9923 5999

All photos in this post were taken by me on site at the Melbourne Aquarium, they are covered by copyright. Please ask before using them. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hello, Haai, Ola, Salut, Hallo, Aloha, Ciao

Hello Wanderlusters,

I started blogging late last year as a way to practice and hopefully enhance my writing skills. I doubt my grammar improved and with the exception of learning what YOLO means my vocabulary didn't expand. I did find that I really enjoyed sharing odd bits and pieces of my life with strangers. It was fun to find that there are other weirdo's just like me out there in the world.

I initially tried blogging with Wordpress but found its frustrating habit of not publishing my posts and at the same time deleting what I have spent my precious time writing, so goodbye Wordpress hello Blogger. 

I will continue to post on similar topics. I treated my last blog as a sort of diary come scrapbook in which I filled with all manner of things. This blog will be dedicated to my adventures where I will share my travels with you and any advice that I can from my own experiences. Expect to also find lots of inspiration, reviews and posts on my other love, books. 

I guess you probably want to to know a little about me, well my name is Jorja. I am 24 years old, live in Melbourne, Australia. I have a degree in Interior Architecture and am currently completing a Masters degree, yes I love school. I also love reading, procrastinating (probably the real reason why I started blogging in the first place) and long walks along the beach (truly) and exploring this amazing world of ours.