One of my favourite places to take the kids on the Sunshine Coast has to be Underwater World. The creatures of the deep have an incredible beauty and mystery to them that you just don’t see in surface dwelling animals. We’ve spent countless hours Ooohing and Ahhhhing through the glass windows of their breathtaking enclosures as they glide through the waters around us. I cannot articulate the feeling of looking a mammoth of a shark in the eye, as it harmlessly floats past. It truly is a unique and wonderful experience. The kids love it too, they adore the bright coral fish, the adorable otters, and the mischievous seals – so this weekend, I planned a little surprise.
Not only were we going to Underwater World, the kids were getting to be Seal Trainers for a day. One of the packages the park offers is their ‘Seal Trainer for a Day!‘ experience, which is a four hour event during which the kids were given a behind the scenes tour were able to personally feed the seals, and after a quick bite for lunch themselves, were afforded the opportunity to swim with the seals in the enclosure under the supervision of staff. At the end of the day we met back up and I was assaulted with their joy and enthusiasm. They told me about everything; from how slimy the fish were, to how the cheeky seals were, even sneaking up behind a trainer to steal a few extra fish while she wasn’t looking. I remember so clearly watching them interacting with the seals during the swim. The utter bliss on my children’s faces as they swam, dived and played with the seals made me swell with fatherly satisfaction. I knew I’d won ‘best dad ever!’ award, at least for a while anyway.
The Trainer package was a little pricey, but considering the results I can’t complain, it really was worth the hit to the wallet – it was an experience my kids will never forget. Alternatively the park offers two other experience packages; the cheapest of which being the ‘Seal Encounter‘ for $60. A ticket for this gets you a chance to meet the seals up close, pat their soaking wet fur and shake hands with these incredibly, and beautifully intelligent, charming creatures. For $90 you can swim with the seals following their show – a fantastic experience for any lover of animals. The ‘Seal Trainer for a Day!’ package does seem pretty pricey, at $250 – but as I said, a more than worthy price for the memories my children and I were able to create. For more information on the Seal Experiences offered at Under Water World: Sea Life Mooloolaba, visit the Seal Experience page.