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Sydney, Time's Running Out To Visit This Iconic Tourist Spot

It'll be a sad day on January 28 when Sydney loses one of it's original tourist attractions. 

After 54 years, the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary will close its doors for the final time.

Originally named Marineland, the aquarium opened in 1963 and was the first of its kind in Sydney and just the seventh in the world.

Since then it has operated under the names Oceanworld, Underwater World and Manly Oceanarium, before adopting the title Manly Sea Life Sanctuary in mid-2012 under new owners Merlin Entertainments Group.

Having operated under various names, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of families since it opened. But a

Boasting a 55ft circular tank holding four million litres of water and featuring air-conditioned viewing galleries, the aquarium attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.

By the late 80s, $12 million was spent refurbishing the interior and revealing what was then the longest underwater tunnel in the world.

However in March 2017 the company announced the aquarium was no longer feasible to maintain due to the maintenance required to keep the site up and running.


Owned by the Roads and Maritime Service, the location is a prime piece of real estate and speculation is rife as to what will happen to the site now.

An RMS spokesperson said they have "been approached by several parties with an interest in taking on the site once the aquarium departs the site this year," and that it would be looking for expressions of interest for the lease of the site "in accordance with the current zoning."

"RMS will go to market to determine the possible future use of the site, which is zoned W2, in the first half of this year."


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