Turtle Bay at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's
Turtle Bay is SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s final stage of their Turtle Rescue programme.
SEA LIFE Kelly Talrton’s
23 Tamaki Drive Orakei Auckland
Opening hours 09:30am – 5pm Daily (last entries at 4pm)
For more information (including terms and conditions and health, safety information and participation requirements): Click here
In December in 2017, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s unveiled its newest exhibit. Turtle Bay is SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s final stage of their Turtle Rescue programme. SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s is the only place in New Zealand to work with rescued turtles and they have been supporting the turtle population for the over 20 years so we sat down with Andrew Christie, the Head Curator at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s, to find out more.
- SkyBus: What sort of condition do you find these turtles?
- Andrew: We find these turtles on deaths door. In New Zealand it is exceedingly rare for a healthy sea turtle to come ashore so when they are found washed up they are in an extremely bad way. A fit and healthy sea turtle will only beach itself to breed and lay eggs and they return back to the same beach they hatched on which occurs in the warmer waters.
- SkyBus: What are the main reasons a turtle will wash up?
- Andrew: There are a large number of reasons. Turtles often wash up with illness or injury, cold shock, starvation and dehydration. However, we have been seeing more and more turtles wash up in New Zealand that have ingested plastics. Being the only place in New Zealand that works with rescued turtles we are committed to making sure that we provide the best care for the individual turtles needs.
- SkyBus: What do you enjoy most about the Turtle Rescue programme?
- Andrew: I love watching a turtle that we have worked so intensively on being released. It such a great day for our team and our partners to see all their hard work pay off! We have a team, affectionately known as the Turtle Rescue Team, which includes the Auckland Zoo and Department of Conservation. They help us work with these amazing creatures and we couldn't do it without them.
- SkyBus: Aside from the turtles what else do you do?
- Andrew: My team and I make sure that all of the weird and wonderful creatures we have are all healthy and living a good life. Their welfare is paramount to us. We look after all the feeding, including the Shark and Stingray feeds, cleaning all the animal displays, managing the life support systems (filtration) and help educate the public about the marine environment and all its creatures.
The turtles are a must if your visiting SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s but there is also so much more to see. They have Southern Hemisphere’s largest Sub-Antarctic penguin colony made up of cheeky Gentoo’s and regal King penguins. They have incredible sharks which you can swim with. The Shark Cage Adventure costs $99 which includes entry into the aquarium and a 20 minute snorkel experience where you will swim with the sharks! They also have a great tropical display, an indoor playground for those that are travelling with little ones and a cafe to sink your teeth into.