We were really excited to visit The Sealife Centre on Saturday and meet the new arrivals. The girls love penguins and the chance of seeing their favourite bird in the centre of Birmingham was too good to miss. We have always had a special fondness for penguins as my dad was in the navy and spent time in the Falklands and Antarctica and we have always bought penguins for presents.
The Sealife Centre has completely changed since we were last there. The downstairs area which held the shop and cafe has completely gone to make way for the penguins. This area is really lovely. It has been cleverly designed to feel like the Antarctic. As soon as you enter the viewing area it feels cold as this area has a temperature of 8 degrees C.
You are instantly greeted by the cheeky penguins. Having only been in there new home a few days, they are really curious about all the people who have come to meet them and come right up to the glass. Penguin Adventure houses a colony of 12 Gentoo penguins that have flown over 11,000 miles from Auckland. They are incredibly cute and adorable and the girls wanted to take one home with them.
The penguins are attracted to blue, and come right up to the glass to see what you are up to. There are a range of different viewing areas so that you can see them in the water and on land.
The penguins are really fascinating to watch. They have a leader, named Alf and the others follow whatever he does – so they will suddenly all launch into the water to swim around their 70,000 litre pool.
The girls were delighted that they stop when they are swimming if they see blue and come and have a look at who is there. They are so inquisitive.
I think this will prove a really popular attraction for the Sealife Centre. You can even get your photo taken with the penguins. Sort of.
You can see the penguins at the beginning and end of your visit. The rest of the trip is packed with 2000 different creatures. We love the beautiful jellyfish in their glowing tanks.
The other highlight for us is the underwater tunnel. This is so beautiful and houses the only hammer head shark in the UK.
You can see the hammer head photo bombing this picture.
There is also a majestic giant green sea turtle. We were very lucky because he came right to where we were standing to get some food off the bottom of the tank. It was amazing getting so close.
There are also star fish, crabs, sea horses and otters. The girls enjoyed a sit down to watch a Sponge Bob 4D movie. They also loved getting their picture taken with all the turtles.
You do need to plan your trip carefully as there is only a small area to have drinks and snacks with a vending machine. It is best to visit before or after lunch. There is a play area by the shop, but we found that a bit busy.
The penguins are a great addition to an already popular and fascinating day trip. The attraction is open today and will be a wonderful day out
Disclaimer: We were sent tickets so we could attend a press day.