A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published February 22nd 2012
Update July 2nd 2015
Update: July 2015 - Please note this venue is permanently closed
Did you know that lurking in the suburbs of south east Melbourne, there are hundreds of hungry sharks and rays waiting to be hand fed? I bet you didn't. And yes, I did say sharks – plenty of them too.
Opening only three months ago, The Australian Shark and Ray Centre in Dandenong South comes as quite a surprise. It boasts the world's largest shark and stingray feeding experience and it can be enjoyed by the whole family with a minimum age limit of two years.
Donning your highly fashionable waders, or a wetsuit if you fancy getting wet (and cold), you can wade through any of the enormous tanks and get up close and personal with the inhabitants. There are over 20 species of shark and ray, separated into various tanks of different depths depending on their size and species. The shallowest tanks don't even come up to your knees, so are ideal for the littlies, whereas the three metre behemoth of a nurse shark is in waist high water. In the deeper tanks platforms have been submerged, so if the thought of being eye to eye with a creature from the deep is a little intimidating (or you're just plain short), you can always perch on one of these.
So where does the feeding part come into it? Once you're suited and booted you will be given a brief lesson on how to feed these cute and cuddly (?) critters. The very technical feeding device consists of a wooden stick with a peg on the end. Clutching your cup of prawns, you attach half a prawn to the peg and hey presto, you're ready to go. It takes a bit of practice to figure out the best method of attack, especially with the rays because their mouths are on their underside, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. The cost of the food is included in your entry price but if you're super keen you can buy some extra.
The Australian Shark and Ray Centre is located on the corner of Princes Highway and Progress Street in Dandenong South and is open between 9am and 5pm every day. Expect to pay $29.50 for an adult, $19.50 for a child or $95 for a family. To hire the very attractive waders or a wetsuit costs $15.
This is a great fun activity for kids and adults alike and also benefits from being an all weather attraction. Don't take my word for it though, get yourself down there and get those waders on.