Kellie is a film and travel addict that is always looking for new things to experience.
Published November 6th 2013
Iím just wild about Henry
Henry, the polar bear cub at Seaworld on the Gold Coast has to be one of the most photographed babies of 2013 and one of the cutest sights you will ever see. Born in May this year, Henry is now nearly six months old and has been on display to the public for just over one month now. Henry is the first polar bear born at Seaworld since the introduction of their Polar Bear Shores exhibit in 2000. Henry is the first cub for Seaworld's adult bears Lia and Hudson.
Henry, six months old is the first polar bear cub born at Seaworld
Henry and his mother Lia share their own specially built enclosure that cost $1.5 million to construct following Henry's birth. Their special enclosure has been dubbed "Polar Bear Pre-school" and it is kept separate from the other Polar Bear Shores enclosure home to the two large male bears twins Hudson and Nelson, so all four bears can be on display at the same time.
Henry's mother Lia came to Seaworld as a cub in 2001 from a Russian Zoo. Father Hudson and Uncle Nelson were relocated to Seaworld in 2004 from a zoo in Quebec, Canada where they had been raised since babies, when they were found abandoned in the Artic. Henry himself was also born a twin, however, the second baby died shortly after birth as Lia was only able to care for the one offspring.
Hudson and Nelson, the adult male bears at Polar Bear Shores
Despite the Australian climate not being conducive to what polar bears would usually be used to, the polar bear enclosures are very well furnished with deep swimming pools, waterfalls and many varieties of rock and logs for sleeping on. The combination of the hot afternoon sun and a still growing toddler means Henry usually needs to sleep most of the afternoon. A common complaint from park goers is that Henry is often sleeping and not on display, so if you plan on making a weekend or overnight trip to the Gold Coast it is best to visit the Polar Bear Pre-school when the park opens. This time also coincides when Henry and Lia are fed so the most adorable cub is at his most feisty and playful at this time.
It is well worth the trip to the Gold Coast to see the adorable cub while he is still small. Seaworld also seems to be moving away from rides and towards more of a zoo or marine park. While there are still a couple of big rides the focus of the park is definitely on their animal interactions. Their dolphin show is also really quite spectacular and the mesmerising mammals really seem to enjoy what they are doing. There is also is no longer the inclusion of an orca (killer whale) in their shows which is another very good thing.
Entrance to the park does seem a little on the pricey side especially if you have a large family and have to tack the high admission fee on top of flights and accommodation. Entrance at the gate is $90.00 for adults and $70.00 for children under 13 years of age. For just $10.00 more, you can purchase a VIP pass online that gets you unlimited entry to both Seaworld and Movieworld until end of June next year. This is a great option for seeing both parks if planning a weekend trip up from Sydney or planning another trip up again soon.
All four major airlines fly regularly to the Gold Coast from Sydney. Virgin and Jetstar have regular hourly flights, while Tiger have two flights per day and are usually the cheapest option. One tip to consider is that Jetstar will price beat cheaper flights by 10%, providing they have a flight departing within an hour of the cheaper flight. There is also no booking or credit card fees on their price beats so it can easily end up saving you $50.00or more by using the price beat guarantee. You will need to call to book price beats via the Jetstar call centre, these cannot be booked online.
With a good flight deal, an overnight trip to the Gold Coast to see the gorgeous Henry could cost you as little as $350.00 per person for flights, park admission to two parks and the luxury of a weekend away. Seeing this little bear is something you definitely won't regret.