There is a number of Animal Adventure tours offered at SeaWorld on the Gold Coast. We opted for the Tropical Reef Snorkel, an up close and personal swim with a selection of marine life.
Shark Bay is situated in the middle of the park, somewhere between the Monorail Station and Polar Bear Shores. The man-made reef is home to Black Tip and White Tip Reef sharks, Nurse sharks, stingrays, and lots of other aquatic life. The Tropical Reef Snorkel is the perfect opportunity to achieve the swimming with sharks experience, without being in the open water.
For safety, the qualified dive leaders are in the lagoon with you at all times. Having no experience snorkelling with sea life, this gave us added confidence being underwater.
Beforehand, the divers reassured us that all marine life is treated with the utmost care, and that us swimming around wouldn't bother them. Obviously, we were instructed not to touch or aggravate them, which goes without saying. The divers did, however, tell us to remember that 'the sharks do still have teeth', and to bear this in mind.
You are given a wetsuit, flippers, and a snorkel. They take a photograph of you before entering the lagoon, which is yours as a souvenir. You get twenty minutes in the water, and can take in your own GoPro to get some cool underwater shots.
From the moment we entered the water, we felt safe. The sharks somehow seemed less intimidating than I imaged, and the stingrays were huge but had a certain peacefulness about them. The entire experience was wonderful, and I found myself wanting to stay in for longer.
We bought our theme park passes on Groupon first, ($80 for unlimited entry into Movie World, Wet 'n' Wild, Paradise Country and SeaWorld). However, the Tropical Reef Snorkel was not included and cost an extra $59.99. Money well spent.