Kelly Tarltons Underwater World

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They shock and scare us, but no other creature captures our imagination quite like the shark. A visit to Kelly Tarlton's will get you eye-to-eye with these feared predators.

Sharks have existed for over 400 million years, which is more than 100 million years before the dinosaur. There are more than 350 species of shark in the world, of which only three inhabit Kelly Tarlton's predator tank: Broadnose Sevengill, School and Wobbegong sharks. Our newest arrivals, the fearsome Sand Tiger shark, are currently in the Oceanarium for a settling in period. Soon they'll join the other sharks in the Predator Tank.

The Predator Tank
The Predator Tank in Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World is designed to provide as few obstacles as possible for the sharks. This makes it more like the Shark's natural environment, the open sea. Our Predator Tank alone contains more than a million litres of seawater pumped straight from Waitemata harbour.

Hand-feeding our Sharks
This is our favourite job! Every Tuesday and Thursday our sharks are hand fed by two divers, each with a bucket of Mullet and Kahawai. The sharks eat up to 100 kilograms of food a week. Even if they're not hungry, some of the sharks enjoy giving our divers a good 'nudge', just to remind them of their presence!

Shark Teeth
Sharks can have up to 3000 teeth in a lifetime. Because of wear and tear they shed their teeth regularly. If you look closely on the floor of the tank you're likely to see their old pearly whites! Most sharks have about five rows of teeth.

Shark Attacks
During the past 150 years in New Zealand, there has been an average of just 2.6 shark attacks per decade and only one fatal attack every 13 years! Worldwide, less than 30 shark attacks have been recorded annually for the past 50 years. Of those, just seven have been fatal.

There are more than 350 species of shark and very few are regarded as a threat to humans. Great White, Bull sharks and Tiger sharks have the worst reputation.

You have a far greater risk of; being killed on the road whilst driving to the beach, drowning at the beach, or being killed by Elephants, Bees, Crocodiles or lightning than you do of being attacked, let alone killed by a shark.

Did you know? It is estimated that humans kill about 100 million sharks per year!


Opened in 1985, the original Underwater World was the vision of Kelly Tarlton - an extraordinary Kiwi adventurer, diver, explorer and inventor, who wanted to share his love of the ocean with others.

Today, Kelly's vision has grown to become a world-class visitor attraction, offering a uniquely New Zealand Pacific and Southern oceans experience.

Antarctic Encounter

The Antarctic Encounter is home to New Zealand's only sub-Antarctic penguins, offering a rare opportunity to see the magnificent birds up close in their icy domain. A unique snowcat ride brings you within arms length of the 80-strong colony of King and Gentoo penguins to watch their playful antics on the snow and their elegant flight underwater.

A walkthrough replica of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic hut (established back in 1911), complete with authentic memorabilia offers a glimpse at what it was like to live 100 years ago in the coldest place on Earth.

Underwater World

Enter Stingray Bay for an awe-inspiring look at the giant stingrays, before delving deep into the Underwater World to see the rich variety of species from New Zealand's coastal waters. Come face to face with sharks, turtles, giant rays and other incredible deep sea creatures on the moving walkway.

New Zealand's rocky shore and tropical species await you in Fish Alley. See everything from crayfish to seahorses, octopus to piranha and moray eels.

Animal Adventures

Kelly Tarlton's offers thrilling Animal Adventures; hand-feed our giant stingray during a Stingray Splash, snorkel with amazing predators of the deep on a Shark Cage experience, or for the true adrenaline junkie, join Shark Survival – a cage-free shark dive. Take the plunge today.