Sea Life Melbourne Expansion – Penguin Playground Exhibit, Australia.

AAT helps create an iconic penguin exhibit as part of a major aquarium expansion program.

Project Overview

Sea Life Melbourne’s Penguin Playground is a great example of an established aquarium investing and innovating to create new and exciting visitor experiences.

The exhibit was created in 2008 as part of a significant expansion to the aquarium, which was originally built a decade earlier.

The Penguin Playground exhibit replicates the seasons and light cycles of Antarctica, features simulated snowy conditions and a 14-degree Celsius chilled water state of the art life support system. The temperature in the Penguin Playground ranges from -10 degrees to 5 degrees.

AAT’s role included On-site Construction and Acrylic Installation Services, FRP Exhibit Tanks, Waterproofing and aquarium Life Support Systems.

Meeting the King and Gentoo penguins at Sea Life Melbourne remains a significant attraction to the aquarium, which is beautifully situated on the banks of the Yarra River.

The aquarium’s YouTube channel still hosts several promotional videos used to launch the exhibit over ten years ago. (By the way, the animals did not actually come from Antarctica – they were bred in captivity in New Zealand.)

Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne VIC, Australia

Melbourne Aquarium

Time Frame

Team On-Site
12 AAT personnel

Total Water Volume
120,000 litres

The penguins at Sea Life Melbourne make regular appearances on the aquarium’s YouTube Channel. Here are some of our favourites:

Gentoo Penguin Chicks Hatch at SEA LIFE Melbourne

Penguin Keepers Dancing Video

Meet Tanith the Penguin Keeper

Rosie dances and cleans the Penguin Pool

A Day in the Life of Penguin Keepers



An exceptional portfolio of in-house capabilities.

  • A seamless start-to-finish service.
  • More than project coordinators - we are the lead supplier of equipment and services too.
  • We offer productive collaboration between multi-disciplinary teams and resources.
  • Our logistical and project management track record provides total peace-of-mind.
  • A high-level of internal delivery means excellent control over quality assurance.
  • System-thinking from design to execution, for a cost-efficient and durable aquarium that is easy to operate and spectacular to see.

Are you considering creating a new aquarium?

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Phase 1


The first phase addresses feasibility, budgeting, concept development, creative themes, visitor-experience design and journey-mapping, detailed engineering and project planning.

Phase 2


The second phase focuses on acrylic manufacturing, construction and installation, the supply and installation of life support systems, waterproofing, lighting, filling and stocking the tanks.

Phase 3


The third phase includes handing the aquarium over to its owners and operators. Also included this phase, for older aquariums, are services relating to refurbishment and renovation.

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