SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Island Expedition, Australia.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium engages AAT to provide acrylic, life support systems and waterproofing services for its innovative new penguin exhibit.

Project Overview

Sea Life Sydney’s Penguin Island Expedition opened on Wednesday 9th November 2016 offering a “world-first penguin experience” to visitors.

The attraction provides up-close and innovative encounters with a colony of King and Gentoo Penguins through acrylic viewing panels and from a raft that floats on a ‘river’ through the penguin’s habitat (cooled to around six degrees Celsius).

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The “edutainment” style exhibit provides tourists, local residents and school children with an exciting, memorable and educational experience capable of addressing such topics as plastic pollution, climate change and declining fish stock.

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Advanced Aquarium Technologies’contribution to the exhibit included: design and engineering for acrylic viewing solutions and life support systems; the supply and installation of acrylic viewing solutions, including a 360-degree ‘step-inside’ cylinder; life support system installation and water-proofing.

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As an established aquarium originally opened in 1988, investment in new exhibits like the Penguin Island Expedition is just one of many ways Sea Life Sydney maintains its position as one of Sydney’s premier tourist and recreational destinations. Continuous innovation is also a great way for established aquariums to create new publicity and buzz well in advance of the official opening, as can be seen in these examples:

Sea Life Sydney is one of 130 attractions in 25 countries operated by Merlin Entertainment, a global leader in location-based, family entertainment dedicated to creating and delivering memorable, immersive brand experiences its guests. AAT has undertaken projects for multiple Sea Life aquariums including Sea Life Sydney (formerly Sydney Aquarium), Sea Life Mooloolaba, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium (Auckland, New Zealand), Sea Life Shanghai (formerly Changfeng Ocean World) and Sea Life Malaysia.


AAT has extensive experience working with well known and established aquariums all over the world on innovative restoration, renovation, and refurbishment projects. Contact us to learn more about how upgrade and expansion projects can be undertaken within existing aquariums with sensitivity to ongoing operations.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Wheat Road, Sydney NSW, Australia

Merlin Entertainment

Time Frame
2016 to 2017

Team On-Site
3 AAT personnel

System Type
Closed re-circulation system

Total Water Volume
123,000 litres

Sea Life Sydney’s Penguin Island Expedition exhibit often appears on the aquarium’s YouTube channel and live stream events.Here are our favourites:

Penguin Live Stream with Keeper Amy, Mar 25, 2020

Baubles and bubbles for Penguin chicks’ first Christmas!, Jan 4, 2021

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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