Snorkeling the Outer Reef of Cairns gave us a tiny glimpse into an uncomparable underwater universe. Our goal that day was to see a sea turtle; we were lucky enough to swim with one. We hope to be back one day!
Please excuse the camera shake. We actually went out several kilometres to get to the Outer Reef. Big waves were rolling in right behind the corals, making quiet snorkeling almost impossible ;)
5: This is a slightly longer version of the three videos above including some additional footage of a parrotfish, a pipefish and an impression of how it looks like under water when the sun hits the surface.
I can’t recall how often I drove past Kelly Tarlton’s ever since I moved to Auckland. Last week I finally went inside the Aquarium for the very first time. Now I can’t recall what took me so long; what a lovely little place!
OK, it’s not the most convenient place for photographers. It’s much easier to capture the sea in the sun instead of moving animals in low light. I actually had to up the ISO to 6,400 for most of the photos below. Yikes.
And I reached a moment when I completely gave up the happy snapping. Me in low light on a conveyor belt leading through the shark tunnel full of moving fish…you get the idea.
A few fun facts: Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium…
…is the only in the world where you can see spiny sea horses
…is home to New Zealand’s only colony of Antarctic penguins
…has been build into former sewage storage tanks of the city
For more fun facts and information about each of the photographed animals please click on the images and read their captions.
The King Penguin is the second largest of the 17 species of Penguin – the largest is the Emperor Penguin.
Sleepy King – still majestic.
This Gentoo Penguin was in a race with a second penguin when he suddenly decided to confuse his opponent with a 180° turn. You basically see here how penguins break under water.
Jellyfish are ancient creatures which have lived in our oceans since before the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Nemo and Dori (search for the blue bokeh ;) ).
Spiny sea dragons are found in the ocean depths, and are rarely seen by anyone other than deep sea divers.
Despite their popularity in the aquarium trade, mandarinfish are considered difficult to keep, as their feeding habits are very specific.
Two employees are hand feeding the fish each day. On special days they also do that in the shark tank.
A hermit crab has to move several times throughout its life as it grows in size and must find larger shells.
The Octopus has an interesting aquarium location I find. Take two steps left and you’re in the Aquarium Store finding yourself sorting through cuddly toys of all shapes and sizes.
A starfish is probably nothing too special for each Kiwi; but how about a mussel eating starfish, huh? Can you see it?
If you wonder about the name: Kelly Tarlton was a New Zealand marine archeologist and diver who wanted to make the wonders of the under water world more accessible to the public. Tragically he died only 2 months after the aquarium opened in 1985.