Explore the wonders of life on Planet Earth at Sealife Adventure in Southend on Sea, the UK’s first Zooquarium!. Offering a unique mix of indoor and outdoor displays, with everything from the mysteries of the deepest oceans to the beauty of the jungles and deserts.
Exhibits at Sealife Adventure
Journey around each of the ocean zones and immerse yourself in the wonders of life on planet Earth, experiencing everything from the mind-boggling mysteries of our oceans to the diverse beauty of our jungles and deserts. You’ll meet famous sea dwellers, discover weird and wonderful creatures of the deep, and get to know plenty of land-loving animals, too, including the cheeky monkeys, curious meerkats and huge African spurred tortoises.
There is lots to do and see at Sealife Adventure, with one of the highlights being the Deepwater World Tunnel.
The coral-filled depths of Deepwater World’s ocean tank are home to a number of species of tropical shark. Come and see some of the fiercest ocean predators living in harmony with a beautiful variety of tropical fish! Surrounded by 195,000 litres of water, you’ll be encircled by thousands of stunning swimmers as you make your way through the tunnel.
Experiencing amazing interactive talks and feeds as the friendly and knowledgeable team give you unique insights into the everyday adventures of the most majestic creatures around, both on land and at sea!
Travel back in time and discover what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the planet in this truly immersive jungle-like experience. View pre-historic creatures that once roamed the land and sea, and get to know some of the Jurassic-era creatures that have survived millennia, including terrapins and snapping turtles.
It is less than a 10-minute walk from Sealife Adventure to Adventure Island, a free-admission amusement park in Southend-on-Sea.
Travelling to Sealife Adventure
Sealife Adventure is located in Southend-on-Sea, there are a number of ways to get to the attraction. If you are travelling by car, take either Junction 29 (A127) or Junction 30 (A13) off the M25 and head eastwards towards Southend-on-Sea. As you approach Southend-on-Sea, follow directions for Adventure Island which is clearly marked on the brown tourist road signs. Sealife Adventure is only 5 minutes further along Marine Parade. Sealife Adventure does not have a dedicated car park, but the majority of the car parks in the town are council run, and it is just a small fee to leave your car for the day.
Travelling by Train
Sealife Adventure is just a short 15-minute walk from Southend Central station. Walk out of the station and once you get to the high street, turn right and walk towards the seafront and the colourful rides of Adventure Island. Once you reach Adventure Island, turn left onto Marine Parade.
See Train Genius website for details.
There are lots of places to stay in Southend-on-Sea and the surrounding area. If you only planning on visiting for one day and would like to explore some of the other attractions in the area then take a look at some of the wonderful self-catering cottages available from Snaptrip.
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The building which houses Sea Life Adventure was constructed in the early 1990s. The attraction first opened as an aquarium in 1993 but at this time it was operated by Merlin Entertainments who offer a number of SEA LIFE centres across the UK.
In the year 2000, the Stockvale Group who own and operate the nearby Adventure Island fun park, were expanding their empire. This coincided nicely, as the current operators Merlin Entertainments were selling paving the way for the Stockvale Group to acquire the attraction.
Following the purchase of the attraction, the centre was completely renovated with the addition of lots of new exhibits. The home aquarium style tanks were replaced with floor to ceiling displays, with head holes allowing guests to get closer to the action than ever before. It was also at this time that the Little Tikes Play Area was opened in the centre, offering an extra dimension to the days out being enjoyed by thousands of families every year.
At the end of the 2009 season, the center was temporarily closed for another full refurbishment. This time lots of new interactive elements were added. As part of this refurbishment, the play area was removed in order to allow for a new mezzanine floor, creating unmatchable birthday party experiences for children. The £1m overhaul made the centre more accessible, more entertaining and more fun than ever before.
The most recent major development took place during the winter of 2016, when the attraction added lots of exciting new exhibits including Meerkats, Otters and Humboldt Penguins. Again, the work involved another temporary closure, but the centre re-opened on the 11th of February 2017 to welcome everyone back to our most exciting aquarium ever.
Following the success of the development in the winter of 2016/17, Sea Life Adventure are now implementing their latest expansion – Sealife Adventure Wild. The initial phases of this development opened in 2018, with more to follow. In addition to the aquatic animals, guests can now also see a family of Meerkats, African Spurred tortoises and a troop of Macaque Monkeys.