Explore Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle

It was the penguins that drew us to Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle.  And by us, I mean my daughters- especially my eldest, who is just crazy about them.  While I had fond memories of the staggering beauty of Slea Head Drive and my first view of town from Connor Pass, all Brenna had to see was the aquarium website, penguins front and center, to know that Dingle was a ‘must’ on our itinerary.

Gentoo penguins at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

Kerry, just before her swim

Exploring Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle

Oceanworld is easy to find, located just across the street from the Dingle Marina.  If all else fails, look for the giant penguin.

Ocean Explorer's Notebook at Oceanworld Aquarium Dingle Ireland

Ocean Explorer’s Notebook

The aquarium is larger than it first appears and houses a respectable number of tanks and pools.  As you pass into the aquarium, be sure to grab The Ocean Explorer’s Notebook.  Filled with fun facts, games and questions, this little pamphlet serves as a guide through the aquarium.

You’ll discover seashore life…

octopus at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

The small octopus likes to hide in craggy areas

View the aquatic life of the Amazon…

piranha at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

Piranha… they are smaller than you imagine.

Delight in the bright fish that live in the coral reef…

tropical fish at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

Bright tropical fish

Gaze at the predators in the shark tank (you’ll find rescued sea turtles here, too!)…

Shark tank at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

Sand Tiger Shark

Pet a stingray in the touch tank…

Sting Ray at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

This little ray would pop his nose out to investigate or flick his fin out of the water to wave.

and feel like a mermaid as you walk through the Ocean Tunnel.

But it’s the penguins-which you’ll find just after the shark tank- that draw people in.  The Polar Penguin Experience is set offside, just past the shark tank, with an entry door that takes you to the Antarctic glaciers that are home to the Gentoo penguins.  Each penguin is recognizable by its armband, and each has its own personality.  As snow fell from the ceiling, a few penguins played, while others swam, and two penguins sat on their nests, protecting eggs.

Gentoo Penguins, Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

Gentoo penguins take turns sitting on their eggs

We returned later in the afternoon for the penguin feeding (your ticket allows all day admission), which the girls delighted in.  The penguins were especially active at this time, jumping straight up out of the water when their feeder arrived.  While some were content to have their fish and go back to swimming, others would follow the food, waddling behind the feeder as she took fish to the nesting penguins.

Penguin feeding at Oceanworld Aquarium, Dingle, Ireland

Penguin feeding

Had Brenna been old enough, the Penguin Passport allows you to get up close and personal with the penguins.  It’s a one hour expereince that includes feeding the penguins and learning about them with their keeper.  All the more reason to return to Dingle!

Of course the aquarium has a display devoted to Dingle’s most famous resident…  Fungi.

Fungi the Dingle Dolphin

Fungi has called Dingle his home for over 30 years

I highly recommend a Dingle Dolphin Boat Tour - it’s a terrific way to extend your ocean exploration experience!

Oceanworld Aquarium is a terrific stop if your Ireland family vacation takes you to Dingle.  

Tips for Visiting Oceanworld Aquarium
  • Parking is plentiful at the Dingle Pier. Note: parking is ‘Pay and Display’ so be sure to have a few €1 and €2 coins with you!
  • Tickets are valid for multi-entry on day of visit.  Be sure to ask about penguin feeding times or other activities.
  • Restrooms, cafe and Kids Zone on site
  • Tickets can be purchased singly, or as a family.  View ticket prices online.
  • Penguin Passport must be booked in advance.
  • Lodging recommendation:  Dingle Skellig Hotel.  If the weather is fine, it’s an easy 5 minute walk to the aquarium.
  • Dingle also has dozens of Irish bed and breakfasts!


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>