Just on the edge of the beautiful little coastal town of Dingle, Co Kerry there is an amazing aquarium that everyone must put on their bucket list- Dingle Oceanworld. Me and Ali were travelling from Cork city so we took the N22 out of Cork towards Killarney. From Killarney we followed the N72 to Killorglin and then followed the signs to Dingle along the Wild Atlantic Way. This drive is absolutely fabulous with plenty of places to stop along the way for pictures! Dingle Ocean world is really well signposted once you arrive into Dingle and is situated on the R559 just in front of the Marina. There is a car park just opposite Ocean world so we parked up and made our way across the road. On entering Ocean world you are greeted with an extensive gift shop in front of you, a lovely cafe to the left and a kids zone to the right. We met Aíne at reception and she gave us our tickets and a map, and showed us where everything was. She informed us that the penguins were being fed at 2pm and the Otters were being fed at 3pm. We just had time to have a wander around before making our way to meet the penguins.
On entering the main gate you are greeted with the rainforest right in front of you. Some pretty impressive iguana’s live here. Just around the corner then you will find the Amazon waterfall with some pretty amazing fish and a cute little turtle sunning himself. There are handy little plaques at every display to tell you what all the fish are and where they are from. All along this corridor there are lots of tanks with amazing schools of fish. The African clawed frog is along here. Apparently these frogs were used to check if a woman was pregnant. The urine of a woman would be injected into the frog and if they laid eggs 48 hours later then the woman was deemed to be pregnant. Thank god we have pregnancy tests now! Just at the end of the corridor we came upon the shark tank! We could spot 2 sharks swimming around in here and they were joined by a turtle and a few other fish who seemed to be happy enough to live together. The sharks we were checking out were sand tiger sharks and they were huge! They aren’t native to Ireland but there was a great fact sheet to the right of the tank that gave you information on what sharks are found in Ireland.
Before we knew it, it was 2pm so we made our way to the left to the Polar Penguin experience to listen to the lovely Jack tell us all about the Penguins who lived here. There was lots of kids in here watching the penguins having the craic in the water and then being fed by Alex. Jack told us about Uísce who is the first Gentoo penguin to be born in Ireland. He has a green, white and gold tag on his fin and he was one of the most active penguins there.
There is a really great dedication to Tom Crean here too. The Antartica explorer who was a Kerry man. From here we headed through the Coral reef corridor and into the series of tanks. Here you will find lots more species of fish, sea horses, crabs and lots more. You are then lead into the amazing Ocean tunnel where you can get up close with starfish and plenty more species. We knew that the otters were being fed at three o’clock so we decided to head to the cafe for a cup of tea before we explored the reptile area. The coffee shop had lots of yummy treats on offer so we got our compulsory tea and cake.
Next on the list was the reptile house and there is so much to see here. We got to check out the African dwarf crocodiles, a Boa constrictor and an Asian water monitor. Just at the end of this corridor you could peep through a hole to check out the Otters in their little beds. We made our way outside to a large area with seating so we could get to see the otters being fed. The otters have been living here for quite a while and 5 other otters didn’t make an appearance as they were only a few weeks old. The kids in the crowd were delighted with the otters and think their parents were delighted that they were all so quiet and entertained for a while.
This brought us to the end of our exploration of Ocean world in Dingle. We made some lovely purchases in the gift shops as momento’s of our day. We were guests of the aquarium that day so a big thank you to all the staff who looked after us. I am so glad we made the trip over to Dingle and I would definitely recommend this to everyone for a family day out. I have attached the Oceanworld website below to help you with your plans- as always- Happy Galavanting! xx