NEWS - Underwater Bondi Experience opens for Easter

NEWS - Underwater Bondi Experience opens for Easter

Beach’s first custom-built visitor attraction, the
Underwater Bondi Experience, at Bondi Pavilion’s Marine Discovery Centre, will open its doors to the public from Good Friday.

has the most amazing underwater environment of any major city in the world and Bondi is the best place to see it,” says Underwater Bondi Experience’s curator,
marine biologist
Will Jones. "From seadragons to sharks, Bondi has it all."

The Underwater Bondi Experience takes visitors on a virtual dive of
through a series of walkthrough audio visual experiences. These include a world-first recreation of an actual dive site where you can experience what it's like to dive without getting wet.

The site is authentic to
North Bondi
and features its giant pink boulders, with their trademark holes burrowed out by generations of black sea urchins. Concealed amid the boulders are aquariums where you can meet the local marine life, including baby sharks, face to face.

After visiting the dive site, visitors watch a film which is a fish’s-eye-view tour of six different “hidden” habitats starting from Bondi beach: the surf, the shallows, the rockpools, the boulders, the deep (home of the bizarre and uniquely Australian weedy seadragon) and the open ocean. Viewers will witness giant cuttlefish changing shape and colour; see friendly Blue Gropers, harmless Port Jackson sharks and electric blue sea spiders.

Jones said the attraction, which takes about half an hour to experience, aims to transport visitors beyond the familiarity of the beach and give them an insight into the teaming wildlife below.

“There is a misconception that Bondi is just a stretch of sand and water and little else. But just below the surface is an amazing cornucopia of marine life which is both exciting to see but at the same time extremely vulnerable to human activity,” said Jones.

“Five million people come to
every year but they are mostly oblivious to the impact they have on ocean life. We’re hoping to inspire the visitors to the Underwater Bondi Experience to take some simple, practical actions to help protect this precious environment,” he said.

As visitors exit the underwater world, they are met by a reality check — a recreation of the
North Bondi
stormwater drain, full of pollution — which is a sharp contrast to the beauty of the underwater world and a physical call to action. Visitors are then invited to make a simple and easy change in their lives which will ultimately help the oceans.

“This is the first time visitors to Bondi can do more than visit the beach itself — so we are thrilled that this attraction enhances their time here and shows them that the most beautiful part of Bondi is underwater,” Jones says.

The Underwater Bondi Experience is suitable for children from ages four and is open seven days throughout the school holidays, from
Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children, with family tickets at $25.

The Marine Discovery Centre at
is a not-for-profit conservation organisation and all proceeds go towards marine conservation and education.