The colony of King and Gentoo penguins at Sydney’s SEA LIFE Aquarium celebrated their one year anniversary in style and we were invited along for the party which included a multi-tiered ‘cake’ made of jelly and fish… tasty!

Well Banjo, Marmalade and the other penguin personalities that make up the ‘ Real Penguins of Sydney ’ crew certainly thought so. For the human guests there was a yummy morning tea of pastries, fruit and beverages along with a fabulous face painting artist who created spectacular penguin designs on our littles’ faces and gorgeous goodie bags to take home, including a fluffy penguin.

The latest episode, and fifth instalment, of the Real Penguins of Sydney was debuted for those in attendance following an introduction by one of the penguins’ keepers who gave us a little insight into the very unique characters we had met and were due to watch on screen. It’s a really fun way of engaging visitors to the exhibit in how they observe and interact with the animals and species they’ve come to visit. It certainly made me appreciate penguins in a totally different way as we understood their habits and behaviours a little more.

Our morning fun extended to entry into the aquarium proper which led us back to the penguins towards the end of our visit where we had the opportunity to take advantage of the Penguin Expedition which allowed us to get up close and personal to the colony. Boarding an 8-person raft we were transported through a rugged sub-Antarctic environment in a cool-but-comfortable six degrees Celsius. The expedition enables visitors to see the penguins in a recreation of their natural habitat as well as understand the impacts of plastic pollution and habitat destruction.

The Penguin Expedition is free with aquarium entry, operating from 10am to 4.30pm daily and you can take as many trips round the colony as you like as a continuous chain of boats, each with a capacity of 8 guests, runs all day every day.

Note, all passengers including babies must sit in the boat and cannot be worn in carriers. I held my 4 month old baby next to me in the seat and she was fine as the raft moves slowly and easily along the river. Smaller babies however who do not have head control will likely not be able to go on the ride.

For more information visit the website at and to find out how to get to this and other Darling Harbour Merlin attractions click here .