After checking out of the Tamar Valley Resort, we headed north for our final night in Tasmania. We had a night booked at the Beauty Point Riviera Hotel that evening. There were a couple of things I wanted to do with the kids before we checked in though.
I stopped at the Exeter Information Centre and got some really useful information and some discount vouchers to save us a few dollars. I love Information Centres, if you normally don’t visit them you should make a point of doing so in the future as this is often where you hear about places that only the locals know. In my experience, Information Centres and bar tenders are the best for insider information!
You can purchase a Tamar Triple Pass which includes the Beaconsfield Mine, Seahorse World and Platypus House, for an all inclusive price starting from $49 per adult and less for kids. On this occasion we got the Lets Go Kids booklet which had vouchers that included one or two kids free with each paying adult. These vouchers were cheaper that the VIP passes so we went with them. I wasn’t that interested in going to the Beaconsfield Mine as I thought my kids wouldn’t be interested.
What did we pay? We paid $22 for all 4 of us! Not bad for an hours entertainment.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at Seahorse World, we were quickly told that this was the first seahorse breeding company in the world. They breed seahorses for sale in pet shops but not for consumption, seahorses are a delicacy in China. Each hour they run a tour of the facility and we jumped on the 2pm tour.
When you first go in there are display tanks with various types of seahorses and the tour guide provides you with information about how seahorses breed (you know the male gives birth) and some other information about where seahorses are found. Alannah was really interested in this and had plenty of questions to ask and she of course knew most of the answers to the questions the tour guide asked. Smart little cookie!
You then go through to the breeding area. First off you get to see the breeding tanks with all the mature seahorses and plenty of pregnant male seahorses. He told us how seahorses tend to eat their young so one of the jobs first thing in the morning is to remove any seahorses that have been born overnight.
Our tour guide Fraser then showed us the baby seahorse tanks and there were about 10 different tanks with varying sizes of seahorses, they separate them by size and they move to different tanks as they grow. The kids were fascinated by the amount of seahorses in each tank and they’re different stages of growth. There were a few different varieties of seahorses breeding, including pipe fish and a sea dragons.
Throughout the tour Fraser was taking the seahorses out and handling them much to the excitement of my kids. He told us that seahorses are able to live outside water for periods up to 30 mins. He told them that at the end of the tour would have the opportunity to hold one. The kids were champing at the bit to get their hands on one.
As usual when it was time to hold the seahorse, Keira was up front and centre. Keira will give anything a go when it comes to animals, she loves them and is generally not afraid. Alannah always makes Keira go first like she’s her guinea pig! Kiera jumped up proud as punch and had her go, with a big smile for the camera. Next up Alannah. We wait and wait and wait and then she chickens out, you know because that big bad scary seahorse is going to hurt her. Step aside Alannah and up gets Caelan, I put it in his hand and he dropped the poor thing back into the water (no seahorses were injured during this visit). He jumped down and then I spend the next 15 mins talking Alannah into having a go.
I sat there saying Alannah, when we leave here you are going to be disappointed that you didn’t have a go, just try it, it won’t hurt you and on and on and on it went. Just before we left she put her big girl pants on and had a go with a big smile for the camera. Caelan also had another go so that I could get the all important photo for the photobook! Got them well trained now! I had one eye on Keira the whole time and she was touching every sea animal is sight, at one stage she had a star fish and a sea cucumber and wanted to pick up the enormous crab that was as big as her.
On the way out Alannah gave me a big hug and said ‘thanks mum for pushing me to do that as I would have been disappointed now if I hadn’t’. Mums know best! I knew she would do that, she just needed that little bit of an extra push. Like everywhere these days, as you are leaving there is the obligatory souvenir shop, we had a quick look but we didn’t buy anything, if I bought something everywhere we went, we wouldn’t be able to afford to go anywhere!
There’s a little cafe there that serves ice creams and coffee and a few sweet treats. We didn’t stick around after the 45 min tour. This is a great little place and seeing as I got the discount, I felt it was really good value for money. It provided the kids with an experience they can’t get anywhere else and one they have been talking about since they got back.
Have you been to Seahorse World? What did you think?