Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre) – Place to Visit With Kids

Best place for kids to learn science can be none other than Questacon. In Australia, this is one of the best tourist spots which everyone will admire. Localities will visit frequently to educate kid about science. Let me share my views as I have two kids and would like to let you know how it will be beneficial for kids.

AustralNational Science and Technology Centre
Image:Source

Where, When and How to Visit Questacon

It is located on the southern shore in Canberra. Lake Burley Griffin is the landmark for Questacon National Science and Tech Centre. They are open on all days except 25th December, the Christmas day. The visiting time is 9 AM to 5 PM. However, entry is stopped after 3.30 PM. Minimum two hours is required for visiting and hence you need to make yourself available for at least 2 hours.

Questacon National Science and Technology Centre
Image:Source

Reach any of these following places by bus or train and you can walk in not more than 6 mins to the National Science and Technology Centre.

  • Parkes Pl National Rose Gdns
  • King Edward Tce Treasury Building
  • Parkes Pl John Gorton Building
  • King Edward Tce After Bowen Dr
  • King Edward Tce National Library

School bookings are also allowed and you can find the pricing and other details here. It’s good when kids go with the school as they can understand better. However, you can take them during vacation and provide personal attention to each and every activity.  The ticket price for individuals is 23 dollars and kids 17.50 dollars. Children up to 4 years are charged nothing. For members also it is free. Family of 2 adults and 3 kids can purchase a ticket for 70 dollars.

Highlights of the place and how kids can have fun

There are close to 200 exhibits and all are interactive as well as related to science and technology. The primary purpose of the center is to interact with kids and educate them on basic science concepts. Suitable for all age group kids. 

Artillery Memorial Canberra
Image:Source

There are eight galleries and let us see each one in detail and understand which age group will benefit the most.

  1. [email protected]

Any age group kids can find this gallery great and it is one of the best galleries to visit. Parents beware, this place is quite busy and you need to keep an eye on the kids. The thrilling part of this gallery is the six-meter slide. Then come to the air hockey and your kids can play this with the robot. Kid’s reflex action is challenged when the chase the scarves while they fly via the pipes.

  • Above and Beyond

Another gallery suitable for all kids is the ABOVE and BEYOND. However, this is not part of the 8 galleries and it is a temporary one, Boeing is the presenter collaborating with NASA. Hence it is named as Above and Beyond. The concepts of augmented reality (AR) and simulations are taught here. Kids are allowed to make their space ship with innovative design ideas.

  1. Mini Q – 0 -6-Year-old kids

Up to 6 years kids will love this gallery as they can relate to things at their level. It is more like a museum and play area. Several activities are displayed letting toddlers and kids until age 6 have fun. They are divided into many zones and every zone allows kids to do experiments. Yes, hands-on and they can feel proud about the scientist inside them. They can try and succeed to feel happy. Also, they can try and fail to retry. In general, this is the place for learning and relearning. Here kids can observe, predict, test and refine their model. Therefore little ones are allowed to think and expand their imaginative skills. Particularly, the zone that represents places including a construction site, grocery shop, hospital, etc is depicting the real-life places.

  1. Foyer 6+

ROBO Q is the best part of the gallery Foyer. Kids are free to control the ROBO the way in which it speaks, sings or makes gestures. The touch screen is easy to learn and anyone can make an attempt and play with the ROBOT.

  1. Science Garden 6+

Typically the garden area where kids can see the sun, rock, wind, and water. They can create rock music by discovering the wind direction. Several displays that add joy to kids are the small lithophone, rock xylophone, Mobius, Fundial, Granite Ball, Flickering leaves and much more.

  1. Q Lab 7+

This is part of the center since inception and contains many scientific activities. Also, they keep updating to latest standards and hence it is beneficial to all. Use the video microscope to view the world differently. The giant periodic table is the topmost feature of QLab and the actual samples of 94 elements make it more special. 7 years and upper with no upper limit and each of you will enjoy spending time here.

  1. Awesome Earth 8+

Awesome Earth
Image:Source

Have you ever felt an earthquake? No, and we don’t want to. But you can understand the tremor and the feel of an earthquake in this gallery. Learn gravity, heat, and momentum. Detailed analysis using the data collected by scientist will give you a clear understanding of how all the factors get together to make the earth we are living in.

  1. H2O – Soak up the science – 8+

Joining hands with the national water commission this interactive exhibition is set up. The purpose of setting this is to make kids realize the value of water. As part of this initiative, there is a water treatment plant developed that is used in recycling the water used inside the exhibition. This will let know kids about water conservation. The little one will witness the process of recycling and will feel glad to learn the concepts. Trust me, children will enjoy and appreciate the efforts as well as become responsible for conserving water.  

  1. The Shed – 10+

Older kids will find this place good as there is a lot of rooms for experimenting and inventing using their ideas and tools. Tinkering studio is the highlight and visitors can create a design and make it work. There is no age limit to learn and anyone can try their design and make it work.

How can kids benefit from Questacon

kids benefit from Questacon
Image:Source

With several galleries, kids get a chance to learn science in different perspectives. They just not visit the galleries alone but are allowed to perform hands-on activities.

The STEM (Science Technology Education and Math) way of education becomes easy here as they can do many experiments. This will kindle their thinking skills and when they perform the activities their motor skills are activated. Also, they feel empowered to do things on own which will motivate them to learn more.

They observe other kids and compete with them to complete experiments and healthy competition is built. This will further make them think and their imagination becomes wider. They get ready to meet the world with a lot of practical knowledge.

I suggest personally, taking kids to this place often will let them learn concepts at a different age. They will interpret the same thing in a different way based on their age and hence it will widen the horizon of thinking.

Interesting Places You Can Cover in the Neighborhood of Questacon


Astronomer at Questacon
Image:Source

Several other national attractions in the vicinity of Questacon are listed below. You can choose places and take kids to spend their vacation in a constructive manner.

  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Detail about historians who were the reason for a shaped society is presemted here with details. You can take kids here to learn about history and its significance.

  • National Electoral Education Centre

The election process is understood by visiting this place. Kids will know about the constitution, law, and parliament. Why should they cast vote when they grow is nicely portrayed in this place. At this young age, lessons taught will stay forever in their mind.

  • National Archives

Collection of Australian History in the form of education programs, events and exhibitions are organized in the national archive.

  • National Gallery

The Art gallery has 100,000 and more artworks. It is one of the world-class exhibitions and kids will really have a great time here admiring the artistic sense.

  • National Museum

National Museum Questacon
Image:Source

Holden Prototype No1 and Phar Lap’s heart is kept for display in the museum. This is just a sample, and you can find many more important items preserved for providing knowledge to the visitors about Australia, its culture and value.

  • National Library

National Library
Image:Source

Documentary heritage of Australia is collected in the form of books in the National Library. Book worms will love this place and have so much information to provide with.

  • Parliament House

Parliament House
Image:Source

Australian democracy is represented in the Parliament House. This being the focal point of the city is a must to visit place in Australia.

  • National Portrait Gallery

The pillar of the nation’s portraits is displayed in the portrait gallery. There is just not a few numbers but 400 portraits of different people are kept here.

If you like our review of Questacon, you might want to subscribe to our Go Science Kids newsletter. We will keep you informed about all our future reviews like this one. You will also be the first one to know about any new sciene activity that we publish on this website.

You can find more such places to visit with your kids listed here. See our recent review on Australian Museum here.

What’s your favorite go to place with kids? Comment below and let us know.

How to Start Fire with a Magnifying Glass?

Create Fire with magnifying Glass

Starting a fire with magnifying glass is going to thrill your kids. Science is everywhere!! Today let us see the science around us along with our kids in a closer view. Huh!! Closer look!? Yes, also I give you a perfect chance to improve your kid’s motor skills. 

Kids are naturally curious and love to explore the world around them!! But this time we are going to give them a magnifying lens to enhance their learning experience in a better and closer view.

Create Fire with magnifying Glass

This is one of my favorite learning experiences remembered my childhood days playing with magnifying lens.

At this point, I told them about the activity I am going to show them i.e. ‘Creating fire with magnifying glasses. “Wow!! Mamma are you serious!? Are we going to make fire using this magical glass!? It’s really exciting mamma, lets us start immediately”. You can expect these words are from my two girls. Let us enter the world of magnifying glass without any delay and lit some fire!! 🙂

Things required  

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That’s it, we require only three simple materials to do this fun filled science experiment.

Starting Fire From Magnifying Glass

I took my daughters to our apartment balcony on a bright sunny day to demonstrate. 

1) Ask your kid to show some drawing skills on the white paper. My younger one drew a smiley face using her sketches on the white paper. Let your kids draw any shape to have fun on the paper as well.

Science Experiment starts with drawing

2) Select a safe location (where the fire cannot spread to anything else since you need to perform the activity outdoor) to make fire using magnifying glass.

3) Now hold the magnifying glass between your white paper and the sun. My elder one is interested to hold the magnifying glass. She already applied sunscreen lotion to avoid sun burns. So, apply some sunscreen lotion to your children before you go out for sun.

4) As soon as the magnifying glass is under the sun focusing on the paper, it gives a bright dot on the paper. You can make the dot size bigger by tilting the lens back and forth. Keep in mind that keep the dot size as small as possible in order to create the fire sooner.

5) Ask the kid to focus the dot in one place for about few seconds to minutes. Slowly you can observe some smoke from the focused area. Then the fire comes slowly after smoke appears.

Creating fire from sun using magnifying glass

My kids focused on eyes and mouth part of the smiley face they have drawn on the white paper. They were amazed seeing the fire using magnifying glass. They enjoyed peeping out of the eyes of the smiley face as they made holes by creating fire with the lens glass. They hugged and thank me for showing them such a wonderful act.
Starting firework

sun burned face mask

Put off the fire as soon as its purpose is served.    

We even went to our garden to try out with dried leaves. It worked so fool-proof that leaves in our garden started burning. Trust me, no exaggeration. The dried leaves lying around caught fire. I stopped there but was really feeling awesome by the way it worked. You need a magnifying glass which can be purchased but they are not expensive. Be very careful on a sunny day to prevent any accidents. Ensure not to leave the glass outside without knowledge. Also, do not allow kids to handle alone.

 

The Science Behind It

The unique properties of magnifying glass is the magic trick behind creating a fire using magnifying glass. Wondered to know what those unique properties are!!? Let us begin.

We already learned about what is magnifying glass and how it makes things look bigger. Coming to our experiment, the science behind creating a fire using magnifying glass is found in the form of photons. Photons are just the particles that carry or holds the clear visible light from the sun to the earth. They transmit light and energy in the form of heat. A magnifying glass sets fire by focusing all the photons through the small dot area created by the convex (curved outward) lens. When the sun fall on the magnifying glass, the appropriate focal strength of the photons passes through the lens and creates a small sized dot on the ignitable material. This generates an extremely high heat concentration at the dot area which is good enough to start a fire. This is time taking process and you need to wait until the sun light catches fire.

The convex lens can be found in many devices we are aware of. Ex: binoculars, camera, even glass bottle bottoms etc.

Tip

  • A water droplet on the lens intensifies the sun light’s heat causes the fire to ignite more quickly.
  • The larger the lens, the easier to create a fire on any flammable material.
Please note…

Tisha was 3 years old when I tried this experiment. Don’t think skeptical about this. You can teach kids about making a fire in your garden with this experiment.  Let me warn you to take care of kids. Please make sure if your kid is appropriate to take part in this experiment. However, I know that my kids will not overboard on things and will check with me. Also, I will explain to them about the hazards caused in advance. Hence I am very confident to do any experiment with my kids. I will also tell them few conditions and only if they abide by we will do that particular work. It is easy to handle my little ones. You can also ensure safety before starting not only this activity but others too posted in this site.

Here are some key questions that you can discuss with your young scientists. 

Can you really start a fire with glasses?

Yes, we can create the fire using any type of glasses that have convex lens. All you need to create a fire is convex lens to focus the sun light to a small area or specific spot. The devices that fall under this category are binoculars, eye glasses, magnifying glasses etc. Even the ice is used the purpose since it has a curved shape similar to the convex lens. A mirror glass can also create the fire since it produces heat but it takes a long time to ppoduce fire. Convex lens direct the sun ray’s to a specific point thus responsible for ignition.  

What starts fire when you show magnifying glass in sun?

A magnifying glass makes fire with the help of heat from the sun. This is done by focusing the glass for 50-60 seconds under the sun. The sun rays pass through the lens of the glass focusing the heat at one specific and small point where the fire begins after producing some smoke.  

Can you start a fire with a flashlight and a magnifying glass?

Yes, we can create a fire with a flash light and magnifying glass but this likely will not work since the flashlight produces very less intensity of heat. You need to use two magnifying glasses to create a thin laser light beam of heat rays in order to set fire. You can use paper, dry grass and dry twigs to set fire as they have access to catch the fire easily. However, the results are not guaranteed. 

How do you make a fire without matches?

A magnifying glass is the great way to start the fire without matches. During unfavorable conditions, this is the best method to survive. Regardless of how you start your fire, always carry tinder (it should be dry) along with you. Making fire using flint ans steel is one of the easiest ways to set fire. You can use a mirror or a water-filled balloon instead of magnifying glass to create fire in the absence of matches. One of the most famous and most difficult ways to create fire by friction. It is followed in olden days by our ancestors. In this way, you can create fire in different ways.

What happens when light passes through magnifying glass?

When light passes through magnifying glass, the convex lens refract or bend the light rays causing the light trays come together. This makes our eyes see things in a different way than the original ones. When the light rays fall on an object and reflect the image to your eyes by travelling in a parallel direction. These parallel rays when passes through a magnifying glass, the convex lens bend the parallel rays and bring them together causing a virtual image on the retina of your eyes. This virtual image appears larger than the real ones.

What lens does a magnifying glass use?

A magnifying glass uses convex lens usually mounted in a frame with a handle making it portable and easy to use. The convex lens is something that bends the light passing through it. Bending of light causes virtual images. 

How do magnifying glasses burn things?

The convex lens in the magnifying glass causes things burn. The double convex lens in the magnifying glass focuses the beam of heat rays at one single point. Concentrating the energy at a single point causing a flammable object to set fire. 

Can you make magnifying glass fire without sun?

To create a fire, all you need to focus on how much energy you are focusing on the size of the area. The convex lens know how to do this. Sure, you can absolutely use laser light to create fire without sun. Laser light is a monochromatic light makes the purpose easy since we do not need to worry about the aberration of lens. Any source of light that has as much energy as sunlight will serve the purpose. 

Do magnifying glasses work underwater?

Usually, the regular and normal magnifying glass does not work under water. Because the refractive index of magnifying glass is equal (almost equal) to the refractive index of the water. Hence, the magnification power of magnifying glass is lost under water since there is no or a little refraction.

Creating Fire With Magnifying Glass go science girls
Some tips for allowing your kids to play with magnifying glass

If I am not wrong you actually don’t allow your kid to touch any type of glasses including magnifying glass. 🙂 I knew the reason as well, we all think that glasses hurt while playing but anything handled with care and also under proper guidance we can reduce such risks to our kids.

Exploring nature and science with the magnifying glass is so much fun for pre-school children and also attracts adults too irrespective of their age. Exploring with magnifying glass provides children an amazing platform where they can explore things in finer detail, and helps to make sense of world as well as extends their thinking power and motor skills. To top it off, using magnifying glass benefits kids to get exposed to optical technology.

When I first got the lens into my home, I just couldn’t stop my two kid’s anxiety and happiness. In fact, they both started fighting for one so later I had to buy one more. Uffff! Still I am happy to show them how we can set fire using magnifying glass.

First teach them how to handle magnifying glass as we are dealing with glasses and lens. Tell them all the necessary precautions to be taken while dealing with glasses.

Ask them to see their hands, skin, eyes, and the nature around them through magnifying glass. Tell them to observe carefully at everything that is present around them and ask them to notice the change in the size of anything or object. My kids are very much excited seeing things in a bigger view including small insects and tiny objects. This is the great way to explore the simple science around them in a simple way. You can use this simple activity not only for fun but also as a great educational tool. How cool!! Isn’t it!? Share your comments on how you used magnifying glass with your kids to explore science. 

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Spiny Leaf Phasmids : Secret Life of Pets (DIY Enclosure Steps!)

secret life of spiny leaf phasmids

Few of you might wonder to know that an insect is a pet of my family. Yes, we are four of us, my two little school going daughters less than 10 years old, my techy husband and a busy homemaker, running around all through the day, taking care of kids, playing with them, ambitious to make them understand science concepts at the young age, etc. Hmm, that’s all about me.

Yes, I love keeping myself busy as a bee and more than that desire to make my kids learn things with practical experience. This is how we started developing love towards the pets and we have the usual pet animals the dog and cat at home. But that did not stop and I had a chance to get Spiny leaf phasmid from one of my friends and these insects have become so close to my kids.

I know it’s enough for an intro about our pet loving family. Now, let me tell you about what is this spiny leaf insect, why it is called so, how it becomes a great pet, and why kids love them more, as well finally will let you know how to make an enclosure to grow this insect at home.

Feeling excited? I am very much as I am going to share great inputs about the insect and the enclosure I did.

 

What is Spiny Leaf Phasmid?

secret life of spiny leaf phasmidsImage Credit: Wikipedia

These are tiny insects that feed on leaves and have the ability to camouflage. They are present in Australia and they resemble an ant or a Scorpio. But don’t worry as they don’t bite or sting. They are absolutely harmless. They hatch from the female egg and become a nymph and then an adult insect.

You may want to ask why they are called phasmids. I am coming to that now. Insects that have irregular metamorphosis and have phytophagous habit then we call them phasmid. Again I get your thoughts, too many technically words on a kid’s science experiment blog. No, don’t think like that this is an age when you can teach those new words and explanation for they will remember forever. I am a proud mom who is doing this since the birth of my first daughter and both my daughters can spell any word and remembers the synonyms too.

Coming back to the explanation, metamorphosis is the process that takes place from birth of an insect until it grows big in stages. Spiny leaf phasmid has irregular by this I means that they hatch from the egg, then become a tiny insect within 3 hours resembling ant and called a nymph. Within the next few days develops to a mature spiny leaf phasmid. That’s very quick indeed and they don’t go through the entire insect growth lifecycle.

One more hard word here is phytophagous which means insects that feed on leaves and survive. This is all about this tiny little insect. Let’s explore more in the coming sections.

 

Why are they called great pets?

spiny leaf phasmids great pets for kids
Image Credit: Wikipedia

They are harmless and that is the primary reason they become the best friend for people. They can grow only with leaves as their food and a few drops of water. This way it is easy to maintain them. They look like dried leaves and become a great decorative ornament when grown in house. Above all kids love to play with them and thus I call it a great pet.

 

Some exciting facts about this little phasmids

 

There is not one but many fascinating facts about this insect. Let me tell you one by one and feel glad that you can use these inputs to let your kids understand the science behind insects.

 

  1. Parthenogenesis

 

The female insects do not require male for reproduction. They lay eggs and those eggs can be male or female spiny leaf phasmids. Which means these insects will clone the mother or their siblings. But there is no role for a male insect in reproduction.

 

  1. Given birth by Spiny Leaf but hatched with the help of Ant

 

The egg that falls down from the mother insect will fall on the ground and ant will misinterpret that as its food and carry them below the soil. However, it helps the egg to be protected and also ants eat their shells as food while the egg hatches into a nymph.

 

  1. Nymphs look like an ant

 

Then they crawl like an ant and also look like ant hence protecting them from insect-eating birds. There are few birds that eat insects but not an ant. So these tiny little nymphs are safe to travel on the tree and start eating leaves for food to grow. They consume water from the droplets of the leaf to quench their thirst.

 

  1. Camouflage

 

They can change color to match the living environment and hence stay without being harmed by other creatures. It looks like a dry leaf and hence called a spiny leaf insect.

 

  1. Giant spiny or prickly stick insect

 

It is also called a giant spiny or prickly stick insect as sometimes it resembles a stick.

 

Why do kids like to pet spiny leaf insect

spiny leaf phasmids australian walking stick petImage Credit: Wikipedia

Kids love these insects because they are small and do not harm. They feel good when they move on the kid’s hands or dress. They provide great time pass to kids and also allow kids to watch them eat and grow.

 

However, I like this insect very much and can you guess why? Yes, because I can grow this at home teach kids about the entire lifecycle. My daughters love the way I tell them because there is no theory and everything is practical. My kindergartener and preschool going kid both know the entire lifecycle of not this insect but all insects. Thanks to Spiny Leaf Phasmid that helped me teach my kids these lessons easily. Trust me you can try this too!

 

I got you now and you are wondering how to grow a spiny leaf phasmid at home?

 

Don’t worry let me explain you in the coming section and at the end, you will feel glad to follow me making a DIY enclosure for the spiny leaf insect to grow them at home and make kids learn science.

Here is an interesting video: 

 

Step by step method to create an enclosure at home for Spiny Leaf Phasmids

 

There are two aspects to grow these pets. First one is buying them and the next is to make an enclosure to grow them. You can choose to buy the egg or insect from the bug shops and even online from Australian insect selling shops. For instance, you can check www.terrificscientific.com for purchasing. Let me tell you how to grow them and also will tell you how to preserve the eggs laid by the female insects and allow them to hatch.

 

  1. Get a basket ready – This can be a mesh type dustbin or you can make one by arranging the wooden frames with mosquito mesh. However, it must be of a minimum size of 40 X 30 X 30 cm in dimension. The female insect will of 110mm long and you need to make your enclosure thrice longer than this to allow them to move freely. If using a mesh type bin, then close the top with a mesh using a rubber band. In case you make a wooden cage then you can refer a fly screen cage and make one like that.
  2. Prepare food – Then get a bottle or a flower vase and fill water into that. Place that into the cage and make sure they have a lid. But the lid must contain a hole to insert the eucalyptus leaves with the stem. Yes, this is the food to your insects. You can place the insect in the cage and it is free to move around and you can also enjoy with your kids seeing them from outside.
  3. Grow the eggs – Arrange for a plastic box filled with mud or tissue paper. Close the box with its cover. But they must have small openings all through the lid to give room for air circulation. Take the egg from the cage soon after it is laid and place it in the sand or tissue paper and water them regularly. Close it with the lid but they won’t suffocate due to the presence of the holes. Wait for up to 2 years to see the insect hatching from the egg. Few eggs hatch quickly but others might take time.

 

It is this simple to make an enclosure for the spiny leaf insect. Before I forget let me tell you a few points to remember.

 

  • Ensure there are no chemicals or pesticides on the eucalyptus or the bramble leaves which are the food for the insects. These chemicals might turn out to be poison to those small creatures.
  • Make it a point to spray water often on the leaves and that will help insects to douse their thirst. Do not place any water glass inside the cage to save your time spraying as the insects might fall into the water and die. You must spray water.
  • Let the mesh be closely knit otherwise the insects will easily escape from the cage.
  • Make a separate cage for nymphs till they grow as an adult insect with a much smaller net because they can come out easily.
  • Change the leaves periodically once in 3 days and a maximum of 5 days as the nourishment is required for the insects to survive. Remember to the fill water in the vase or the jar where the leaves are placed.

 

Final thoughts

I am happy to share my experience with you and want you to grow Spiny Leaf Phasmids to teach entomology (the study of insects) to your kids and have fun too with these tiny little pets.

Did I miss this information? I am not sure and my apology if it is a repeat. Female insects cannot fly and only make spiny leaf phasmids can fly.

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas : Nature Learning for Kids

Koalas Port Douglas

This post is part of our excursion ideas where kids are entrusted to learn animal biology. Let’s dive in. 

Wildlife habitat is the place where you can find different species of animals and birds. I always prefer taking my kids to such a place during a vacation to educate them about different habitats.

The Wildlife habitat in Port Douglas is my all time favorite place.

There is so much to see and learn in that place. Kids are allowed to touch and feed animals including pelicans, crocodiles, pythons, and kangaroos. The highlight is the photo sessions with the koalas. Yes, we had fun interacting with kangaroos and koalas the featured animals of Australia.

Koalas Port Douglas
Image:Source

Let me share my detailed review about this place and you will understand the need for taking your kids to this place. We will start one at a time and first know how to reach there, the ticket details and the timings. Then we will also see what the things that kids should not miss visiting there?

Where is it located? – Nearby the Captain Cook Highway and that is just 3 miles in the south of the central Port Douglas. Shuttle services are there as well you can drive on your own and park the vehicle in the parking lot.

Children under 3 are not charged and a family of four can include one kid for free of the cost entry ticket. There are tickets for adults, kids, and family. Each offers concession based on the package.

You can reach there by 8 AM and stay till 5 PM. However, a quality 2 hours time is required to spend. When you go with kids make sure you don’t rush them and they can enjoy the more time they spend there. You can purchase a ticket which is valid for five days and you can make an advance booking. But yes once you visit, then the ticket validity gets over.

Things that would interest kids

It’s obvious that kids feel interested to see each animal and depending on the children age, they will have fun. Smaller kids will love to see animals; little older kids can understand the science behind animals. To which family they belong to, their food habits, their behavior, etc will be observed by kids. Overall, every age group kid will have fun with animals.

Special attractions inside the wildlife habitat

Grassland Environment
   Image:Source

  • Native Australian Wildlife

You can witness several animals which are native to Australia. For instance, the kangaroos and koalas are marsupials which are found only in Australia. Likewise, there are many animals with different qualities.

  • Rainforest Habitat center

There are more than 180 species in the wildlife habitat and is divided into 3 environments namely the grassland, wetlands, and the rainforest. The rainforest contains the tropical birds namely the rainbow lorikeet, cockatoo, mysterious cassowary, and the kookaburra.

Rainforest Habitat center
  Image:Source

  • Wetland Environment

Here you can find crocs that are found in the salt water and fresh water. Kids can learn about them, their lifestyle, etc.

  • Grassland Environment

The kangaroos and koalas are roaming around and it is easy to interact with them. Even kids can touch them and have fun.

Highlights of Wildlife Habitat

Artamus leucorynchus Port Douglas

Image:Source

Apart from the usual zoo, this place offers a different kind of experience where you can join for the breakfast and lunch of the birds and animals respectively.

  1. Breakfast with Birds – Yes, when you are available between 8 and 10 in the morning it is the breakfast time for the birds and you can accompany to feed them. Make sure you book for this session in advance as the seats are very limited. Kids will feel excited to take part in this activity. They will observe the eating pattern of different birds and that experience cannot be given if you miss this activity.
  1. Lunch with Lorikeets – Again another special event for kids to have fun with is the Rainbow Lorikeets. You can feed them directly during the time duration of 12 Noon and 2 PM. You can have your lunch with these birds. The colorful lunch session with these birds is mind-blowing.
  1. Koalas Selfie – Yet an exciting experience is to take a selfie with the koalas and its really fun. Kids will have so much joy to hug these marsupials and take photos. Ensure to educate kids not to hurt animals. We know sometimes little kids become naughty too.

What else can be done by kids in the Wildlife Habitat?

kids in the Wildlife Habitat
  

Image:Source

Is there anything else I need to tell for kid’s fun in the wildlife habitat? You may think that they had too much already. But the fact is there is much more. More than 1600 animals are present there and kids can visit many numbers of times. You can ask them to make a note of animals every time they visit and understand about each one in detail. This will make them responsible to observe all in detail.

The long crossway allows kids to run on the ground and it is a great way to spend their vacation with animals.

Elvis is a black cockatoo that is waiting to talk to people and always wait near the café. Do you know why? That is the place where every visitor drops by.

The buffet is another special attraction for kids in this place. They can fill their tummy to go around one more time.

Finally, comes the gift shop from where you can purchase some souvenirs and they are a great gift to your family members and friends. Several reference books about animals and birds and toys make feel kids say wow about this place.

Port Douglas Kangaroo
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Educational Values Offered in Wildlife Habitat

Kids can gain the following values by attending this place and you must understand them to provide support to little ones.

  1. Language Development – When kids move around the place they talk with parents and start asking questions about animals. This will improve their speaking ability and also the thinking ability. Provide an explanation and engage with kids to improve their vocabulary.
  2. Family time – They will not only understand animals and their family but also know the value of living beings and family time. They can learn from animals about love and care. How do the baby animals move along the parent animal etc?
  3. Food habits – The feeding time will educate about the food habits of birds. They can feel fear-free to move close to birds. Fear of animals will be reduced when you often take them to this place.
  4. Environmental Protection – Kids will learn about different species that do no longer exist. They will start thinking about protecting animals. They may not harm animals and will start conserving them. Sense of responsibility is inculcated at a young age.
  5. Physical Exercise – Making them walk around is an exercise and without knowing they will move to visit all animals. This will enhance gross motor skills and build stamina.

Places nearby Wildlife habitat

Four Mile Beach – Will kids ever tell no to the beach. Certainly not and kids will love to have a great time in the sand. It is possible to walk, run and even cycle. Can you imagine cycling in the sand? Yes, but be careful when there is heavy tide there. The different session conducted there include yoga classes, kite surfing, kayak hire and so much more.

Four mile Beach
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During the low tide days, you can see beautiful corals and fishing is the best time pass activity there. Kids can merrily enjoy catching fish and the best place to visit during the summer season.

Turtles are seen sometimes and kayak sport event is an adventurous one which will even enthuse adults to go there often.

Sea Temple is a calm place well suited to visit with family.

Great Barrier Reef – Best experience for kids and adults of all age. Kids will initially hesitate but once they start experiencing they will refuse to come out of water. Will have an excellent time with the fish and fear of water as well as sea animals evaporates.

Reef boat lunch experience watching whales, sharks and turtles make you feel glad about your decision to visit Port Douglas.
Great Barrier Reef
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Low Isles

Go for a short trip with the low isles and enjoy snorkeling with a great trip in the wave dance. Here you can, even more, have fun than going in a reef boat. But the choice is yours. Do you need more fun than these places? You must try visiting these places to enjoy holidays with kids.

Things that would interest kids

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Sea Life Sydney Aquarium – Perfect Excursion for Kids

For all those kids who love to explore sea animal and plants, aquarium is the best place. And this week let’s explore Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

sea life sydney aquariumImage:Source

In Australia, my favorite place to visit with kids would be the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. What is special about this aquarium? Why do I recommend this to you?

If you have already seen Manly Sea Life Sanctuary you are gonna love this. Let me share my detailed review of this place. My details will be focused more on a parent point of view. You can understand the importance of this place and I have tried to make it a virtual tour for you to know where to begin and see this place. Also, I have listed the special attractions offered in the aquarium for kids.

First, we shall start the tour from how to head to this place. It is situated in Sydney and yes centrally located nearby Darling Harbour. You can drive to this place and park the car in the ample space provided. Alternatively, go in the ferry service that is provided every 30 mins from Circular Quay Wharf. You can take a train and also walk down from Wynyard or Town Hall station and it will not take more than 10 mins.

Sydney Aquarium Go Science Girls
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The aquarium is open from 10 in the Morning and closes at 6 PM every day. During vacation, they open at 9.30 AM. You need to be there before 5 PM to get entry. Minimum of 90 mins is required to visit all places in the aquarium. However, you can choose to spend the whole day as well. See more details here.  Kids have many events and let me explain them in the coming sections.

You can buy a ticket online or in person. There are several options available like general admission, flexible admission, and annual pass, etc. Check here to book your tickets. Toddlers and babies aged 3 and below can enjoy the visit at free of cost. Make a note that kids below age 18 need to be accompanied by adults for visiting the place. Their entry is otherwise restricted for safety purposes.

Things that would interest kids in Sea Life Sydney Aquarium 

Sydney Aquarium with kids

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There is loads of entertainment waiting for kids and every underwater creature presented here will create a long-lasting memory for both adults and kids. Continue reading to know more.

There are more than 13000 animals available here and they belong to 700 different species. Yes, you can find seahorses, sharks, rays, and penguins too.

  1. Great Barrier Reef

Great barrier reef

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This is the latest exhibit in the aquarium but has caught the attention of every kid and is also called the Day and Night on the reef. You can witness the life of sea animals both during day and night.

The lightning effect is so accurate that you will feel as though it is really night. The transition happens very carefully to not let the audience miss any feel. Day to night movement makes kids feel surprised and you can hear a wow from each visitor. Further kids will enjoy walking across the beach that is bioluminescent. They will love to watch the spawn, meet the turtles, and travel with the jellyfish swarms.

  1. Discovery Rockpools

Commonly seen sea creatures in the rockpools are collected for your view here. Roll up kids sleeves and they can enjoy the touch and feel of port Jackson shark eggs, sea cucumber, and sea stars.

Also, you can watch the coral-branded shrimp on the kid’s TV using a specially designed underwater camera. It was launched on Oct 6th, 2016 and since then has got a great reception from the visitors.

  1. Dugong Island

Pig the Dugong was rescued as a baby who was malnourished and hence found a place in this aquarium. You can watch the story of this Dugong Pig 3 times in a day. There are Wuru and Pig which are the two surviving dugongs across the world. It is great to see them here in this aquarium.

Dugong at the Sydney Aquarium

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  1. Jurassic Seas

Discovery of sealife that evolved in the due course of time can be enjoyed in Jurassic seas. Also, detailed understanding about fossils of jellyfish, lungfish and nautilus is made easy here. There are long buried large fossils of several marine reptiles. Can you imagine Jurassic period is 200 million years old and those fossils are found here for experiencing the life of Jurassic animals?

  1. Penguin Expedition

Little Penguin

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There is always a huge queue here to explore the penguins. But don’t, worry as the line moves quickly and you can soon enjoy boarding the sub-Antarctic boat to get into the snow world and have fun with Gentoo and king penguins.

  1. Shark Valley

These are the underwater tunnels and you can move close to the shark and find an abundance of grey nurse sharks. Even Queensland gropers are found here. It is 1.5 million liter oceanarium and renovated as shark valley. There is a tunnel for 100 meters and has a huge skeleton of the whale at its end. The glass walk will take you to shark and feel the fear of lemon sharks.

  1. South Coast Shipwreck

In this place, you can find an exclusive aquarium for penguins, moon jellies, and Port Jackson sharks. It is a simulation of a shipwreck environment and there is enough space for kids to study about southern ocean sea animals.

  1. Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

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There are 600 species with Sydney Harbour as home and you can see them learn about the ecology of Australia. This Harbour is the main link in the ecosystem. Take a look at the cuttlefish, and silver sweep.

Special attractions inside the aquarium

The main two attractions for kids include school activities and animal feeds.
sealife sydney aquarium with kids

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Colorful creature

Every year during the vacation between July and August there is a special school activity program organized. This year you can feel glad about the colorful creatures. It is on from 29th June to 4th August.

This is free for kids and they are allowed to make a storybook about the colorful creatures in the aquarium and are awarded a souvenir as a gift of memory.

Animal Feed And Talks

Animal feed and talks
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The kids can join the team to see how animals eat and communicate. The feeding time slots are fixed and you can accompany the team to see them eat at no additional cost except the admission fee.

  • The timing is 10.30 AM to 1.30 PM every day when penguins talk. You can see this in the South Coast Shipwreck.
  • The fossils interaction happens in Jurassic sea between 11 and 2 PM.
  • Dugong time is 11.30 AM to 2.30 PM in Dugong Island.
  • Sub-Antarctic habitat talk at 12 Noon till 3 PM in the penguin expedition

Plan the timing and kids will certainly have a great time listening to the sea animal’s talk.

What else can be done by kids in there?

The fun does not end there and much more for kids. They can see the shark dive several times in a day and all that happens in the shark valley. Go with the penguins between 1.30 PM and 3.30 PM to enjoy penguin encounter.
shark dive sydney

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Hmm, there is much more which I would want you to personally visit and experience. Do not forget to share your thoughts to help the other visitors.

Other attractions in a nearby neighborhood

I can understand, having reached this place you have a hunger to explore more. Find below the other places which you might be interested in visiting along with kids.

You can check out these places namely the Madame Tussauds, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and Sydney Tower Eye as they are housed in Darling Harbour.

  • Madame Tussauds

You will feel amazed to see wax dolls of famous figures and you can talk, and walk with them. The featured figures include.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
  • Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
  • Prince Harry
  • Prince William
  • Queen Elizabeth II

 Kids can learn about whom they are and have fun with the wax figures.

  • Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

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There is nothing to tell about what will amaze kids in a zoo. They can spend hours there in the zoo looking at birds and animals of all kinds. The different zones here catch your attention and they are kangaroo walkout, butterfly tropics, devils den, gumtree valley, nightfall, wallaby cliffs, etc. You can also enjoy watching platypus pool, saltwater crocodile, koalas, and all huge Australian mammals. There is no dearth to the variety of animals in the Sydney wildlife zoo. Discover in detail about spiders too. So you must make it once to this place to become kids along with your kids.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

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  • Sydney Tower Eye

It’s time to take a look at the entire Sydney city and hence you must not miss out reaching Sydney tower eye. This is 250 meters above the streets and allows you to view in all 360 degrees. Seeing the beauty of Sydney is so easy from this tower. Climb up anytime between 9 AM and 9 PM to give a great treat to your eyes. The ticket counter closes at 8 PM and you are not allowed inside after that. Make sure you take care of kids when you are at that height. The ideal time to enjoy would be during the sunset to take a look at the scenic beauty of Sydney.

Want more?

Check out our previous review on Manly Sea Life Sanctuary

Your kids might have fun reading these  15 Sea-Life Mistakes in Finding Dory.

Interested in more? find more interesting places that you can take on excursion with your kids here