So it's Wednesday morning and I am about to do a shark cage dive at Kelly Tarltons Underwater World in Auckland... OMG!
Morning session booked and three of us take off to Kelly Tarltons on the free shuttle service that runs every hour on the hour from Quay Street, Auckland, right opposite the ferry terminal (you can't miss this bus, it looks like a shark!)
Once we arrived we were taken behind the scenes and given a form to read and sign our lives away, just in case our shark cage dive all goes horribly wrong.
Next up we get our lovely wetsuits and shoes to squeeze into (make sure you get a tight fit as its pretty chilly in that shark tank). They gave us a run down of what we could see in the Kelly Tarltons tank - like 23 sharks, many fish and a giant stingray. It was from this briefing I also discovered that the cage was not the type of hard silver bars that I imagined but just a metal top, a plastic bottom and a Netting on all four sides, yes netting, no steal bars! So this made the prospect of a shark cage dive all very exciting and nerve racking.
Next up we were given our snorkels and masks and a last check of everything. The shark cage is on the top of the aquarium tank and we all jumped in nervous and excited, for me this was great as I am a little scared of water (not sharks, well a little bit of sharks... heehee). I was able to stand in the tank with water just up to my shoulders so this made me feel so comfortable. One of the Kelly Tarltons staff members came with us and she sits on the edge of the tank and moves it all around the surface.
This is when the coolness begins, arrgghhhh! Sharks swim so close to you, really intrigued to check you out and the giant stingray swims round and round the cage. Each experience is obviously unpredictable but my experience was awesome, sharks came really close but far enough away that I didn't run screaming. However, they sure made me jump a few times sneaking up behind me.
The staff member runs through what sharks they are and all the different types of marine life in the tank. The whole Kelly Tarltons shark cage dive experience is very safe in my eyes and I didn't feel at any point that anything bad could happen to me. It's freezing cold so 15-20 minutes in the shark cage is plenty of time for your full experience. Nice hot shower waiting for you when you get out too!
Shark cage diving is something I have always wanted to do after all the Blue Planet dvd's I have watched and even though it wasn't quite the deep blue sea with great white sharks everywhere, this was still an awesome Auckland activity to do and at an amazing price. It is currently being sold at a bargain price of $49.00 per person including full Kelly Tarltons Aquarium and Antarctic World Encounter which on it's own usually costs around $32 so this 10 week only Shark Cage Dive special that Kelly Tarltons Underwater World are running is truly an amazing deal and is an Auckland activity not to be missed!
If you miss out on this special, then I fully recommend you do a shark cage dive anyway! Well worth it!
thanks to kellytarltons.co.nz for the images