An easy 45 minute drive from Launceston in Tasmania’s north, Seahorse World is located on The Wharf at Beauty Point, which is a pretty place in itself on any given day to walk the boardwalk and enjoy the water views. It was a beautiful sunny day for our visit and we could have We had no trouble with parking onsite, there are plenty of spots available, and Platypus World is conveniently located on The Wharf itself as well.
If you’ve ever visited a place on your travels where you’ve questioned why the staff were there when they seemed so unhappy, this is thankfully not one of those places. Our tour guide was so full of passion for her job, clearly loved what she did and the incredibly cute animals she looked after, and was so full of information. It’s people like her that can really make or break a visit somewhere, and we couldn’t commend her enough. The rest of the team at the tour desk/shop were also very helpful and happy to assist with our shop purchases and finding what we were looking for.
If you are thinking of a day trip to the Beauty Point area, we’d recommend you purchase the Tamar Pass, as it will give you entry to Seahorse World, Platypus World and the Beaconsfield Mine (which you’ll pass on your way from Launceston – we visited here and it was well worth the stop). You can’t buy these triple passes online, so purchase them when you make your first stop at any of the three places. Single entry here is $22 for adults and $9.50 for kids aged 4-16.
There is an amazing variety of seahorses here, including carefully separated tanks showing their various stages of life, from the tiniest babies that are half the size of a little fingernail through to the teenagers thronged together in their tank to the adults that are still carrying the babies.
The colours are gorgeous, and if you are very careful then you’ll be lucky enough like we were to actually hold one from their ‘petting tank’. This is such a unique experience, and a must-do even for those who are usually a little hesitant at holding small creatures. These are just on a whole other level, and we feel really privileged that we got to do this, it’s definitely not an experience you get to do just anywhere. It feels like a very personal behind-the-scenes experience as you follow the guide past the tanks and into where they showcase some of their other marine animals. This area isn’t strictly seahorses, and has some amazing sealife, from the beautiful to just downright creepy.
During school holiday periods they also operate an hour-long daily Kids Discover Program.
There is a fantastic retail shop onsite where you can purchase a huge variety of souvenirs from your basic trinkets through to wonderfully unique feature items for your home. We confess we spent a fair bit of money here on items that we haven’t seen elsewhere but will make a wonderful talking point when we get home. There’s lovely jewellery pieces, candles, wall-mounted items, items just for the kids…it’s a really impressive shop. We’d honestly visit again even just to buy more from the shop. If you have a beach house, be prepared to open your wallet, you could fit it out really nicely from here! Food-wise there isn’t an onsite dining option currently, but it’s something that is in the works, which will be a great addition.
If you fall in love with these gorgeous creatures, as many people obviously do, then you can actually purchase them from their sister company Seahorse Australia. They are shipped all over the world, which is quite a feat in itself given how delicate these animals seem to be, and great care is taken to ensure their safe transport.
Is it worth a visit? Absolutely. It’s not every day you get to see these animals, so if you visit Tassie, and especially if you’re even remotely near Launceston, we would highly recommend a visit. It’s a great place for young and old. From our experience, it was a professional and well-run organisation, that not only contributes to ensuring these creatures aren’t driven to extinction by ocean catching, but is a commercial business supplying a gorgeous sea creature to buyers all over the world who are keen to have their beauty in their own homes or businesses, whatever they may be. Is it a huge complex where you spend the whole day? No, but you’re not paying for that either and it isn’t what they market themselves as. It is a chance to get very up close and personal with seahorses, learn about their lifecycles, and show your children something they (and you) likely won’t see anywhere else.