Summer chills and thrills
Amid sizzling temperatures this summer, Hongkongers can seek refuge at Ocean Park’s latest attraction – Polar Adventure. Andrea Yu braves the chilly habitats to bring you the highlights from this Arctic zone.
North Pole Encounter
This area is home to a variety of cute creatures, including spotted seals, Northern sea lions, Pacific walruses and snowy owls as well as two Arctic foxes in a separate enclosure. The space is kept at a chilly 15 degrees with plenty of space for admiring the animals, including a small amphitheatre by the sea lion habitat. Make sure to check out the two walruses as they’re entertainingly vocal with their loud bellows.
South Pole Encounter
It’s all about the penguins at the South Pole. You can admire three species of the tuxedoed fellas here – the gentoo, southern rockhoppers and king penguins. The enclosure is designed in a way that puts the habitat’s water level at around waist height, with sections of glass-panelled floors allowing you to see how the penguins swim underwater. Better yet, the nearby Tuxedo Restaurant lets you admire the little birds while enjoying a meal. This is definitely the highlight attraction for us – on our visit we admired the swimming penguins for ages. Make sure to bring a sweater as temperatures here are kept at a very Arctic eight degrees. Brrr!
This is Polar Adventure’s one and only ride. Modelled after a bobsled with plenty of tight curves and corners, it mimics a toboggan run but is far from the park’s most adventurous. Without any upside-down loops or deathly drops, the Arctic Blast ride is suitable for families and older kids.
You can pick up a plush rendition of most of the creatures you’ve fawned over at The Lodge, which is packed with penguin hats, stuffed animals and other cutesy souvenirs. There are also some fun interactive elements of the new area, including Whale Karaoke which turns recorded messages from guests into whale vocalisations and 3D street art of migrating whales and penguins.