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Kelly Tarlton's iconic shark bus snapped up for more than $31,000

The iconic Kelly Tarlton's shark bus has gone under the hammer, selling for a whopping $31,500 after a heated bidding war.

The Kelly Tarlton's Shark Bus is up for sale. Source: Supplied

Its unique great white shark exterior and long history as the Auckland aquarium's trusty transporter trigged a feeding frenzy on the Trade Me auction, with 82 bids before closing last night.

The bus, a 21-seater 2005 Toyota Coaster, had been used to ferry visitors to and from the popular tourist attraction at the CBD. 

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Kelly Tarlton's general manager Daniel Henderson says the sale of their beloved bus would mark an "end of an era" for the aquarium after over a decade of service. 

The attention the bus had attracted online had been unexpected for the aquarium, with Mr Henderson exclaiming the hefty final bid had proven to be a nice surprise. 

"The interest in the shark bus has been phenomenal and not something that we expected. Yesterday morning the bidding was sitting around $18,000 so we were quite surprised to see it reach over $30,000 last night." 

Wishing the new owners well, Mr Henderson hoped they would love the famous bus "get as much joy as we have over the last 11 years".

The Aquarium had decided to give up the bus after it started to become rather unreliable.

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Mr Henderson said it was "starting to be known more for being on the back of a tow truck than carrying passengers".

In its time with the aquarium, the shark bus racked up more than 370,000 kilometres on its short daily trip from the city centre.