Where is it at?

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Reef HQ Aquarium
2/68 Flinders Street
Townsville
QLD
4810
Tel: 7 4750 0800

Directions

The aquarium is located on 2-68 Flinders Street East, which is an easy walk from Townsville's CBD, The Strand and Magnetic Island ferry terminal.

Where are we going today?

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible, complex and diverse ecosystems in the entire world. The area is larger than Victoria and Tasmania COMBINED (Amazing!) and stretches more than 2300km along the NE coast of Australia.

Now you have had your quick geography lesson, you can experience it for yourself and learn more incredible facts about this incredible feat of nature!

Reef HQ Aquarium will open your eyes to this amazing world filled with colourful, impressive and beautiful marine creatures. (Some not so beautiful, but we love them all the same!) 

This impressive aquarium has exhibits that are always changing, so there will always be something to explore! Get to know the reef, and all the rare and extraordinary features that come with it.

There are daily talks at Reef HQ Aquarium that the kids will learn a great deal from, as well as shows and feedings. Chat to a diver as they take the underwater stage with sharks and other reef predators, or visit the sweet Turtle Hospital where sick and injured turtles get better. A great way to kids to understand WHY we should be protecting our marine creatures and not looking after our marine environment. 

The same as an Olympic size swimming pool, this Coral Reef Exhibit is home to over 150 species of fish and 120 species of coral (did you know there were so many? We could probably name about 10 fish species! Cod...bass...oh we'll finish later)

This exhibit is unique not only because of its size, but because it's open to all weather elements. This means that all these creatures can live in an incredibly natural environment and experience the sun and moon just as we do. 

The Predator Exhibit is a great way to check out all those scary creatures that live in the ocean (and kids will soon learn they aren't really that scary at all!), and Discovery Lagoon is where ANYONE can participate in the Creature Feature Workshops with incredible hands-on encounters. 

Phew! With a reef as big as the Great Barrier, of course there is a lot to see! Reef HQ Aquarium will certainly fill your family’s entire day out! 

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$28
  • Children$14 (Ages 5 - 16)
  • Free Under: 5 years.
LAST UPDATED 2014

When can we go?

9:30am - 5pm

364 days a year. Closed Christmas Day.

Teachers corner

Perfect for kids to learn about nature and the environment, the aquarium's qualified team of educators and volunteers will guide you and your students through their living classroom experience..

Any Top Tips?

Complimentary guided tours for pre-booked groups of 10 people or more are available with advanced bookings..

Doing our bit

Reef HQ Aquarium ensures the community and stakeholders have a clear understanding of the value of the Great Barrier Reef, the threats to its sustainable future and their role in protecting it. It tools millions of years to form, they want to make sure it hangs around for just as long in the future! .

Need a little extra help?

All exhibits have wheelchair access so come one, come all! .

More information

Allow about 2.5 hours to see the whole exhibition. .

What people are saying?

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    Great tourist attraction in the centre of Townsville. Guarded parking can be found right opposite, pricing reasonable (if you are from Sydney you will be happy). The kids loved the aquarium, it's a good alternative if you don't have the opportunity to go out to the reef yourself. What I loved was the different tanks that allowed some interaction, for example the circular tank tube with "Nemos" (clownfish) - the kids could crawl under and stick their head in, now surrounded by lots of fish - great for a photo. We watched the shark show with a diver...Read More

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    The aquarium was nice, but a little small - we were able to see our way around it in about an hour. It was nice to see all the fish and other sea life sharing the tanks, however, making it seem more 'real'. The highlight of the venue was undoubtedly the turtles, where we were taken into the hospital section at the rear of the museum to visit the turtles who are being cared for, and to learn about their environment - a real eye opener. It was a nice experience overall, but don't expect it to fill more than a few hours.

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    Fantabulous, however a little expensive!!

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    We came to visit Northern Queensland for the sunshine and to view the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. For the "not wanting to get wet", brigade, like us, diving would be out, a glass bottom boat would be limited, trying to view the reef over the side of a moving boat would be hopeless.
    The ReefHQ Aquarium Townsville is the "Worlds Largest Living Coral Reef Aquarium" and gave us the ultimate Reef experience, with it's fascinating display of coral sea life, just imagine walking under the sea without getting wet. The trip starts with a dive show,...Read More

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    Interesting and informative

Submit a review

by Silke Elzner

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Great tourist attraction in the centre of Townsville. Guarded parking can be found right opposite, pricing reasonable (if you are from Sydney you will be happy). The kids loved the aquarium, it's a good alternative if you don't have the opportunity to go out to the reef yourself. What I loved was the different tanks that allowed some interaction, for example the circular tank tube with "Nemos" (clownfish) - the kids could crawl under and stick their head in, now surrounded by lots of fish - great for a photo. We watched the shark show with a diver telling some interesting things about sharks - while diving! Overall a good experience.

by Trevor Scott

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We came to visit Northern Queensland for the sunshine and to view the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. For the "not wanting to get wet", brigade, like us, diving would be out, a glass bottom boat would be limited, trying to view the reef over the side of a moving boat would be hopeless.
The ReefHQ Aquarium Townsville is the "Worlds Largest Living Coral Reef Aquarium" and gave us the ultimate Reef experience, with it's fascinating display of coral sea life, just imagine walking under the sea without getting wet. The trip starts with a dive show, while seated in a theatre, you have a full view of a genuine reef, complete with a wreck, a range of sharks, rays, fish of various size's, lengths, and colours. A diver in full scuba gear is interviewed from the auditorium, while sharks, rays, and other varieties of fish swim around him. The venue is wired to allow for video tele conferencing, for educational purposes, world wide.
Add to this, a walking tour through the underwater viewing tunnel, allowing close up views of a living reef. There is a myriad of living corals, anemone's and a profusion of reef fish, all in their natural habitat, and a Mangrove swamp containing a large Barramundi and a baby crocodile. All the exhibits were fascinating and colourful, especially one small exhibit with ghostly lighting showing coral at great depth with fluorescent deep sea fish. A recent addition to the aquarium, is the Turtle Hospital, where we were shown injured and sick turtles, being treated back to health, and later returned to their natural enviroment. There are seven species of Turtles in the world and six of them are found in Australian waters. The finale of our tour of this incredible aquarium, was feeding time for the sea creatures, with thoughtful commentary, very exciting to witness. The National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, along with it's talented staff and army of volunteers, makes this the most impressive, convenient and affordable way for the whole family to see the reef without getting wet. Definitely a must visit.

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