ReefHQ Aquarium

ReefHQ Aquarium showing interior views and marine life as well as a small group of people
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Experience a living example of the Great Barrier Reef on land, let the kids find “Nemo” and get a deeper understanding of one of the world’s most amazing ecosystems.

Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville introduces visitors to the wonderful creatures of the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet. Set out on a journey through a magical underwater world that was previously only accessible to snorkelers or divers. Join a feeding tour, hear about reef conservation and visit the Turtle Hospital.

Reef HQ’s living coral reef is displayed in a huge glass tank that is open to the weather. The reef fish receive natural sunlight and moonlight, keeping them in their natural rhythm. Gaze up at the tall viewing windows and watch schools of fish swim by. Look for the lobsters under the rocks and admire the 120 local species of hard and soft coral. Spot the clownfish peeking out from the anemone, just like in the movie Finding Nemo.

Explore the underwater viewing tunnel. The tank holds nearly 200,000 gallons (750,000 liters) of water and houses the predators of the reef, including small reef sharks and leopard sharks. During the daily Predator Dive Show, watch scuba divers swim among the docile sharks, using sign language to communicate with onlookers. Three times per week, leopard sharks swim onto a partly submerged platform during a feeding show, during which the sharks also receive a quick health check.

Upstairs, observe star fish and stingrays up close in a shallow lagoon. In the Rainforest exhibit, spot the well-camouflaged green tree frogs and green tree python among the foliage. After all, Queensland is where the reef meets the rainforest.

Visit the Turtle Hospital, where injured or sick green turtles are being cared for and rehabilitated. You’ll hear all about the dangers that these gentle creatures face during the twice-daily Turtle Talks.

Reef HQ is the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Learn how fragile the massive eco-system of the reef has become and the steps, such as the installation of a solar panel roof, Reef HQ has taken to reduce its carbon footprint.

The aquarium is an easy walk from The Strand in central Townsville. All-day parking is available for a fee opposite the aquarium. Townsville’s Sunbus connects the city with the Reef HQ Aquarium complex, as well as other tourism attractions.

Reef HQ Aquarium is open daily, but closed on December 25. Admission includes the option to leave and come back the same day. Children get in for half price and those under 5 years old get free admission. Family discount passes are available.

Top Hotels Close to ReefHQ Aquarium

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Best Lodging Options Near ReefHQ Aquarium

Madison Plaza Townsville
Madison Plaza Townsville
4 out of 5
409 Flinders St., Corner Of Stanley And Flinders St., Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $66 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
Madison Plaza Townsville
The Palmer Collective
The Palmer Collective
4 out of 5
12 14 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $69 per night from Jul 17 to Jul 18
The Palmer Collective
The Ville Resort - Casino
The Ville Resort - Casino
4.5 out of 5
Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $220 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
The Ville Resort - Casino
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
4.5 out of 5
334 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $110 per night from Jul 17 to Jul 18
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
Rydges Southbank Townsville
Rydges Southbank Townsville
3.5 out of 5
23 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $92 per night from Jul 31 to Aug 1
Rydges Southbank Townsville
Rambutan Resort
Rambutan Resort
5 out of 5
113 - 119 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $86 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
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Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
4.5 out of 5
81 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $113 per night from Jul 31 to Aug 1
Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
Aquarius on the Beach
Aquarius on the Beach
4 out of 5
75 The Strand, North Ward, QLD, 4810
The price is $107 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
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Allure Hotel & Apartments
Allure Hotel & Apartments
4.5 out of 5
Cnr Morehead St and McIlwraith St, South Townsville, QLD, 4810
The price is $85 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
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Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.