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ReefHQ Aquarium
Vacation Travel Guide

ReefHQ Aquarium showing interior views and marine life as well as a small group of people

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 things to do in ReefHQ Aquarium

Top Hotels Close to ReefHQ Aquarium

Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
4.5 out of 5
334 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $91 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal. Maritime Museum ...
4.3/5Excellent! (635 reviews)
"The friend welcome and the fact that the staff remember my name and my preferences... ie new TV.... they even remembered that I prefer milk chocolate over dark chocolate for the lovely welcome gift is a wonderful touch. The Papuan lady on reception is just delightful, she always remembers me. I’m ..."

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2021

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Madison Plaza Townsville
Madison Plaza Townsville
4 out of 5
409 Flinders St., Corner Of Stanley And Flinders St., Townsville, QLD
The price is $58 per night from Apr 22 to Apr 23
Located in the heart of Townsville, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Catholic Diocese of Townsville and Castle Hill. Townsville Entertainment & Convention ...
3.8/5Good! (962 reviews)
"Great central location. Close to supermarket and eateries."

Reviewed on Mar 29, 2021

Madison Plaza Townsville
The Ville Resort - Casino
The Ville Resort - Casino
4.5 out of 5
Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville, QLD
The price is $121 per night from May 9 to May 10
Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal, ReefHQ Aquarium, and Museum of Tropical Queensland. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (977 reviews)
"Have done a great job going from Jupiter’s to “the ville”. Love the new pool and bar area, great hotel for Adults, will definitely return without children - in room dining was delicious! Drinks are bit overpriced but what do you expect at the one of two casinos in North Queensland. Gaming staff at ..."

Reviewed on Feb 19, 2021

The Ville Resort - Casino
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near ReefHQ Aquarium

Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
4.5 out of 5
334 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD
The price is $91 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
Madison Plaza Townsville
Madison Plaza Townsville
4 out of 5
409 Flinders St., Corner Of Stanley And Flinders St., Townsville, QLD
The price is $58 per night from Apr 22 to Apr 23
Madison Plaza Townsville
The Ville Resort - Casino
The Ville Resort - Casino
4.5 out of 5
Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville, QLD
The price is $121 per night from May 9 to May 10
The Ville Resort - Casino
Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville
Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville
4.5 out of 5
8-10 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD
The price is $98 per night from Apr 19 to Apr 20
Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville
Rydges Southbank Townsville
Rydges Southbank Townsville
3.5 out of 5
23 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD
The price is $94 per night from May 3 to May 4
Rydges Southbank Townsville
Oaks Townsville Gateway Suites
Oaks Townsville Gateway Suites
4.5 out of 5
2 Dibbs Street, South Townsville, QLD
The price is $111 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Oaks Townsville Gateway Suites
Allure Hotel & Apartments
Allure Hotel & Apartments
4.5 out of 5
Cnr Morehead St and McIlwraith St, South Townsville, QLD
The price is $77 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Allure Hotel & Apartments
Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
4.5 out of 5
81 Palmer Street, South Townsville, QLD
The price is $111 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Oaks Townsville Metropole Hotel
Rambutan Resort
Rambutan Resort
5 out of 5
113 - 119 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD
The price is $77 per night from May 10 to May 11
Rambutan Resort
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.