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“Reef HQ at it's best” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium

Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium
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$21.72*
and up
Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium General Entry Ticket
Ranked #6 of 78 things to do in Townsville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium is the world's largest living coral reef aquarium and the Australian Government's national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef. Reef HQ Aquarium provides the most outstanding Great Barrier Reef Aquarium experience through education, inspiration and entertainment. Discover the beauty and wonder of the 2.5million litre Coral Reef Exhibit will open your eyes to an amazing world filled with thousands of charismatic marine creatures. Immerse yourself in the underwater viewing tunnel offering magical views of a living coral reef and the predators that prowl the watery depths. Explore the remarkable 750,000 litre Predator Exhibit featuring a replica bow section of North Queensland's most famous shipwreck the S.S. Yongala, home to some the Great Barrier Reef's most iconic predatory species. Experience a creature feature workshop offering a supervised 'hands on' encounter with some of the amazing creatures that call the Great Barrier Reef home. Appreciate the challenges face by Reef HQ Aquarium's turtle hospital patients and how you can play a role in protecting marine turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. The turtle hospital operates and promotes the C.A.R.E (Conserver. Act. Rehabilitate. Educate) philosophy playing a key role in raising community awareness. Join our experienced and friendly reef interpretation staff on one the Reef HQ Aquarium's premier visitor experiences. Let our volunteers inspire you as they share their passion for the Great Barrier Reef. Located on Flinders Street East, Reef HQ Aquarium is an easy walk from Townsville's CBD, The Strand, Magnetic Island ferry terminal and the Townsville cruise terminal.
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
100 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Reef HQ at it's best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

Magnification place to visit for all ages to view this natural reef having been transferred from the grate barrier reef some time ago. Species are magnification and numerous and a visit to the REEF HQ is a must.

Visited May 2012
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Thank wazzaw123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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768 reviews from our community

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Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
237 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
“good info and pictures of all the fish”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

‘Reef HQ’ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium. Entry $26 (£17.20) per adult - which is rather expensive, but $20.20 for seniors.
We went straight through to the 10.30 Predator Dive Show, which had already started in the mini theatre, overlooking the 750K litre Predator Exhibit, and caught most of the talk. One man outside the tank and a diver inside the tank, both telling the audience about the 3 varieties of sharks. Then, we watched the large fish on the Predator side of the Viewing Tunnel and smaller fish in the other half of the tunnel. (There is good info and pictures of all the fish along the front of all the exhibits.)
There are also sections called Reef Tourism, Coral Cay, Coral Diversity, Mangrove Exhibit, Wetlands Exhibit, Lagoon, Reef Slope, a Climate Change Exhibit, Protected Species, Deep Reef, Coral Reef Communities, Coral Reef Exhibit (2.5M litres!), Channel, Cave, and Sea Country. Upstairs there is an Interactive Zone – extremely popular with kids.
There is also a Turtle Hospital somewhere outside (someone should have told us where it was?), with talks twice a day.
There is a Feeding Show every afternoon at 2.30, and there are elderly volunteer ladies around who are very knowledgeable.

The Aquarium is smaller than I expected, given the colossal volume of the tanks! It is mostly geared towards children, but that is not a bad thing. We spent 2 1/2 hours there, but could easily have seen everything in less time, even if we had found the turtles!
Water View Cafe was a good place to stop for a delicious snack, and we did not find it too expensive for coffee and cake.

We parked in Flinders St, which was free on Public Holidays, next to the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank eleanola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

Do not waste your time or money going here. This was the worst attraction we visited while in Australia. It is a very small aquarium and is really aimed towards children. It did not even take us an hour to cover the whole aquarium.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Galway-Mayo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
133 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“We are members”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

Incredible aquarium and very affordable. We have been several times and have bought an annual pass. We plan to have our wedding reception there.

Helpful?
Thank Spygurl007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Brilliant experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2012

Our visit to Reef HQ was brilliant. We learned about why turtles needed to be in the hospital (flotation problems) and the treatment plans, learned about the regeneration quality of starfish, and watched a diver in a huge tank as a shark, stingray and other assorted fish swam past her. A lot of the exhibition took great care to make sure the children were included in the interaction. The Reef HQ caters for both adults and children alike.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank DandD907
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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