Reef HQ: the Largest Living Reef Aquarium in Townsville

March 18, 2018

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most precious assets. If you’re keen to discover the wonders of the reef without donning a wetsuit on your tailor-made Australia holiday, nothing beats a trip to Reef HQ, the largest living coral reef aquarium in the world. Here, you can witness the bright colours and incredible creatures of the reef without the need for a snorkel or some flippers.

A Brief History of Reef HQ

Reef HQ is located in Townsville, a charming town on the east coast of Australia in the state of Queensland. Reef HQ was established in 1987 as part of the Bicentennial Commemorative Project. The brainchild of Dr Graeme Kelleher, who held the position of chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the aim was to celebrate the reef on land. Dr Kelleher wanted the reef to be accessible to a wider range of people at the same time as raising awareness of the importance of conservation and protection.

Planning your Visit

Dr Kelleher’s vision was to bring the reef to land and this stunning aquarium does just that. As you make your way around the aquarium, you’ll come across a staggering range of exhibits, tanks and displays, which are designed to showcase the corals and creatures in all their glory and give you an insight into the importance of this dazzling ecosystem. The ever-changing backdrop means that no two visits are the same. There are thousands of different species on offer, and you’ll be blown away by the sights that await you.

Reef HQ is a family-friendly attraction and there are plenty of activities that will intrigue and enthral younger visitors. Take part in interactive quizzes, learn all about the sea life species you see and catch the famous Mermaids Show. The team also hosts informative sessions that are designed especially for children, as well as talks geared towards the whole family. You can learn all about sharks and turtles and even watch the sharks and fellow underwater predators being fed. Trained divers host a dive show every morning and the staff are knowledgeable and always keen to get visitors involved to ensure they make the most of their time at Reef HQ. Reef HQ is also home to a turtle hospital and a tour is available to learn more about the facility and the difference it makes to the local turtle population.

Reef HQ is open 7-days a week from 9.30am and 5pm.

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