Experience the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet, at the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. As the National Reef Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Reef HQ Aquarium will open your eyes to an amazing world filled with thousands of charismatic marine creatures. With impressive exhibits the aquarium offers an ever changing, always fascinating experience, showcasing rare and extraordinary features of the Great Barrier Reef.

One of the richest, most complex and diverse ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park begins at the tip of Cape York in Queensland and extends south to Bundaberg.

Reef HQ Aquarium was the vision of Dr Graeme Kelleher, a former chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Dr Kelleher’s objective was to create the Great Barrier Reef on land, making the reef accessible and affordable while at the same time spreading the reef conservation message and gaining public support for the protection of the ‘real thing’.

Reef HQ Aquarium (formally known as the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium) opened June 14 1987 as part of the Bicentennial Commemorative Project and was renamed Reef HQ Aquarium in 1999. In 2009 the Aquarium has gone back to its grass roots by renaming the aquarium Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium.

Waterview Cafe

Reef HQ Aquarium’s Waterview Cafe is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm daily, providing a range of refreshments for our guests. Take in the view from the waterside courtyard or relax in air conditioned comfort whilst enjoying the breath taking views of our 2.5 million litre coral reef exhibit.

Reef-In Store

Reef HQ Aquarium’s Reef-in Store is open from 9.30am to 5.00pm daily, providing an opportunity for our guests to purchase gifts or mementos.

Opening Hours

Reef HQ Aquarium is open from 9.30am until 5.00pm 360+ days a year (closed Christmas Day, Anzac Day and the Australia Day public holiday). We recommend approximately 2 to 2.5 hours for you to experience the beauty and wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Reef HQ Aquarium provides visitor in wheelchairs full access to all exhibits.


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