The Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital provides a dedicated facility where sick and injured marine turtles can be cared for and rehabilitated.
Since opening over 10 years ago, the hospital has cared for 255 patients, and inspired more than 270,000 guests who visited through our premier talk and tour program.
In December 2019, Reef HQ Aquarium received $26.9 million in Government funding to upgrade back of house facilities, which includes the coral reef exhibit, predator tank and the turtle hospital. This refurbishment will require the closure of Reef HQ Aquarium and the Turtle Hospital from February 2021.
Due to this, we are slowly winding down the operations of the Turtle Hospital in anticipation of the works. The rehabilitation of one turtle can take three to six months. So that we can complete the rehabilitation process for any patient, we are evaluating turtle patient requirements on a case by case basis, and working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for turtles to be taken to other facilities in the region.
The hospital operates under, and promotes the C.A.R.E (Conserve. Act. Rehabilitate. Educate) philosophy, playing a key role in raising community awareness in relation to threatened species & encouraging behavioural change that contributes to nature conservation.
The turtle hospital was officially opened on the 24 August 2009 by the honourable Peter Garrett AM MP, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.
Marine Turtles are long-lived, slow growing and late maturing. Despite protection marine turtles face a number of threats:
- Fishing nets, lines and hooks – Please take all your fishing tackle home.
- Boat Strikes – ‘Go slow for those below’ and keep an eye out for turtles.
- Litter - Turtles and other sea creatures mistake it for food.
- Plastic Bags - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
To report marine animal strandings call the Queensland Government Wildlife Hotline on 1300 130 372.
- (Inside Australia) 07 4750 0800
- (Outside Australia) +61 7 4750 0800