About Us


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, over 2300kms!

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

Since December 2019, Reef HQ Aquarium has received $80.1 million in Government funding to upgrade the 34-year-fold facility.  While these works take place, we will be closed to the public.

We look forward to reopening in 2023 with a refreshed, reinvigorated and renewed aquarium and education centre. To join us on this journey, please follow our social media channels and check the website for updates. You can view what the refurbishments encompass, by visiting an overview on the works (click here).

A vision –

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'.

Dr. Graeme Kelleher

Our names over the years –

Reef HQ, as we are now commonly known, opened on June 24, 1987 as part of the Bicentennial Commemorative Project and was called The Great Barrier Reef Aquarium. In 1999 it was renamed Reef HQ Aquarium and in 2009 the Aquarium returned to its grass roots by being named Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium. In the past it has also been known as Great Barrier Reef Wonderland, a reference to the incredible spectacle Reef HQ Aquarium offers its visitors.

Contact Us –

Phone 07 47500 800

Address: 2-36 Kelleher Place, Townsville, QLD, 4810

Postal Address: PO Box 1379, Townsville, QLD, 4810

Last updated: 12/07/21