Wonders of the underwater world
If your preference is to stay above the water, or you want to view the region’s rich diversity of aquatic creatures from a safe distance, Cairns Aquarium is home to more than 15,000 animals, fish, plants and other organisms, from both reef and rainforest. Some are unique to the region, others are endangered, rare or even deadly.
The spectacular Deep Reef exhibit, a representation of a deep water coral reef drop-off, offers the chance to view the colourful range of marine life usually only accessible to experienced scuba divers. Admire graceful scalloped hammerhead sharks and other large predators in the Oceanarium where you can choose to spend a night having a sharky sleepover. Equally weird and wonderful freshwater creatures such as the endangered sawfish can be viewed at the River Monsters exhibit. Learn more about the life aquatic, with touch and talk exhibitions featuring harmless sea animals such as vivid blue sea stars and fat sea cucumbers, or take a turtle rehabilitation tour to learn more about the plight of sea turtles.
Round off your visit with lunch at the Aquarium’s contemporary Italian restaurant, Aqualuna, surrounded by live salt- and freshwater specimens in an Under the Pier shark-themed exhibit inside and outdoor reef-and-rainforest-themed Daintree Deck. And don’t forget about the world’s biggest aquarium at the doorstep. If you don’t like the idea of getting wet to discover the Great Barrier Reef, it can be easily explored on a glass-bottom boat or semi-submersible.
Take a weight off
Plan your aquatic adventure before you go
12 Famous residents of the Great Barrier Reef
Only 12 residents? There’s probably a gazillion of them, but let’s start things slowly shall we. It’s not easy to keep track of every single one of the Great Barrier Reef’s inhabitants but here are some of the most famous ones in Tropical North Queensland.
25 Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef
As you’d expect from one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is home to some weird, wonderful and just plain loveable creatures. Here’s 25 fun Great Barrier Reef facts about a marine world larger than Italy.
Reef Talk – A chat with marine biologist Gareth Phillips
The Great Barrier Reef is a thriving, living marine environment. It inspires all who visit, even those who see it every day, like marine biologist and owner of Reef Teach, Gareth Phillips.