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  •  Activities
  •  Cairns
  •  Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre: General Admission

Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre: General Admission

Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre

  • Cairns
  • English
  • Flexible, up to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation prior to 7 days of travel date
  • 24 Working Hours Confirmation

Standard Inclusions

  • 1. All day admission to Cairns Aquarium
  • 2. Elusive Rainforest and Reef Creatures
  • 3. Live Ray and Shark Feeding Show
  • 4. Oceanarium with Underwater Tunnel
  • 5. Australia's only Deep Reef Tank
  • 6. Marine Touch Tank
  • 7. Reptile Touch and Talk Demonstration
  • 8. Conservation Talks and Presentations
From AUD

1 Key Facts


  • 1. All day admission to Cairns Aquarium
  • 2. Elusive Rainforest and Reef Creatures
  • 3. Live Ray and Shark Feeding Show
  • 4. Oceanarium with Underwater Tunnel
  • 5. Australia's only Deep Reef Tank
  • 6. Marine Touch Tank
  • 7. Reptile Touch and Talk Demonstration
  • 8. Conservation Talks and Presentations

Not included

  • 1. Transport from/to hotels
  • 2. Food & beverages not listed as Inclusions
  • 3. Souvenirs
  • 4. Travel Insurance
  • 5. Any optional extra items (including but not limited to Dive with Sharks / shows / encounters / experiences / photo packages) that are not included in the standard admission. All optional extra items are at own expense.
Destination Cairns
Address 5 Florence Street, Cairns QLD 4870
How to get there ● On foot
Cairns Aquarium is within easy walking distance of most accommodation. It is one block from The Esplanade, two blocks from the Lagoon Pool and an easy 5 mins walk from the Cruise Terminal.

● By Car
Closest Parking:
- 120 Grafton Street Parking (Address: 120 Grafton St, Cairns City QLD 4870), approximately 5 minutes walk
- Parking fees apply

● By Public Transport
-There are bus services on Lake and Abbott Street, right outside the Aquarium. The Cairns Aquarium is conveniently located in the heart of Cairns, next to Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort and opposite DoubleTree by Hilton.
-Please check the Transport QLD timetables ( for more details to plan your trip.
Operating hours
Daily 10:00 - 15:00 Last Entry 14:00
Other info ● All Children (0 - 14 years) must be accompanied by an adult;
● Complimentary Visitor Map, multi-lingual versions available in Chinese and Japanese.

【Behaviour Policy】
● Visitors are expected to behave in an appropriate, respectful and positive manner when interacting with other guests, Cairns Aquarium's staff and animals.
● Unruly or unsafe behaviour that endangers people or animals, disrupts other guests' ability to enjoy their visit, or interferes with business operations will not be tolerated and can result in ejection without a refund.
● Cairns Aquarium requires all guests to wear shirts and shoes during their visit and reserves the right to deny entry and eject any individual without liability from the aquarium and aquarium property.
● When deemed necessary, all bags, backpacks, and packages may be inspected prior to entering the Aquarium. Cairns Aquarium retains the right at all times to refuse admissions or request visitors to leave if they are in violation of Cairns Aquarium's policies.

● As per the Queensland Smoking Regulation by-law, smoking (including e-cigarettes) is prohibited anywhere on Aquarium property, including outdoor areas unless signed as a designated smoking area.

【Accredited Service Animals & Pets】
● For the safety of guest's pet and Cairns Aquarium's animals, pets are not allowed in Cairns Aquarium's facility.
● For the safety of all visitors, Cairns Aquarium requests that pets not be left unattended at any time outside Cairns Aquarium's facility.
● Cairns Aquarium allow accredited trained service and emotional support animals within the Aquarium upon presentation of proper documentation and an identification jacket for the service animal.

【Prohibited Items】
● For the health and safety of guests and Cairns Aquarium's animals the following items are not permitted to be:
-Clothing with offensive or vulgar language
-Alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, recreational drugs
-Roller blades, roller skates, wheelies, skateboards, child scooters, hover boards (These items may be left with admission staff and collected upon exiting)
-Laser pens and pointers
-Noise making devices
-Any other items deemed to be dangerous or inappropriate by Cairns Aquarium's staff
● Plastic bottles, straws and lids can fall into animal habitats and this can be very dangerous to the animals. While these items are not prohibited Cairns Aquarium do ask that guests take care and dispose of these items responsibly in the garbage receptacles provided.
● Balloons and bubbles can also pose a risk to animal health so these can be left at the admissions desk and collected after visit. Bubbles are also not permitted within the Aquarium as the detergent used in bubbles can pose a risk to animal health.

【Important Post-Covid Service Information】
- In the interest of customers, staff and following restrictions on non-essential gatherings, presentations have been temporarily unavailable.
- Please refer to for the latest updates during the post-Covid period.

2 Overview

As the only aquarium in the world dedicated exclusively to the habitats and species of tropical North Queensland, the Cairns Aquarium connects visitors with the natural wonders of The Great Barrier Reef, The Wet Tropics, The Gulf Savannah and Cape York regions. With over 16,000 animals and unique opportunities to move up close to some of the world's most fascinating, elusive or deadly creatures, every visit is unforgettable.

Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre General Admission


Experience Something Amazing

Every day at Cairns Aquarium visitors are provided with guaranteed interaction with some of the rarest and most elusive animals on earth. The incredible biodiversity of the two adjoining World Heritage listed areas, The Wet Tropics and The Great Barrier Reef provides the cast for a show stopping spectacle of colour, shape and movement that you will never see in another single location anywhere else in the world. 16,000 animals from 10 different ecosystems and 71 habitats across Tropical North Queensland are less than a hand span away and their ever-changing activities and behaviours will keep you mesmerised every time you visit.


Animal Habitats

Your journey through the Cairns Aquarium follows a drop of rain as it descends from the tropical rainforest covered range, to join creeks, streams and rivers before travelling through the rainforest, across the mangrove flats and coral reef systems before entering the Coral Sea. 10 North Queensland ecosystems and 71 habitats have been meticulously researched so that these natural environments could be recreated in Cairns Aquarium to ensure the ongoing health and longevity of the species on display.

  • River Systems

    This gallery is a journey through the rivers of Far North Queensland and showcases the unusual shapes and behaviours of endemic species including perch, gudgeon, catfish and freshwater stonefish to name a few of the species found here.

  • Creeks and Streams

    Freshwater species are often thought to be second cousins to their brighter marine counterparts however there is nothing dull about the crustaceans in these waters. Brilliantly coloured crayfish and giant prawns will really catch your eye and attention.

  • Waterways and Billabongs

    The Cape York and Gulf Savannah region is home to one of the World's rarest and most bizarre fish, the Freshwater Sawfish which can grow as large as 7 metres and has a 2 metre snout or rostrum covered in dangerous bony teeth. Lurking in the depths of this exhibit are also giant barramundi and one of the largest species of freshwater whip rays. Other fish such as sooty grunters and mangrove jacks may just make an appearance too!

  • Tropical Rainforest

    Discover some of the most incredible snakes, lizards, and frogs you've ever seen. Many of these are nocturnal and are often not seen during the day. The displays highlight these beautiful creatures so you can see what creeps around the tropical forests late at night!

  • Forest Floor

    The richest diversity of spiders and insects known in Australia and possibly the world, can be found in Tropical North Queensland. Not only are they everywhere but they are huge! Many growing larger than your hand and even longer than your arm! We've brought together some of the biggest and meanest rainforest giants you've ever seen!

  • Life in the Mangroves

    The mangroves play an important role in filtering out sediment from mountain water streams and provides a safe nursery for many young reef fish. Mangrove trees have evolved to live permanently in a mixture of salt and freshwater that is constantly changing. The eco-systems in the Wet Tropics are intrinsically linked and the mangroves host a world of unique creatures with important biological functions. Fish that live out of water, fighting crabs, crocodiles and even baby sharks are all just part of the days' fun.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres over an area of approx. 344,400 sq kilometres. It is so large it is visible from space. Many plants and animals have developed specialised colours, shapes, and behaviours to survive. The Great Barrier Reef Gallery provides an insight into some very unique and unusual inhabitants.

  • Dangers of the Reef

    The Reef has many species of marine life that can be potentially fatal to humans. Dangers of the Reef shows you the creatures you should watch out for before venturing out. Some are easily seen such as sea snakes or lionfish, others such as Box Jelly fish or Irukandji are often not seen until it's too late!

  • The Coral Sea

    In the main Oceanarium you will find many of the Reef's largest inhabitants including Reef sharks, Leopard sharks, Sting rays, Coral Trout, and Trevally. The number of fish species living in this area is higher than in any reef zone.

  • Ribbon Reefs

    The Reef face is the zone above the Reef floor or the reef drop-off. It is the richest habitat with complex growths of coral and calcareous algae. Cracks and crevices abound providing protection, and the abundant invertebrates and epiphytic algae provide an ample source of food which attracts fish and life forms to its structure. The 10-metre-high, 200,000 litre deep reef face tank is visible over both levels of the Aquarium so you can see how fish move between the shallows and the ocean depths.

  • Under the Pier

    Man-made structures such as jetty's and piers make instant homes for those species that can adapt to this environment. Aqualuna Restaurant showcases these species in a centrally located 70,000 litre shark exhibit. Baby Blacktip reef sharks, stingrays, angelfish and wrasse will watch you as you dine.



Taking a closer look has its rewards; you might see something you've never noticed before but to really understand the incredible adaptations and behaviours of these creatures you should attend one of the scheduled daily presentations or talks from one of the incredibly knowledgeable AquaNuts.

Seeing is believing but touching creates a lasting impression that will be long remembered. That's why there are two Touch Tanks in Cairns Aquarium where, under the AquaNuts supervision, you can touch incredible creatures from the rainforest and the reef. Lizards, sea stars, sea cucumbers and a host of delicate sea creatures are keen to make your acquaintance so you will love them and want to protect them.


Shows and Talks

Reference only and subject to change without notice

Enjoy daily talks and presentations provided by the very knowledgeable and entertaining AquaNuts - they are called that because they are crazy about all things aquatic and when you meet them you'll see and hear that for yourselves!

Time Shows and Talks Location
09:30 Flooded Billabong River Monsters River Monsters Amphitheatre (Ground Floor)
10:00 Terrestrial Encounter Touch and Talk Wet Tropics Rainforest Zone (Level 1)
10:30 Ribbon Reef Denizens of the Deep Deep Reef Amphitheatre (Level 1)
11:00 Coral Sea Life of Sharks and Rays Oceanarium (Ground Floor)
11:30 Open Ocean Curious & Coloured Coral Sea Amphitheatre (Ground Floor)
13:00 Flooded Billabong River Monsters River Monsters Amphitheatre (Ground Floor)
13:30 Terrestrial Encounter Touch and Talk Wet Tropics Rainforest Zone (Level 1)
14:00 Ribbon Reef Denizens of the Deep Deep Reef Amphitheatre (Level 1)
14:30 Marine Encounter Touch and Talk Marine Touch Pools (Level 1)
15:00 Coral Sea Life of Sharks and Rays Oceanarium (Ground Floor)
15:30 Open Ocean Curious & Coloured Coral Sea Amphitheatre (Level 1)


3 Policy

Cancellation Policy

● If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
● If you cancel between 0 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
● If no show, no refund.

4 Yotpo Reviews

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