Cairns Aquarium | Cairns Family Attraction

A brand new all-weather attraction has arrived in Cairns showcasing a huge variety of marine life and corals from the waters of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The visually stunning Cairns Aquarium is located in the heart of the Tropical North Queensland city. The aquarium is also easy walking distance from most hotels, resorts and holiday apartments within the Cairns city.

This new attraction aims to become a leading educational facility to showcase the diversity of the tropical norths Wet Tropics regions of the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef within its interactive zones.

This new tourist attraction shows how these two World Heritage listed environments are totally reliant on each other for their co-existence & dependency and encourages education for all generations to think about and consider their footprint on our planet and to participate in preserving our wild environment for the survival of future generations.

Cairns Aquarium

Inside the Cairns Aquarium

The aquarium will support more than 3 million litres of salt, fresh and brackish water that will be home to many creatures that are either rarely seen due to their nocturnal habits along with animals that are nowhere else on the planet. You will be able to be up close to rare, endangered, unusual and deadly specimens in the marine displays.

There will be more than 15,000 creatures from all of the eco systems in Tropical North Queensland that are interconnected in the survival of the Great Barrier Reef in themed exhibits such as the Open Ocean, The Great Barrier Reef, River Monsters, Rivers & Streams, Life in the Mangroves, Coral Atoll, Reptiles and Amphibians of the Rainforest, Dangers of the Reef and more.

One of the many highlights of the new aquarium is the 30m long acrylic underwater viewing tunnel into a 360 degree open ocean viewing tank or shark lagoon. Here you will see Australia’s only school of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks in a 2 million litre, 5 metre high deep water exhibit. There will be interactions of  sharks, giant stingrays, guitarfish, unicorn fish and dozens of other Great Barrier Reef marine animals.  

As the Cairns Aquarium is also an educational facility there is an in-house Research & Development program aimed at assisting to protect vulnerable and protected species with ex-situ reproductive bio-technology studies and re-population programs.

For further education about the Great Barrier Reef there are touch tanks, live diver talks from the deep reef tank and a Turtle Rehabilitation tour and even an opportunity to take a look at the behind the scenes Research Facility.

Meals & Refreshments

Call into Aqualuna contemporary Italian restaurant on the ground floor for a wide selection of menu items, price options and meal types to suit everyone’s tastes and dietary requirements. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner

After Hours & Special Occasions

Now this is a wonderful place to hold a wedding don’t you think? The Aqualuna restaurant opens up as an indoor/outdoor 220 seat venue for weddings, conferences and functions with floor to ceiling tank on one side and lush Tropical gardens on the other.

In 2018 the Cairns Aquarium is planning for Dive or Snorkel with Hammerhead Sharks so keep an eye out for that amazing experience.


In the Tropical Treasures gift store you will find plush toys, souvenirs, gifts and educational items that are environmentally friendly, made locally and certified as reef and rainforest safe products. Proceeds from the shop will be distributed to charity organisations contributing to the preservation of the Queensland's Wet Tropics region.

Hours of Operation – Location

Open 365 days a year

  • Saturday to Thursday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Friday: 9:00am to 7:00pm

Last admission at 4.30pm

Please allow at least 2.5 hours to see and enjoy all exhibitions

Disabled Access: via lifts/elevators – Disabled bathrooms

Free Wi-Fi, ATM, lockers (extra cost) and water fountains

5 Florence Street Cairns (between Abbott and Lake Street)

Please send questions to

Visit the website at

Photos from Cairns Aquarium