Great Barrier Reef
Please note we are undergoing an exciting new refurbishment in the Great Barrier Reef exhibit which incorporates the walk through tunnel. This means some creatures are currently off show including the white & black tip reef sharks and our loggerhead turtle. However our other exhibits are open including Penguin Beach, Otter Oasis & Key West and the work does not impact our scheduled talk times. Find out more about this project and see our FAQ's
Stroll through the impressive underwater tunnel where native Barrier Reef creatures are waiting to be discovered.
Stroll through the impressive underwater tunnel where native Barrier Reef creatures are waiting to be discovered – home to stunning sharks, moray eels, big-eyed jacks and a variety of beautiful fish!
You can get great views of the Great Barrier Reef tank from all angles; from up above at Turtle Beach, then underwater in the tunnel, a large viewing window in Global Meltdown and a floor to ceiling window in Key West. We even have an underwater camera view in the Marine Research Laboratory which you can control!
Watch our two lively Loggerhead turtles finding their flippers in their brand new home in the Great Barrier Reef exhibit. The two sisters who are 5 years old are now sharing their new home with stunning sharks, moray eels, big-eyed jacks and a range of beautiful fish very common to the creatures they would swim with in the wild.
Barrier Reef Feeding Presentations take place daily at 2pm (sharks) and 3pm (turtles).
PLEASE NOTE: During busy periods due to safety regulations regarding capacity the underwater tunnel is a through route only. As such at presentation times it cannot be used as a viewing area. Thank you for your cooperation.
GREAT BARRIER REEF FACTS
The Great Barrier Reef is actually made up of around 2,100 individual reefs and 800 island or coastal reefs.
Despite its enormous size – 2,000kms long and covering a total area of 350,000kms – the reef has actually been formed, over millions of years, from the skeletons of tiny marine organisms called coral polyps.
Related to sea anemones and jellyfish, these polyps secrete a hard, outer skeleton made from calcium as a defence against predators and as a means to anchor them.
When they die their skeletons remain behind. New polyps attach themselves to the old skeleton and the cycle starts again with each new generation building on the remains of the previous one.
Coral reefs have been described as the ‘rainforests of the deep’ because of the incredible variety of life that they support. The Great Barrier Reef is made up of 400 species of coral and over 2,000 species of fish ranging in size from tiny cleaner wrasse to huge sharks.
Literally thousands of other creatures ranging from jellyfish to sea turtles, starfish to whales and shellfish to sea birds rely on the reef to support them.