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Australia’s $54m Cairns Aquarium opens


Australia’s much-anticipated Cairns Aquarium has officially opened its doors to the public.

The $54 million Cairns Aquarium is the first major facility of its kind to be built in the country for 18 years.

It is also the only one of its kind in the world to focus on showcasing the natural wonders and bio-diversity of Tropical North Queensland.

Australia's $54m Cairns Aquarium opens

The aquarium is home to over 15,000 aquatic animals, fish, plants, and other organisms in 71 live exhibits. Visitors embark on an immersive, two-and-a-half-hour journey through a variety of naturalistic and recreated habitats.

Tanks by Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT)

The state-of-the-art three story facility has 71 displays with 40 aquarium exhibit tanks. These were supplied by Queensland’s Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT), the world leader in aquarium infrastructure. The FRP exhibit tanks were made complete with rockwork, theming, artificial corals, acrylic panels, skimmers & flow ports in AAT’s manufacturing factory. The company was recently in the news for producing a huge, perfectly clear, 120mm thick, 8.4 x 3.15 meter acrylic panel. The large format, PLEXIGLAS acrylic weighed over 4 US tons.

Among the habitats represented are river systems, creeks and streams, reefs, billabongs and flooded waterways, rainforest, forest floor and mangroves.

“When we visited the (Great Barrier) Reef six years ago, we were amazed by the colours and variety of fish and coral,” says co-founder and co-director, Daniel Leipnik.  “But, we couldn’t help noticing the vast number of people who had made the journey, but for one reason or another, did not go into the water or venture off the islands, while others were left wanting to see more.”

Australia's $54m Cairns Aquarium opens

“A Cairns city location was therefore the ideal place for an attraction of this kind to enhance people’s love of the Reef and marine world, while providing absolutely everyone with a memorable experience irrespective of whether they travelled to the Reef or not.”

Creatures on display include humphead maori wrasse, hammerhead sharks and 4-metre long scrub pythons.

Images courtesy Cairns Aquarium

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Charles Read

Charles is Managing Director at Blooloop. He attends numerous trade shows around the world and frequently speaks about trends and social media for the attractions industry at conferences. Outside of Blooloop his passions are diving, trees and cricket.

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