The Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium Turtle Hospital
I stumbled on the Reef HQ Barrier Reef Aquarium by accident as I ambled around Townsville just before I caught the ferry to Magnetic Island. As the National Education Centre for Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Reef HQ Aquarium has the largest coral reef aquarium in Queensland. Rare and extraordinary wildlife from the reef are housed there with incredible reef tanks, windows to observe coral and marine creatures and an amazing ‘reef tunnel’ allowing access to 300+ species.
With exciting daily talks and tours including the ‘Predator Dive Show’ which showcases sharks, the terror of the deep and the ‘Shark Feeding Show’ from the ‘Reef Tunnel.’ However, the highlight for me was visiting the Turtle Hospital. Having glimpsed these amazing creatures in their natural habitat whilst sea kayaking around Fitzroy Island it was fantastic to get a closer look at these wonderful creatures.
The Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital cares for sick and injured marine turtles and aims to rehabilitate them to enable release back into the wild. With their motto of CARE (Conserve, Act, Rehabilitate, Educate) the hospital aims to raise awareness and aide in conservation of turtles. Marine turtles face threats from fishing nets and hooks, boat strikes, litter (which they mistake for food) and plastic bags, which is becoming a huge problem for marine life. It was a great opportunity to take a closer look at these beautiful creatures and wish them well for a speedy recovery!
Teaching resources available for primary teachers: