Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive
While exploring Townsville North Queensland you might be surprised by some of the local creatures you can meet along the way. Hand feed the cute and extremely photogenic rock wallabies on Magnetic Island’s Geoffrey Bay, spot Koala’s lazing amongst the eucalyptus trees along the historic Forts Walk, meet JR the Texas Long Horn with the world record for having the longest horns and have a truly magical encounter with Nemo and his mates on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
The Aquasearch Lab / Aquarium is currently the only facility on Magnetic Island for viewing a marine display. See a variety of hard and soft corals, coralliomorphs, anemones, lobsters and shrimp, blue starfish, trochus, and a variety of coral reef fish in the displays. The facility includes microscopes and a Live Foods section, as well as an area for breeding of marine anemonefish and selected freshwater fish.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is Australia’s tropical marine research agency. AIMS plays a pivotal role in providing large-scale, long-term and world-class research that helps governments, industry and the wider community to make informed decisions about the management of Australia’s marine estate. The Australian Institute of Marine Science's National Sea Simulator (SeaSim) is a world-class marine research aquarium facility for tropical marine organisms in which scientists can conduct cutting-edge research not previously possible in Australia. Members of the public are invited to join a free tour of their Cape Ferguson facility every Friday between March and November. Tours begin at 9.30am and end at approximately 11.45am. They include presentations on AIMS’ current research and a guided walk around the facilities, including a tour of the ‘world’s smartest aquarium’, the National Sea Simulator. Numbers are limited. Bookings are essential and close at 4pm on the Wednesday before the tour. Sturdy, closed footwear and a hat to protect against the sun are required. They also advise you to bring drinking water. A lunch is available for guests to purchase at the cafe after the tour. Please inform reception if you intend on staying for lunch when booking.
Billabong Sanctuary offers Australia’s Best Interactive Wildlife Experience! Located just 20 minutes south of Townsville on the Bruce Highway, they feature native animals in natural habitats of eucalypt forest, rainforest and wetlands. As a small boutique park, they specialise in memorable personal experiences. Cuddle a koala, pat a wombat, pose with a python, pat a dingo, and feed the cassowaries. You could even hold a baby saltwater crocodile! Free-ranging kangaroos will hop up for a pat. Most interactive experiences are free-of-charge and you can use your own camera to capture the moment. Billabong Sanctuary is one of the few places in the country where you can hold a koala for a souvenir photo! This dream-come true experience takes place twice a day, morning and afternoon, so you won’t miss out. Twice-daily croc-feeding shows are thrilling to watch, as these mighty reptiles power out of the water to snatch their food. Throughout the day friendly Rangers present dynamic and impassioned talks, which are both inspiring and entertaining. The focus on conservation has earned them Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation.
Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium is the the world's largest living coral reef aquarium and the Australian Government's national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in the underwater viewing tunnel offering magical views of a living coral reef and the predators that prowl the water depths. Discover beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. Home to the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, the 2.5 million litre coral reef exhibition will open your eyes to an amazing world filled with thousands of charismatic marine creatures. Appreciate the challenges faced by Reef HQ Aquarium's Turtle Hospital patients and how you can play a role in protecting marine turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. The turtle hospital operates and promotes the C.A.R.E (Conserve. Act. Rehabilitate. Education) philosophy playing a key role in raising community awareness. Join their experienced and friendly interpretation staff on one of Reef HQ Aquarium's premier visitor experiences. Let their volunteers inspire you as they share their passion for the Great Barrier Reef.
Situated near Cape Bowling Green off the coast between Townsville and Ayr, the SS Yongala is possibly the best wreck dive in the world. The ship, at 110 metres long, is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks, as well as one of the most intriguing maritime mysteries - after sinking in 1911, the SS Yongala lay undiscovered for more than half a century. Due to being the only reef formation in the region, the ship attracts a much higher amount of sea life than other dive sites. Everything about the SS Yongala is massive: huge fish, enormous structures of coral and with so much of the ship still intact, it makes for a stunning sight and one that won’t compare to anything else. You will find eagle rays, turtles, giant Queensland gropers, schooling barracuda, sea snakes and much more living on board the SS Yongala.