HUGE CATCH FOR VISITORS Reef HQ massive drawcard for locals, tourists
TOWNSVILLE’S iconic Reef HQ has a membership base that would make any NRL club boss green with envy.
That’s the message from Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority tourism and stewardship director, and former Reef HQ director, Fred Nucifora.
The Reef HQ aquarium membership base stands at about 17,000 people, and Mr Nucifora says that rivals most NRL clubs in the country.
“Our membership base is something we’re incredibly proud of,” he said.
“It competes with most of the NRL clubs. They would love to have as many members as Reef HQ has.”
Mr Nucifora said during the past two years, the Reef HQ aquarium had exceeded its visitation target.
Latest statistics reveal the number of visitors to Reef HQ during the past financial year reached 142,610, an increase from the previous financial year of 140,268.
“About 80 per cent of visitation is local and regional and the remainder is from national and international visitors,” Mr Nucifora said.
“We welcome all demographics to the aquarium but it is the young families who are the biggest, and growing, demographic.” Mr Nucifora said despite being 30 years since the aquarium was built, it continues to punch above its weight in terms of attracting strong crowd numbers.
“People are really embracing the aquarium, sharing their experience on social media platforms which spreads the word to locals and other visitors,” he said.
“Thirty years on, it’s still a world class standard aquarium and it has not been matched across the world.
“There are other larger aquariums but not one has a living tropical coral reef exhibition of the size we have at Reef HQ.”
UNDERWATER WONDER: Guide Ryan Ramasamy shows US tourist Stephanie Rains through the Reef HQ aquarium.