I have always loved Aquariums and luckily the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay isn’t that far for us to drive to visit. It isn’t the biggest aquarium that I have been to, but there is still plenty to see.
As an added bonus, the Blue Reef Aquarium is located right next to the beautiful Towan Beach in Newquay, perfect for combining a beach day and a visit to the aquarium.
The last time that we visited it was just me and Harley and it was a really hot sunny day. It was actually quite nice to get inside the aquarium, which was quite cool as we walked around.
The staff at the aquarium are always really friendly, I’ve never met a grumpy person working there. As you walk in there is a staircase close by, which leads up to the cafe and the gift shop upstairs. This is also where you exit the aquarium after going around – everywhere loves to make you walk your children through the gift shop ha!
Perfect marketing tactic, the nag factor. Luckily the gift shop has gifts in it of all different price ranges, so it won’t be too painful a visit.
One of the boys have been to a birthday party at the aquarium before and the cafe is where you eat for that. The food looked good at the time I can remember, but don’t ask me what they ate as it was a while ago ha!
As you walk around the aquarium, there are some bits that are open to the air a bit – i.e open to small children’s hands, so just be aware if they’re the type to want to pick a fish up for a cuddle! Some of the fish are really well camouflaged and you have to wait for them to move slightly to spy them.
Others are so bright that there really isn’t any missing them. I love how similar to real life they try to keep the habitats and some of the colours of the plants are just gorgeous. The Blue Reef Aquarium always makes me smile, I find it weirdly hypnotic and relaxing watching fish swim around.
There are so many types of fish that I can’t show photos of all of them or this page would never load. There were also a lovely family of freshwater turtles swimming around when we were there. The babies were ridiculously cute following their parent around everywhere.
There’s also a dwarf caiman crocodile, jelly fish, octopus and so many other species of fish. We always seem to spy something new when we go as there tends to be a year or so in between visits. As you walk around there are loads of boards full of information about the fish and creatures and conservation. There’s also an interactive screen with information for adults and fun bits for children.
The boys’ favourite bit is always the tunnel, where you can ‘walk under water’ with the fish above you. Fish, sharks and a huge Loggerhead turtle. I’m hoping to make a video soon to show him off as he’s pretty awesome in the boys’ words.
Around the sides of the tunnel you can also see through different glass areas into the big tank for a different angled view of sharks, turtles, stingray and fish. My favourite bit though, is when you go up the stairs and can see into the big tank above the tunnel. A word of warning people up there can see into the tunnel and the people in it ha!
I love it up there, as you are so close to the sea creatures. Just heed the ‘this turtle bites’ warning and no trying to pet him. Also be aware this area exists for children who are likely to want to try and climb in for a swim … I’m not trying to call your children wild by the way, it’s just that I have lived through the toddler years and just about made it out the other side!
The aquarium is open all year every day other than Christmas Day. You can visit the Blue Reef Aquarium website for more information and details on events and more. It is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Newquay. We have never spent a whole day there as it doesn’t take up a whole day really unless you go for an event.
However as I said before, it is so handy for the beach and it is pretty much in town, so a morning there with lunch followed by the beach or a mooch around the shops – or rather playing on the 2p machines in the arcades for us – is definitely a good way to spend a whole day.