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The Blue Reef Aquarium, an indoor attraction right next to Towan Beach, Newquay. Towan beach is in the middle of Newquay and is a super place to visit when rainy or even if you want a break from the sun! You can get your hand stamped and come in out of the Aquarium all day, which is really handy for when the weather is unpredictable.
Great for kids
The Aquarium is a fabulous place to wander around with young children. All the children we were with (4, 2, and 1) were fascinated and excited to see all the different sea creatures. You can park in town and walk down to the aquarium, which can be accessed via a gentle slope which is nice and easy when using a pushchair. Or get the bus; it is only a short walk from the bus stop and buses are regular right outside of Hendra. You could even get the Newquay Land Trian in which leaves Hendra at 9.15 each day, returning at 4pm. The Newquay Land Train drops you off in the centre of the town.
You can use the pushchair around most of the attraction, or you can park it up and get it after you have explored. There is a lift in the aquarium too. Younger children will love looking for the toy turtles dotted around the aquarium and counting them. Older children will enjoy the quiz. There are other games and learning aids around the aquarium too.
Fishes, crabs and octopuses
There are events on throughout each day, with talks about the octopus, and a rock pool encounter. You can watch the turtle, tropical fish and shark feed at various times throughout the day.
There’s lots to see here and it will certainly keep little eyes busy and amazed. There are crabs, lobsters, seahorses, stone fish, piranhas, hermit crabs, shrimps, clown fish, tropical fish, and black tip reef sharks.
The centrepiece of the aquarium is the underwater tunnel where you can get up close to some amazing ocean creatures including angelfish, pufferfish, and hundreds of brightly-coloured fish, along with sharks, rays, moray eels and the venomous lion fish.
The Loggerhead Turtle was a firm favourite with both the children and adults. At the end of the displays there is a pool in which you can look in to directly and see some of the creatures.
The gift shop offers a wide range of fun gifts to educate and keep little ones entertained, along with souvenirs, toys, cards and posters.
There is the Blue Reef Cafe where you can enjoy a wide selection of drinks, snacks and meals, which included a Cornish cream tea. For younger families, baby food is available plus highchairs, a bottle warmer and microwave for parental use. There is a soft play area gated off so small children can have a play while the adults relax.
If the weather perks up, and the tide is out you can wander on the beach which is great for rock pools, so you can continue your ocean experience! The Blue Reef Aquarium is very close to Hendra, in the town centre, with a discount voucher in the Hendra Welcome Book.