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“Getting rather tired, and no longer good value for money”
Review of Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef Aquarium
Ranked #40 of 65 things to do in Newquay
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: From the local Cornish coast to the dazzling beauty of the Tropical Reef, Newquay Blue Reef aquarium has an exciting world of underwater adventure waiting to be discovered. More than 40 innovative displays vividly bring to life the sights, sounds and smells of the sea, whilst regular feeding displays, rock-pool workshops and informative talks provide a fun and fascinating day out. Visitors can enjoy the closest of undersea encounters with amazing aquatic life including seahorses, giant octopus, pulsating Jellyfish and fierce Piranha. At the aquariums heart is a spectacular coral reef display housed within a 250,000 litre ocean tank - home to exotic tropical species like black tip reef sharks and Omiros the rescued loggerhead turtle. As well as hundreds of brightly-coloured reef fish and a huge Southern Stingray. Enjoy the sheer beauty of the display by taking a journey through its very own underwater tunnel, as well as through a number of viewing portholes, a floor to ceiling window and even enjoy close encounters from the surface - where Omiros often likes to pop up to say hello! Situated on Towan Promenade in the heart of Newquay, Blue Reef Aquarium not only offers a beach on its doorstep but also an amazing experience, whatever the weather!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift, Baby buggy parking, Activities for young children
Reviewed 20 October 2013

When my daughter was between 4 and 8 we went to the aquarium a fair bit. It was a good size, fun exhibits, exciting exotic creatures. Then we didn't go for perhaps three years. So when we went back this October, we were somewhat surprised to find that... nothing has changed. Nothing. Everything was seemingly exactly the same since our last visit three years ago. In fact, everything was starting to look very tired. And it's expensive: £32.50 for two adults and two kids. You can save a whopping £2.50 if you book online. It took the kids exactly 40 minutes to get round. We tried to stretch it to an hour, but to no avail. That is not because they have some kind of attention deficit disorder, it is because the Aquarium looks and feels very tired now. Some displays were not working. Most were poorly interpreted. Yes, I've been spoilt by Oceanopolis in Brest, Cincinnati Aquarium and other amazing aquaria in the world and I know that at least some of my £32.50 is going on research and conservation work. But Blue Reef needs a facelift and there's no excuse for poorly presented information.

Thank OutAndAbout40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueReefAquarium, General Manager at Blue Reef Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2013

Thank you for your review OutAndAbout40, your feedback is important to us.

Sorry to hear you were disappointed with your visit and felt that nothing had changed since your last visit. However in the last 3 years we have added our rescue turtle and giant Pacific octopus, plus a few other exhibits. We do also provide opportunities to listen to regular talks and watch feeds that often extend each visit, plus don’t forget that our tickets are valid for the whole day and many visitors like to go around the aquarium several times.

Our current pricing means that we are much cheaper than many other aquariums in the UK and in-line with other local attractions.

We hope you visit again to see what’s new in the future as we are planning lots of changes to our exhibits this winter.

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"octopus"
in 124 reviews
"sea life"
in 93 reviews
"small aquarium"
in 47 reviews
"underwater tunnel"
in 30 reviews
"lovely aquarium"
in 23 reviews
"large tank"
in 19 reviews
"blind turtle"
in 19 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 67 reviews
"different species"
in 14 reviews
"take your time"
in 17 reviews
"feeding times"
in 20 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 38 reviews
"my partner"
in 25 reviews
"sharks"
in 166 reviews
"loggerhead"
in 20 reviews
"creatures"
in 61 reviews
"talks"
in 76 reviews
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1,133 - 1,137 of 1,401 reviews

Reviewed 16 October 2013

It wasn't crowded when we visited mid week but I thought it was pricey for how big it is. Some tanks were empty and in others we couldn't see the fish etc that the details reflected. The advert says biggest aquarium in Cornwall so I would hate to see the smallest. Go to The Deep in Hull or the aquarium in Plymouth for a proper aquarium but I suppose on a rainy summers' day it will pass an hour! Wouldn't recommend it. But other visitors with small children seemed to be enjoying it.

Thank DenTon145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueReefAquarium, General Manager at Blue Reef Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 17 October 2013

Thank you for your feedback DenTon145

There are a number of very small seaside aquariums in Cornwall and with over 40 displays we are currently the largest aquarium in Cornwall. Unfortunately we cannot do much about the size of the building we have, but we do take pride in having a lot of small unique exhibits that you will not regularly find in other larger aquaria, such as nautilus, garden eels, shimpfish and giant Pacific octopus.

It is misleading to say that some tanks were empty, as to date we have only had 1 display offline this month while it was being refurbished.

It is worth noting that our current competitive pricing means that we are cheaper than any other aquarium in the UK, with an all day re-admission to allow our visitors to come and go throughout the day if they wish, as many do.

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Reviewed 16 October 2013

We were looking for a place to shelter from the rain when we came across this aquarium. Okay, so it isn't the biggest aquarium in the world, but it has its charms. Plenty of sea creatures, especially the giant octopus and the turtle (beware though, it splashes some times). The children who were there seemd to enjoy the place and we heard plenty of squeals of delight as they walked around it.

1  Thank Gagzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

I visited this aquarium back in the summer and was pleasantly surprised by this aquarium. Despite having issues locating this aquarium from the directions I had been provided with from the website, eventually I found this aquarium. While the aquarium wasn't as big I was expecting it to be I was pleased to see that there were lots of species on show ranging from native species to the UK to tropical fish and crocs.

2  Thank ChrisBoyland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 October 2013

We enjoyed this a lot. Daughter was amazed and learned a lot too. Big, small, colourful and rare fish and sea life. Well worth it

1  Thank Ryan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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