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Welcome to Exploris

Northern Ireland's Only Aquarium + Reptile Exhibition

Following the recent investment of almost £2m at Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry, we are delighted to once again open the doors of Northern Ireland’s only aquarium to the public.

The completely redeveloped and remodelled centre – which still includes our famous aquarium, educational open pools in the ‘Strangford Vikings’ and kids’ zone as well as the seal sanctuary – now boasts a reptile section and exciting additions to our deep-sea exhibit.

Visitors can now experience the powerful presence of our resident African Nile Crocodile, Reticulated Python, as well as Madagascan Geckos, Corn Snakes and more; all whilst overlooking the seal and otter enclosures from our glass viewing platform.

The recent birth of our small-clawed Asian Otter pup has brought a new and exciting element for the new year too, and we are also pleased to say that our seal rehabilitation program is still a unique part of our visitor experience.

Bringing in a new team of animal husbandry and veterinary experts – as well as collaborations with Queen’s University Belfast Marine Laboratory – has resulted in a significant enhancement in our ability rehabilitate and reintroduce the seals into the wild.

Get an even closer look at these majestic animals which inhabit the surrounding waters of Strangford Lough - a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Area of Specific Scientific Interest - with our guided tours and scheduled feeding sessions from above or below the water line.

All of this has been combined with new educational animated information panels displaying historic, cultural and topographic information as well as a kids’ ocean pollution zone and soft play area.

Moreover, a new fully licensed restaurant with an excellent chef can now provide you and your family with a freshly cooked meal in order to energise you for the day ahead or to refuel following your visit.

Consequently we have created a truly unique visitor attraction and research centre in the small town of Portaferry, County Down, on the beautiful and dramatic shores of Strangford Lough.

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Exploris Aquarium

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