Reef HQ Aquarium goes for gold at national tourism awards

Energy from the sun is powering the award-winning Reef HQ Aquarium as they prepare to represent Queensland at the Australian Tourism Awards this Friday 15 February in Hobart.

Reef HQ Aquarium took out the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism at the Queensland Tourism Awards in December and now join tourist attractions from around the country vying for the same national title.  

Reef HQ Aquarium Director Fred Nucifora said being a national finalist was great recognition for the team who had been working hard over the past two years to improve sustainability at the aquarium.

“From employing simple energy reduction measures that anyone at home can do, to more complex and involved strategies, Reef HQ Aquarium has reduced its energy consumption by an impressive 50 per cent, he said.

“The facility now boasts state-of-the-art eco-friendly features, and the soon to be completed roof mounted solar power system is set to be one of the country’s largest, and is in fact a registered solar power station.

“We are very proud of our energy reduction measures with the roof-mounted solar power system alone set to produce enough energy to offset between 25 and 30 per cent of the aquarium’s energy needs or enough to power 34 Queensland homes.

“You can understand why the aquarium is award-winning when you realise the full potential of the energy minimisation strategies are yet to be realised.

“Sustainability is built into all the aquarium does from minimising its environmental impact, to helping look after the Great Barrier Reef and the creatures that call it home.

“But it’s not all about energy reduction, we also have a number of programs in place to work towards a sustainable future for the Great Barrier Reef, such as our turtle hospital and our leopard shark breeding and coral propagation programs.

“Each year more than 130,000 visitors pass through Reef HQ Aquarium and we are doing all we can to arm these people with what they need to know to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

“Our staff and volunteers are extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve in terms of sustainability. Not only are we helping to look after the environment we are saving money too.”

As the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef, the aquarium is committed to engaging with people to become informed citizens with a commitment to sustainability now and into the future.

The Australian Tourism Awards are the tourism industry’s peak awards – recognising and promoting excellence in tourism. For both the industry and the consumer an Australian Tourism Award is recognised as a mark of excellence in Australian tourism and winners will be announced at a gala ceremony.