Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary

New Under the Sea Experience Offically opened on 15th August. Book now >> 

Experience our Sea Creatures through an under water Glass tunnel in our new Ocean Tank.

Located 1 hour from Belfast on the shores of Strangford Lough, visitors to Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry will be wowed with a diver’s view of marine life around the world. Your journey will begin with a focus on the lough and Irish Sea where you will get a experience our native species, along with learning about the Viking heritage of Strangford Lough.

The colourful coral reefs in the Tropical Ocean zone play host to over 100 species and our team of aquarists and guides are always on hand to answer your questions and provide some interesting information on many of the aquaria that you will encounter. Outside in the enclosures our family of Asian Short Clawed Otters remain a big hit with visitors, while the Seal Sanctuary continues to be exceptionally busy.

Now included on the Aqaurium map is the return of the Stamping trail where you set look out for the stamping stations, answer the trivia questions and stamp your stamp your map as you go! Whilst at Exploris don’t forget to explore the kids playroom, a two tier aquatic themed indoor soft play area with distinct zones for babies, toddlers and juniors up to 8 years old. The soft play is packed with a numerous exciting features including slides, ball pools, climbers, swings and roller squeezers and is guaranteed to provide endless fun for the little ones.  And new Aquatic themed Kiddie rides.

Then we journey into the new outdoor area, with the Penguins, a second Otter Family and the refurbed duck pond, now the home of Hector the Cappybara.  Seasonal catering provided with BBQ and Ice Creams to enjoy on the outside Picnic Area. At the end of your visit, (or before you start) don't forget we have The Kracken Fully Licenced Restaurant with a new bistro style menu serving freashly made, locally sourced food.  From home-made scones to a full sit down meal.  

Within the reception of the aquarium you will find Portaferry Local Visitor Information, displaying lots of literature, useful maps and an interactive touchscreen helping you to explore all there is to see and do locally and beyond, staff are on hand to assist with enquiries. Free access to information, shop and café, paid admission to aquarium experience. Open 10:00 – 17:00 daily.

Did you Know we also have night time events? Every Saturday evening, why not try our Night at the Aquarium.  Fully guided tour followed by a 3 course meal in the Licenced Kraken Restaurant.

Book now >> 

Exploris is accessible – for full details of their accessibility features, see Exploris Aquarium | AccessAble.

Opening times

Daily from: 10:00 – 17:00 (Last admission 16:00)
Quiet Sessions: Mon – Sun 16:00 – 17:00
For evening event times please visit our web site www.explorisni.com

Getting to the start by car

Directions from Town:Take A20 from Newtownards to Portaferry or take Ferry from Strangford to Portaferry, by car or on foot. Exploris is signposted.

Price from £

See website for full price details
For group or school bookings please contact Bobby on tel (028) 4272 8062 option 1
Note: Online discount only available when booking at least 1 day in advance.

Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary
Co Down
BT22 1NZ



Attractions in Co Down