Exploris Aquarium


Exploris Aquarium

Located in Portaferry, your journey will begin with a focus on the lough and Irish Sea where you will get a ‘hands on’ experience as you tickle the belly of a small shark and feel the spikes on a sea urchin.

Continue to the colourful coral reefs of the Tropical Ocean and see if you can find ‘Nemo’ and ‘Dory’ before entering the smugglers cove where sharks circle above you. Return to the shores to see endangered but playful otters and witness conservation in action in the nursery seal pens and outdoor pools.  Don’t forget to explore the dark depths of the Reptile filled rainforest where a snappy crocodile and green gecko hide.
Check out the website for open pool talks and feeding times across the day.


Seal Sanctuary

With support by DAERA, Exploris responds to calls from the public by taking in sick or abandoned common and grey seal pups. 

On your visit, explore the seal hospital and watch the development of the seals as they move to the nursery pool and a rehabilitation pool and enjoy the underwater viewing arena. You will learn about the seals' journey before returning to the wild.

Pollution and The Sea

Check out the new ‘pollution zone’, and follow a series of story boards, which tell the story of human induced climate change in the  ocean. 

Rise Of The Jellies

You can observe some local jellyfish species that are considered to be increasing locally and learn about the exciting global research effort regarding these fascinating animals. While you are visiting, why not brush up on some of your identification skills? 

The Cracken Café and Restaurant

A licensed café and restaurant, providing space to relax and enjoy some fabulous home bakes and authentic fusion cuisine, all sourced from local producers and suppliers, whilst overlooking our seal sanctuary. Check out the menu online. The restaurant caters for any special dietary requirements.

Eat, shop and play at Exploris Aquarium

  • Open 7 days a week from 10am
  • Visit the gift shop, full of gifts for family, friends and home
  • Visit The Cracken Cafe
  • Locally sourced and freshly prepared food 
  • Speciality coffees and refreshments
  • Beers, wines and spirits available

Have fun in the soft play area!


  • Burn off energy in the multi-tiered themed soft play zone from 0–8 years. 

Quiet Room- “The Blue Lagoon” available on request

What’s On – check out regular workshops, events and activities for all

Exploris Aquarium

The Rope Walk
Castle Street
BT22 1NZ


028 4272 8062



Lat: 54.381721497 - Lng: -5.549447536