Please note, with a lockdown in place until 1 April 2021, all non-essential retailers, accommodation providers and attractions included in our web pages will be closed.  Restaurants, pubs and cafés may open for takeaways only. Visit our Ideas page for ways to enjoy Belfast from home!

Description

Located in Portaferry on the shores of Strangford Lough, you can enjoy a diver's view of marine life from around the world.

Explore 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.

After you've checked out the seal sanctuary and jellyfish, browse the gift shop and play at the soft play area, then enjoy something to eat at the Cracken Cafe and Restaurant.

Check out the website for open pool talks and feeding times across the day.

Visit exploirisni.com for more information on:

  • Birthday party packages

  • Quiet sessions available daily

  • Group tour packages with catering

  • An exciting new education programme

  • Annual membership and gift cards


Please note that last admission time is 4pm.
  • The Rope Walk
  • Castle Street
  • Portaferry
  • Down
  • BT22 1NZ

Top Reasons To Visit

  • Fun for all the family
  • Educational experience
  • Support the Seal Sanctuary
  • Annual membership and gift cards
  • 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 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 (Last admission time is 4pm)
    • 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.

You might also like

  • Titanic Belfast
    Titanic Belfast
    Attractions

    Titanic Belfast

    2.72KM

    Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and…

    Find Out More
  • Crumlin Road Gaol
    Crumlin Road Gaol
    Attractions

    Crumlin Road Gaol

    1.82KM

    The Crumlin Road Gaol is a 19th century Grade A listed jail, open to the public for tours,…

    Find Out More
  • Linen Hall Library
    Linen Hall Library
    Attractions

    Linen Hall Library

    0.27KM

    Belfast's oldest library with famous Irish and genealogy collections, housed in a listed Victorian linen building.

    Find Out More
  • Titanic Memorial Garden
    Titanic Memorial Garden
    Attractions

    Titanic Memorial Garden

    0.05KM

    The Titanic Memorial Garden commemorates the 1,512 people who perished on RMS Titanic in 1912.

    Find Out More
  • Botanic Gardens
    Botanic Gardens
    Attractions

    Botanic Gardens

    1.61KM

    Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students…

    Find Out More
  • Áras Uí Chonghaile (James Connolly Visitor Centre)
    Áras Uí Chonghaile (James Connolly Visitor Centre)
    Attractions

    Áras Uí Chonghaile (James Connolly Visitor Centre)

    4.33KM

    Áras Uí Chonghaile is a modern inspirational visitor centre in the heart of Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter, with an…

    Find Out More
  • Coca-Cola HBC Visitor Experience
    Coca-Cola HBC Visitor Experience
    See & Do

    Coca-Cola HBC Visitor Experience

    21.8KM

    Discover the production, history and marketing of some of the world’s best loved soft drinks at this award-winning…

    Find Out More
  • Whitehead Railway Museum
    Whitehead Railway Museum
    Attractions

    Whitehead Railway Museum

    30.16KM

    Make tracks for the award-winning Whitehead Railway Museum and experience the wonderful world of steam trains.

    Find Out More
Ask Us
Ask Us

We're here to help, so if you can't find the info you're after, or you just want to ask a really odd question, then we're here for you.

Ask A Question
Start
Choose a date
End
Choose a date
Back To Top
In order to display distances relevant to you, we'd like to be able to use your GPS location. Privacy Policy
In order to display distances relevant to your current position, we'd need to be able to use your GPS location. To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
You have previously denied access to your GPS location. In order to allow access to your location, you need to update your site settings through your browser settings to allow this site access to your location.

To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
Your settings have been updated. They will take effect next time you refresh the page.
By default, all distances on the site are calculated from Belfast City Centre. You can choose a different starting point here, or specify your own.
Open 'Ask a Question' window Close 'Ask a Question' window

Ask a Question

X

Hide this tool

Open 'Sign up for Newsletter' window Close 'Sign up for Newsletter' window

Visit Belfast Newsletter

X

Sign up to the Visit Belfast newsletter and receive inspiring ideas, events and offers which showcase the best of Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Sign-Up

Hide this tool