Whitsunday Airport Heart Reef Aquarium, Proserpine, Queensland, Australia.

"When you arrive [at Whitsunday Airport], make sure you say g'day to the colourful welcoming committee." (Weekender TV show, Channel 7, Australia. )

Project Overview

The Whitsunday Coast Airport is the gateway to one of Australia’s most iconic regions. Over 70 beautiful islands are dotted off the coast, attracting some 600,000 visitors annually, most of them keen to see the Great Barrier Reef.

Whitsunday Regional Council commissioned AAT to design, manufacture and install an aquarium in the airport’s arrivals and departures lounge. The concept was simple and thoughtful. The Council wanted the region’s unique marine experiences to be the first and last thing visitors see at the airport on arrival and departure, and to create a more relaxing and enjoyable journey.

Whitsunday Airport Heart Reef Aquarium Proserpine Queensland07

Whitsunday Airport 6

The aquarium – part of a larger $15-million terminal upgrade – opened in July 2019. In August 2020, the popular Weekender TV show profiled the aquarium in a segment aired in Channel 7 in Queensland. You can watch it here:

The aquarium features a 10-meter-long FRP Tank containing 30,000 litres of water and over 100 different species. AAT rockwork and theming artists also created 4 tonnes of authentic-looking coral which doubles up as a visual treat for viewers and a non-toxic simulated habitat for the animals.

Whitsunday Airport 4AAT visits the aquarium almost every day to feed and care for the fish, clean the tank and maintain the AAT Life Support System. These responsibilities are delivered as part of our ongoing Operations and Maintenance Outsourcing Service.

Whitsunday Airport Heart Reef Aquarium Proserpine Queensland05

To see more pictures, scroll through the image gallery below and click on any to create a larger view.

Whitsunday Airport Australia, Shute Harbour Road, Cannonvale QLD, Australia

Whitsunday Council

Time Frame

Team On-Site
3 Staff during construction and 1 ongoing

System Type
Closed re-circulation system

Total Water Volume
20,000 Litres

An exceptional portfolio of in-house capabilities.

  • A seamless start-to-finish service.
  • More than project coordinators - we are the lead supplier of equipment and services too.
  • We offer productive collaboration between multi-disciplinary teams and resources.
  • Our logistical and project management track record provides total peace-of-mind.
  • A high-level of internal delivery means excellent control over quality assurance.
  • System-thinking from design to execution, for a cost-efficient and durable aquarium that is easy to operate and spectacular to see.

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Phase 1


The first phase addresses feasibility, budgeting, concept development, creative themes, visitor-experience design and journey-mapping, detailed engineering and project planning.

Phase 2


The second phase focuses on acrylic manufacturing, construction and installation, the supply and installation of life support systems, waterproofing, lighting, filling and stocking the tanks.

Phase 3


The third phase includes handing the aquarium over to its owners and operators. Also included this phase, for older aquariums, are services relating to refurbishment and renovation.

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