An Underwater Adventure...

Strangford Lough is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and visitors to Exploris in Portaferry will be able to get a very close look at the many species that inhabit the surrounding waters, like a lesser spotted dog fish and feeling the prickly spikes on a common sea urchin, along with learning about the Viking heritage of Strangford Lough.

Their 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 on your journey.

After an extensive refurbishment, the aquarium now offers an exciting experience with its reptile zone where you can meet the resident African Nile Crocodile, Madagascan Day Geckos and our latest edition of a Green Iguana, to name a few.

To reflect the seasonality of biodiversity in Strangford Lough and to publicise hot-topics within the scientific world, Exploris will be introducing our 'Rise of the Jellies', a new zone. From early June through to late summer, jellyfish can be observed in large abundance within Strangford Lough.

At Exploris this summer we will be displaying these evolutionary success stories where you can pick up some jelly-tastic facts based on their ecology and lifecycle.

The outdoor otter enclosure is proving to be a big hit with visitors and a small-clawed Asian otter pup was recently born, while the Seal Sanctuary continues to be exceptionally busy with 22 seals being successfully rehabilitated and released back to their native habitat in Strangford lough for the 2016/17 season.

A new themed soft play area, ocean pollution zone, extensive gift shop and a licensed café and restaurant, The Craken, all add to the overall visitors experience for an enjoyable, fun and educational day out.
Exploris can provide packages for groups (including birthday party packages), both guided and free flow by contacting us on 028 9074 1500 and don't forget you can pre-book online for discounts which ensures you also queue jump when it's busy!

Why not consider an annual membership (Adult £30 & Child £20) which enables access throughout the year. Keep updated on all our events and activities via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check out for more information.

What's on at Exploris this Summer:
• World Ocean Week – Mon 5 – Sun 11 June
• Father's Day – Sun 18 June
• Schools Out For Summer – Fri 30 June
• Pirate and Mermaid Day – Wed 12 & Thurs 13 July
• Shark Awareness Day – Fri 14 July
• Gala weeks 50th Anniversary – Sat 15 – Fri 21 July
• World Snake Day – Sun 16 July

Exploris NI can be found at The Rope Walk, Castle Street, Portaferry. Throughout the summer it is open from 10:00 until 18:00, with the last admission at 16:30. For more information and to book go to

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