Visiting AIMS headquarters in Townsville

AIMS headquarters south of Townsville, Queensland

Our headquarters at Cape Ferguson, about 50 km from Townsville’s CBD, is an international landmark in tropical marine science and home to the National Sea Simulator (SeaSim).

It is adjacent to the centre of the Great Barrier Reef and surrounded by a 207 hectare national park and marine reserve. The area is free from development, is biosecure and has access to clean seawater and a protected harbour.

Finding us

Head south from Townsville on the Bruce Highway (A1). Approximately 37 km from the city centre, turn left at the signposted turn-off to AIMS, onto Cape Cleveland Rd. Follow this road for a further 16 km until you arrive at the Institute.

Please note there is no public transport to the Institute.

Public tours  

The 2016 Public Tour Program concluded on 27 May 2016. The Program will recommence once refurbishment is complete. This is anticipated to occur during the first half of 2017. Please monitor this page for additional updates.

AIMS welcomes members of the public to tour its Cape Ferguson facility during the period of March – November. 

Tours begin at 10 am and end at approximately 12 pm. They include presentations on AIMS’ current research and a guided walk around the facilities, including a tour of the ‘world’s smartest aquarium’, the National Sea Simulator.

Bookings are essential and will close 4 pm on the Thursday before the tour. Please notify staff at Reception regarding any mobility issues when booking.

Sturdy, closed footwear and a hat to protect against the sun, are required.

Please note, groups are welcome to arrange special tours on other weekdays during this time period. Please enquire using the details below.

Refreshments are available for purchase on-site during opening hours.


More information and bookings:

Phone: +61 7 4753 4444 during business hours (8.00 am – 4.40 pm Monday to Friday)


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Researchers and official guests

On site accommodation

We have six self-contained houses and six motel-style units available for visiting researchers, official guests and staff. These accommodation facilities are not available to the public.

To book, please email

Computer network access

Visiting researchers can access resources from their home institution using the wireless network EduRoam.

To access EduRoam you will need a login and password from your home institution. Please contact your local IT department before visiting to find out if they participate in EduRoam, and to help configure your laptop to suit your home network.

If you have any questions about this service, please email or visit

Access Provided:

  • HTTP
  • VPN
  • POPS.

Wireless Standards Supported:

  • 802.1x
  • WPA
  • TKIP