Peddle Thorp Architects and Ellik & Partners Architects have been selected to design a $35 million new aquarium for Cairns.

The site where the aquarium will sit is approximately 10,000 square metres and three storey's tall and is located in the CBD, the estimated open time is for July 2016.

Peddle Thorp has extensive experience both within Australian and overseas as the designers of aquariums in Shanghai, Melbourne, Manila and Doha.

The Cairns Post reported that the two architecture firms were among 13 companies who wanted the contract and that they won over international firms in Malaysia, the United Kingdom and United States.

Ellick & Partners director Phillip Ellick told the Cairns Post:

"It's a different market and we're not going to build a Melbourne aquarium in Cairns, that's for sure," he said.

Designs may be made public in September and they will then need to lodge a development application with Cairns Regional Council.