See nesting and hatching turtles

Take a road trip to Mon Repos beach this turtle season.

Just five hours’ drive north of Brisbane, in the quiet town of Bundy, mature female turtles make their way to the Mon Repos beach to nest.

And just six to eight weeks later, hundreds of baby turtles emerge from the sand and make their long journey towards the ocean.

It’s regarded as a once in a lifetime experience to witness.

That’s why, every year between November and March, more than 30,000 tourists travel to the region to visit the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, which supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers offer guided tours along the beach to educate guests on the turtle lifecycle and to help them see the nesting and hatching each night.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Mon Repos Ranger Jess McKenzie said the turtle encounter was a unique experience and enjoyable for the whole family.

“There is nothing quite like watching these ancient creatures come to Mon Repos beach every year to lay their eggs, and the hatchlings bubble up through the sand to make their way to the ocean,” Ms McKenzie said.

“When we see the look of awe on the visitors’ faces as they take part in the turtle encounters, it makes our non-stop efforts to conserve the area worthwhile.

“We always look forward to turtle season here at Mon Repos because it gives us an opportunity to connect with visitors from all over the globe and teach them about our turtles.”

Tickets are available through the Bundaberg Region Visitor Information Centres or online.

Bundaberg is also home to Lady Musgrave Island where visitors can take a day cruise and swim with the turtles.

Turtle-y awesome facts

  • The estimated average lifespan for a sea turtle is 60-80 years.
  • The sex of baby turtles is determined by the temperature of the sand, the girls are hot and the boys are cool.
  • The top side of a sea turtle’s shell is called the carapace. It’s made up of 60 different bones and plates.