At Mon Repos Beach on Bundaberg's coastline some very special marine visitors have established East Coast Australia's largest and most accessible mainland turtle rookery. Mon Repos is the largest loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific and has seen a steady increase in turtle numbers over the years due to continued conservation efforts.
Loggerhead, Flatback and Green turtles come ashore from November to February - nightly tours commence in November each year. It is an amazing sight to see these huge creatures heaving their way up the beach to find a safe spot to dig a nest and lay their eggs. Some 6-8 weeks later the tiny hatchlings may be seen emerging from their sandy nests to head towards the sea. The sex of baby turtles is determined by the temperature of their nests. The golden sands of Mon Repos are just that bit warmer and produce mostly females, whilst the white coral sands of the islands such as Lady Elliot produce mostly males. It's easy to remember..."the girls are hot…the boys are cool". Only one in one thousand turtles survive to maturity and the females born at Mon Repos return some thirty years after birth to breed, nest and start the cycle over again.
Mon Repos is an easy 14km drive from Bundaberg or just five minutes drive from Bargara. The area is a Conservation Park designed to protect the turtles, ensure their ongoing use of the area and provide opportunities for turtle watching. Loggerhead Turtles are an endangered species and access to the beach is limited during the season and rangers conduct guided walks most nights.
The Mon Repos Visitor Centre has been set up to help you understand and appreciate turtle biology - take the time to look at the displays and browse through the shop. Ranger shows and videos are presented in the outdoor amphitheatre (weather permitting). Bookings can be made through Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism by telephoning (+61) 07 4153 88 88 or online at www.bookbundabergregion.com.au .
* As there are a limited number of visitors allowed on the beach each evening, please book early as some nights can be booked out well in advance.
Mon Repos Turtle Encounter
To purchase your tickets for the "Mon Repos Turtle Encounter" call into either of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism's accredited blue and yellow Visitor Information Centres located at Bundaberg West (next to the Bundaberg Base Hospital) at 271 Bourbong St or in Mulgrave St, Gin Gin (on the Bruce Highway) heading north.
- BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL.
- Bookings can be made through the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre from 9am to 5pm seven days a week and at the Gin Gin Visitor Information Centre from 9am to 5pm Mon-Sat and Sun 9am to 3pm *.
- * Reduced hours at both Centre's on public holidays.
- Alternatively you can purchase your tickets (except for Educational Groups) at www.bookbundabergregion.com.au or by phoning (07) 4153 8888.
Admission charges apply.
A booking fee applies to all bookings.
Prices for 2012-13 season were:-
Adult (15+) - $10.55 each
Children (5-14yrs) - $5.55 each
Children 4 years and under are FREE
Concessions - $5.55 - you are eligible for the concession price if you have a Centrelink issued Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, a Health Care card, a Pensioner Concession card, a Department of Veteran's Affairs issued Gold/White/Orange DVA card. Anyone seeking concession prices must present card at time of booking and on the night if/when asked.
Student - $5.55 - you are eligible for this price if you are a secondary school student aged 15 years and over or are a full-time tertiary (TAFE or University) student. Anyone seeking student prices must present photographic I.D. at time of booking and on the night if/when asked.
Family Tickets - $25.15 - a 'family' is made up of 2 adults and 2 children. Children 4 years of age and under are free of charge but must still be included in your booking so please advise the operator when booking of the TOTAL number of participants in your group.
Educational Groups (at the discretion of the booking agent) - $2.47 per person. Cannot be booked online. Educational Group bookings are limited to ONE group per night.
Tickets are only valid for the date that appears on your ticket.
Online bookings are not considered to be confirmed until full payment has been made.
All groups are designated by the time and date of your booking, not by your position in the queue on the evening of your visit.
SIGHTINGS ARE NEVER GUARANTEED as turtles are classed as wild marine animals - some nights they may not show at all. Therefore, REFUNDS ARE NOT GIVEN if you do not actually see any turtle activity on the night of your booking. All fees go toward continuing turtle research as well as providing the centre's displays and the films shown.
- There are no set tour times and, once again, sightings can never be guaranteed. Although turtles appear most nights, there is always the possibility of there being no activity at all on any given night during the season due to the fact you are experiencing a "natural encounter".
- There is limited opportunity for flash photography - please ask a Ranger for further details.
- The tour will operate in almost all weather conditions, including rain (but not in dangerous conditions). Refunds are not granted if it rains on the evening of your booked tour and you do not attend. We suggest having with you a rain poncho or raincoat - UMBRELLAS ARE NOT PERMITTED. Turtles are rarely affected by rain.
REFUNDS WILL NOT BE GIVEN if you do not turn up on the evening that you have booked for or you do not see any turtles/hatchlings or if you decide to leave early without having accessed the beach.
If tours are going to be cancelled, it will be a decision of the Mon Repos Rangers. Once BNBT has been contacted with this information, the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre's staff will try their best to contact all visitors prior to 7pm on that particular evening. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE PROVIDED A MOBILE CONTACT NUMBER OR ACCOMMODATION CONTACT NUMBER FOR THIS PURPOSE.
Smoking is not permitted in the Mon Repos Information Centre or in any of the surrounding areas including on the beach during turtle viewing.
To protect the animals and preserve your safety as a guest, all turtle watching guidelines must be followed at all times. The Rangers and/or Volunteers at the centre will give a short talk on safety, photography etc before you leave the centre for the beach. *If you do not follow these guidelines, you may be asked to leave the Mon Repos Conservation Park at any time and without notice. In this instance, we advise that no refund will be granted.
The Turtle Encounter at Mon Repos Conservation Park is managed by the Queensland Government. The experience is not offered by Bundaberg Region Ltd (t/a Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism) or its affiliates - we act only as a ticket booking agency and ticket information agency.
Neither the Queensland Government (Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport & Racing nor Bundaberg Region Ltd t/a Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism or their affiliates offer any responsibility for you, your motor vehicle or any of your belongings whilst you are at the Mon Repos Conservation Park. We strongly recommend you lock your motor vehicle and hide/secure any valuables - this should be done at all times.
If you are unable to join the tour on the evening of your booking for any genuine reason, e.g. illness, incapacity or similar, changes may be able to be made to your booking. Firstly, by offering an alternative night for you to attend. This will happen prior to the offer of a refund. To change the date of your booking, you must contact Bundaberg Region Visitor Information Centres prior to the night of your booking on 07-4153 8888. Any requests to transfer your ticket received after 3pm on the day of your booking may not be accepted and an alternate night may be offered.
* Please note that Bundaberg Region Ltd reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee if you cancel within a 24 hour period for the evening you have booked. There may also be a % charged if you cancel your tour for any other reason. All monies will be forfeited if you do not turn up on the night you are booked for or do not attempt to contact Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism (during operating hours relevant to that day of the week) to change your pre-booked ticket.
To report any complaints of your experience whilst at Mon Repos Conservation Park, please contact the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport & Racing on (07) 4159 1652 or 13QGOV (13 74 68) or write to 141 Mon Repos Road, Bargara QLD 4670. Alternatively, click this link and leave your compliment or complaint: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/contactus/index.html#compliments_comments_and_complaints . Bundaberg Region Limited is unable to process complaints regarding the turtle encounter.
For information on other things to see and do whilst in our region - phone 1300 722 099.