7 Ways To Experience Turtles In The Bundaberg Region - Bundaberg Region
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7 Ways To Experience Turtles In The Bundaberg Region

With the Southern Great Barrier Reef just a stone throw away, our waters are abundant with curious turtles all year round. From swimming with feeding curious greens, to witnessing a miracle on a Mon Repos Nightly Turtle Encounter, here are 7 ways you can experience our regions turtle-y awesome encounters!

1. Tick snorkelling alongside turtles off your bucket list!

Put on your snorkel and grab some flippers, it’s time to dive into the coral filled waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and explore a turtle’s paradise in the lagoon of Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Island. These ladies of the reef are known for being home to giant marine life, intricate coral formations, and most importantly, turtles! Come explore the thriving life underneath the surface and tick swimming with turtles off your bucket list as green, loggerhead, flatback, hawksbill and leatherback turtles idly-swim by, feed and find love in this diverse eco-system.

Top tip: With your camera in hand hop onboard Lady Musgrave Experience and arrive at Lady Musgrave Island, just a short boat ride from Bundaberg Port Marina. Spend the day exploring Lady Musgrave Island or take a short flight to Lady Elliot Island and explore the Southern Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.


2. Experience a ranger-guided encounter

Each year from November to March, turtle tracks paint the shore of Mon Repos Beach, home to the largest turtle rookery of nesting loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific, and just a 5-min drive from Bargara. Offering ranger-guided turtle encounters during Nesting and Hatching season, Mon Repos Turtle Conservation park and Queensland Park Turtle Rangers play a key role to the survival of nesting and hatching turtles. Come experience first-hand conservation on the ranger-guided Mon Repos Turtle Encounter and witness an ancient old ritual under the cover of darkness as mother turtles heave their way up sandy dunes from November to January, and baby turtles erupt from their nests between late-January to late-March. Be awestruck by this incredible natural encounter and make memories to last a lifetime.

2020/21 Update: For everyone's safety, and in line with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife's COVID plan, visitor numbers have been reduced for Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Mon Repos Nightly Turtle Encounter tours. We encourage our guests to book ahead and consider the Bundaberg region's reef and island turtle experiences and mainland adventures this summer. You can find more information on what to expect this turtle season here.


3. Escape to a secluded island

What better way to disconnect and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life than with a trip to a tropical island? With just a short 25-minute scenic flight from Bundaberg to southern-most coral cay Lady Elliot Island, or luxury boat ride to Lady Musgrave Island, come spend a day (or night) enjoying the best of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. If you plan your visit between November and late-March, stumble upon turtle tracks from mother turtles making their way to nest (November to January), with the chance of spotting hatchlings as they make their way to the sea (January to April) on your island walk. 

Top tip: Did you know mother turtles and hatchlings are easily disturbed by light, sound and movement? If you spot a turtle nesting or see excited hatchlings emerging from their nest, be sure to maintain a safe distance, remain still, keep quiet and do not use or shine light (camera flashes should not be used). With reef experts within reach, it is important that you notify them as soon as you see a turtle and follow their instructions so that the turtle/s is not disturbed.


4. Spot a turtle in the comfort of a glass-bottom boat

Enjoy the comfort of a glass-bottom boat as you glide across sun kissed waters and play I-Spy with the marine life below, on a day trip (or overnight stay) to Lady Elliot or Lady Musgrave Island. With turtles lazily enjoying their tropical backyard and happily feeding below the surface, watch from above without getting your feet wet as these incredible turtles go about their day. 


5. Sleep on the reef

Wake up to the reef at your door and soak up stunning views with an overnight stay on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Whether you prefer camping under the stars at Lady Musgrave or enjoy the comfort of an eco-resort equipped with eco-villas and glamping tents at Lady Elliot Eco Resort, switch off, sit back and relax. The beauty of having the Southern Great Barrier Reef at your fingertips means you're just a step away from diving in to turtle filled waters. 


6. Learn about turtles and conservation  

Experience a turtles life journey at the interactive Mon Repos Turtle Centre and become educated about the struggles and triumphs turtles face out in the big blue, and how you can help make a difference. An experience that not only the kids will love, but also a unique experience for every turtle lover. From meeting trained turtle rangers, to understanding their conservation efforts in the form of animated displays, ranger inspired videos and hands on activities, experience the Mon Repos Turtle Centre on a Mon Repos Nightly Turtle Encounter or with a day visit to the centre.  


7. Bike the turtle trail

What better way to explore the town the turtles call home than by biking along our beautiful coastline or taking a scenic stroll on our regions shaded coastal pathways. Pack a picnic and come explore one of our regions most loved trails, the Turtle Trail and enjoy a tranquil escape with nature as you taste the salty air on the tip of your tongue before arriving at Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. Continue your journey from Mon Repos to Burnett Heads and see if you can spot a turtle or two swimming just off the shore.

Top tip: Keep your eye out for colourful mosaic turtles created by our local community, that line the coastal pathways.


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Friday, 14 June 2024

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