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Mon Repos Turtle Faqs

Mon Repos Turtle Faqs

2018/2019 turtle season runs from 9th November 2018 - Sunday, March 24th 2019.


General Questions

Q. When can I see the turtles at Mon Repos?

A. The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter season runs November to March (as it depends entirely on the turtles, it may not be for the entire of November or February). Bookings open on 1 September and it is strongly encouraged to book in advance as the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter does book out.

Q. What nights is Mon Repos open?

A. Ranger-guided Turtle Encounters operate seven nights a week from November to March, (excluding 24, 25 and 31 December).

Q. When do the nesting turtles arrive?

A. Nesting turtles are best viewed after dark, from November to January, though they can still be arriving into March.

Q. When do the hatchlings start? They’re so cute!

A. Hatchlings usually start emerging in late December/early January with the largest concentration of hatchlings from mid-January through all of February. Hatchlings then continue throughout March.

Q. When do ticket sales close? I want to book for tonight's tour.

A. If you wish to book your ticket for tonight's tour, please phone before 4pm. All ticket sale close at 4pm daily.  Remember to call first if you are travelling to Bundaberg that day to check availability. 

Booking Tickets

Q. How do I book to see the turtles?

A. You can book online Bundaberg Region Website!, over the phone by calling 1300 722 099 or in person at the Bundaberg, Childers or Gin Gin Visitor Information Centres.

Q. Can I book tickets at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre?

A. No, all tickets must be prebooked online or at the Bundaberg, Childers or Gin Gin Visitor Information Centres as no tickets can be booked at Mon Repos.

Q. The Turtle Experience is sold out. Can I show up on the night and hope for a cancellation?

A. No, sorry. There is a waiting list for last minute cancellations, and any no-shows are not reallocated. Check online or ask our friendly Visitor Information Centre teams for the next available date.

Q. The Turtle Experience is not sold out. Can I show up on the night and buy a ticket?

A. Yes, tickets are sold at the door at Mon Repos on nights with availability. However, it is preferred to encourage people to book so they are not disappointed.

Q. Can I be in the same group as my friends who are on another booking?

A. The group you are in is automatically allocated based on the date you purchase your ticket. Mon Repos or Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism staff cannot change this allocation. We cannot accommodate requests to be grouped together, so we suggest you book all together.

Q. What if I need to change or cancel my booking?

A. You are able to change your booking date at any time, provided there is availability on the dates you wish to change to. If you wish to cancel your booking you will be issued a refund less the booking fee, however for bookings cancelled within 24 hours of your tour, no refund can be issued.

Q. Can you please explain the ticket types?

A. A family is a group of up to 4 related people, comprising of 2 adults and 2 children. A person is eligible for a ‘card’ concession if they can show the Rangers at check in:

  • a Centrelink issued Commonwealth Seniors Health card, Health Care card or Pensioner Concession card
  • a Department of Veteran’s Affairs Gold, White or Orange DVA card
  • a secondary school official student photo ID card
  • a full-time student card from a tertiary institution (TAFE or University)

An Educational Group is a Primary and Secondary school age groups.

What Should I Bring?

Q. What should I bring for my turtle encounter?

A. You should bring a light jacket or a jumper as it can get cool while you are on the beach. We also recommend bringing a light rain jacket or poncho in case of rain. Bring insect repellent – there may be bities. Bring a bottle of water or another drink, as the water at Mon Repos is not drinkable. You can also bring a small personal hand torch (but please do not take any LED or use your mobile phone as they are too bright for the turtles). Bring a book, a game or a deck of cards to help while waiting for turtles.

Q. What shouldn’t I bring?

A. Mon Repos is a Conservation Park, so no pets are allowed. The Turtle centre, surrounds and beach are no smoking environments. Umbrellas can be used at the Turtle centre, but are not allowed on the beach. Alcohol is not permitted.

Q. What footwear do I need to wear?

A. Some form of footwear is required as you will be walking on the beach and in vegetated dunes. Thongs are okay, but closed in walking shoes or sandshoes are best.

Q. Do I need a torch?

A. Yes you should bring a torch. Mon Repos is a darkened environment and a torch can be helpful at the centre, on our walking tracks and in the carpark. On the beach, there will a Ranger and you will be led along to your turtle only using the natural night light. Rangers will use a torch to ensure you can view turtles throughout the turtle watching. Please do not take any bright LED torches as they are too bright for the turtles. Please use an old style torch and as there will be only certain times you can use it on the beach, be prepared to follow any instructions. Mobile phone torches are not permitted to be used on the beach at any time.

Q. What activities are there for children while waiting to see the turtles?

A. The rangers give talks, there is a documentary screening and some activities for children. However we recommend you bring board games, books, tablets or other activities to keep children entertained while waiting. Possibly leave the soccer balls and hockey sticks at home though.

Getting There

Q. How do I get Mon Repos?

A. Check out our handy directions page!

Q. Is there public transport to Mon Repos?

A. There is no public transport to Mon Repos. You need to drive yourself, catch a taxi, or you may take the Turtle Express, which includes your Mon Repos Turtle Encounter ticket plus pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation in Bundaberg or Bargara.

Q. Can I walk from Bargara to Mon Repos?

A. You can! There is a walking trail from the Bargara foreshore to Mon Repos. It will take at least 30 minutes and, for conservation reasons, there is no lighting, so make sure you bring a torch. We strongly encourage you to make sure you do the walking trail prior to your tour date, as things are very different in the dark and people sometimes get lost on the trail at night!

ON The Night

Q. What time should I arrive?

A. Arrive 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Don’t be late or you might miss out on your tour departure!

Q. What do I do when I arrive?

A. Please queue at the turtle centre with your booking details, where you will be given a numbered group sticker which must be worn and clearly visible. Your group number is allocated based on your time of booking, not your position in the line-up on the night, so relax and soak up the atmosphere of the Park.

Q. How can I make sure I’m in the first group of the night?

A. The group you are in is automatically allocated based on the date you purchase your ticket. Mon Repos or Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism staff cannot change this allocation.

Q. Oh no, I’m running late! What should I do?

A. To get the most out of your night you should plan to arrive for 7pm - if you are going to be slightly later then this will not be too much of an issue. If you are not going to arrive until much later in the night, you should ring the Turtle Centre on 41591652 before 7pm to advise of your arrival time. If you do come later, please understand that there is a HIGH chance that you may not to join your designated tour group. Refunds cannot be issued if you are late and missed turtle tours for the evening.

Q. What time will I get to see the turtles?

A. The turtles are wild animals and it is up to them when they are ready to lay or come out of the nest. Staff patrol the beach for turtles and groups are called as soon as an event occurs. You will be escorted onto the beach when your allocated group is called so you may be on the beach quickly, or you may be waiting until quite late. Please be patient and listen to the instructions of the Rangers and turtle volunteers.

Be aware that if turtles are scarce you may have to wait for two or more hours before going onto the beach. The total visit time at Mon Repos can be up to six hours.

Q. What?! Two hours or more? What do we do while we’re waiting?

A. Heaps of things! In the turtle centre, take time to look at the displays and browse through the shop. These have been set up to give you a greater understanding and appreciation of Turtle Biology and the little things we can all do on land to aid in the survival of this endangered species. Outside in the amphitheatre, ranger shows and videos are presented with information about the turtle nesting and the hatching.

If you’re concerned about being bored, bring a book, a tablet, a board game, snacks or some other quiet activity to fill any time. You might even like to talk to the people you came to Mon Repos with …

Q. Can I go down again once I have done my tour?

A. Depending on the circumstances, if all groups have gone down and you are willing to wait around SOMETIMES you may get to go back down on the beach with a ranger.

Q. Will I be guaranteed to see turtles?

A. It is very unusual for no turtles to be seen at all during the nesting and hatchling season, however as marine turtles are wild creatures we cannot guarantee this. However, while you wait, you do have the opportunity to look through the Mon Repos Visitors Centre, talk to the Rangers and volunteers, and learn more about these magnificent marine animals, as well as enjoy a night under the stars in a coastal Conservation Park.

Q. What if it is raining?

A. The turtles don’t mind – they’re used to getting wet! Take a rain jacket or poncho - no umbrellas are allowed on the beach. As long as the tour is running, there is no refund for cancellation due to inclement weather. In the event of storms when tours are cancelled for safety, you will be offered to re book for another night or receive a refund..

Q. What are the toilet facilities at Mon Repos?

A. There is a composting toilet at Mon Repos, which is wheelchair-accessible. This is a quintessential Australian experience in our national parks – embrace the adventure!

Q. Are food and drinks available for purchase at Mon Repos?

A. There is a food van with basic hot and cold snacks such as chips, sausage rolls, soft drinks etc provided. It is recommended that you have dinner prior to your Mon Repos Turtle Encounter and if you have any dietary requirements, please bring your own snacks.

Q. Can I bring a cheeky drink to keep me warm while I wait?

A. No. Mon Repos has a no alcohol policy. Bundaberg is famous for its amazing drinks, though, so make sure you drop into one of our breweries, distilleries, bars and cafes the day after your Mon Repos experience!

Q. Can I smoke at Mon Repos?

A. Smoking is not permitted at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, the beach or surrounds.


Q. Is the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter Suited to all ages & physical ability?

A. Generally, the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter tour is suited to most ages & abilities, but be aware you may need to walk up to 1.6 km return trip along the beach from the turtle centre to get to nesting & hatching sites. On the beach there will be water, sand, rocks, branches, sticks, pebbles so we recommend you wear closed in walking shoes or sandshoes. Please understand that Mon Repos Beach has limited vehicle access in the event of an emergency.

Q. I am on crutches / Nanna is pretty unsteady on her feet / I have small children / I really hate walking too far. Can I still participate in the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter?

A. You can be walking through soft sand once you go onto the beach and could need to walk 800m to get to the nesting or hatching site. The group does however move slowly to accommodate children and those with mobility issues. Please understand that Mon Repos Beach has limited vehicle access in the event of an emergency.

Q. Is there any disabled facilities available?

A. The Mon Repos Turtle Centre has disabled toilets and is fully wheelchair accessible, including most of the turtle trails. There are no disabled facilities available on the beach, though you may use your own beach wheelchair on the beach. Please note that access to the beach is either down a raised wooden boardwalk with steep ramps to go onto the beach, or along a bitumen path which then comes out to access the beach over uneven vegetated dunes.


Q. Can I see the turtles during the day at Mon Repos?

A. The Mon Repos turtle centre & the beach is open during the day however turtle nesting and hatching activity usually occurs at night. If you do visit Mon Repos beach during the day, help look after the nesting beach by staying off the dunes, using beach umbrellas 1m below the dune edge grass line and keeping the beach clear of trip hazards such as sandcastles and holes.

Q. Where else can I see the turtles?

A. Although turtle nesting occurs along much of the Queensland coast, Mon Repos Turtle Encounter is the only way you can take part in an organised tour with rangers providing expert information. You can, however, swim with the turtles twelve months of the year at Lady Musgrave Island or Lady Elliot Island.

Q. Can we feed, touch or swim with the turtles?

A. No, you cannot feed, touch or swim with the turtles at Mon Repos. You can, however, swim with the turtles twelve months of the year at Lady Musgrave Island or Lady Elliot Island, but never touch, grab, lean on or feed turtles.

Q. Why is it so dark at Mon Repos?

A. Nesting turtles are easily disturbed by artificial light and movement, especially when leaving the water, crossing the beach and digging their nests. Do not approach or shine lights on turtles leaving the sea or moving up the beach. Remain with your allocated group at all times and avoid sudden movement. Hatching turtles emerging from their nests are disorientated by lights. Always listen to staff on the beach and follow their instructions. They are there to look after the turtles and give you a memorable experience!

Q. Can I take photos?

A. Yes, at certain times, so follow staff directions to take advantage of limited photo opportunities.


Q. Is there accommodation at Mon Repos?

A. Although there is no accommodation at Mon Repos there are many accommodation options available in nearby Bargara & also in Bundaberg a short 20 kilometre drive from Mon Repos.

2018/2019 turtle season runs from 9th November 2018 - Sunday March 24th 2019.