Mon Repos Turtle Faqs

The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter season 2019-2020 runs November to March. To download a PDF copy of our FAQ's please click here.

General Questions

A: The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter season 2019-2020 runs November to March (as it depends entirely on the turtles, it may not be for the entire of November or March). Bookings are set to open in September and it is strongly encouraged to book in advance as the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter does book out.

A: Ranger-guided Turtle Encounters operate seven nights a week from Saturday 9th November to Sunday 22nd March (subject to change) excluding nights 24, 25 and 31 December.

A: Turtle Encounter tours are run from 7pm onwards. Nesting turtles can arrive anytime during the night and are best viewed after dark, from November to January, though there can still be regular nesting into mid February.

A: Hatchlings usually start emerging in early January with the largest concentration of hatchlings from February. Hatchling tours then continue through to late March.

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

Booking Tickets

A: You can book online at www.bundabergregion.org, over the phone by calling 1300 722 099 or in person at the Bundaberg, Childers or Gin Gin Visitor Information Centres.

A: The Turtle Encounter is very popular, so tickets should be pre-booked and prepaid online at the Bundaberg, Childers or Gin Gin Visitor Information Centres. Tickets can only be purchased at Mon Repos on the night if the Turtle Encounter is not sold out.

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 tour date.

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

A: Any changes to your booking must be made before 11am on the day of your tour, 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.

A: Family: A family is a group of up to 4 related people, comprising of 2 adults and 2 children.

Concession: 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).

Educational Group: An Educational Group is a Primary and Secondary school age group.

A: The range of experiences and interactivity within the new turtle centre has vastly increased the opportunities for visitors to explore, engage, and have fun learning about marine turtle research and conservation.

What should I bring?

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 in case of rain. Bring insect repellent – there may be bities. Help marine turtles by bringing your own water bottle, there are water refill stations available You can also bring a small personal hand torch. Bring a book, playing cards to help while waiting for turtles.

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 around the Turtle Centre, but are not allowed on the beach. Alcohol is not permitted.

A: Some form of footwear is required as you will be walking on the rocky and shelly beach and in vegetated dunes. Closed in walking shoes or sandshoes are best.

A: Yes, you should bring a torch. Mon Repos is a darkened environment and a torch can be helpful at the centre, on the walking tracks and in the carpark. On the beach, no torch light is permitted. There will be a Ranger leading you along to your turtle. Rangers will use their 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 a torch with a brightness of 100 lumens or less. Mobile phone torches are not permitted to be used on the beach at any time.

A: The Turtle Centre has a new Junior Discovery area with a number of interactive displays designed for children. There are immersive animated films, interactive displays and hands-on activities. We recommend you also bring other activities such as board games, books and tablets to keep children entertained while waiting. Possibly leave the soccer balls and hockey sticks at home though.

Getting There

A: Check out our handy directions page at https://www.bundabergregion.org/turtles/getting-there

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.

A: You can! There is a sealed 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! The walking trail takes you to Mon Repos Road, where you will find the Shuttle Bus service in the Council Car Park at the end of Mon Repos Road. Be aware that Mon Repos beach closes at 6pm during the turtle season, therefore you cannot enter the car park from the beach after this time.

On The Night

A: The Turtle Centre opens at 7.00pm in Turtle season. Arrive from 6.30pm to 6.45pm for a 7.00pm opening. Don’t be late or you might miss out on your tour departure!

A: Please queue at the Shuttle Bus Transfer station at the end of Mon Repos Road where the Council Car Park is. Once shuttled into the Conservation Park be ready with your itinerary number from your booking and your surname. When the Turtle Centre opens at 7pm, 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.

A: The group you are in is automatically allocated based on the date you purchase your ticket and is finalised on the night of the tour. Mon Repos or Bundaberg Tourism staff cannot change this allocation.

A: To get the most out of your night you should plan to arrive for 6.30pm, if you are going to be slightly later then this it 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 4159 1652 before 6pm to advise arrival time. If you do come later, please understand that there is a HIGH chance that you may not be able to join your designated tour group and you may need to join a later group. Refunds cannot be issued if you are late and missed turtle tours for the evening.

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 & volunteers 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. 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. Please be patient and listen to the instructions of the Rangers and turtle volunteers.
Please be aware that on some occasions turtles may not appear. Although this is unusual, we must remember marine turtles are wild creatures and we cannot guarantee viewing.

A: Heaps of things! In the redeveloped Turtle Centre, take time to explore the many new displays, spend time in the immersive room absorbed in the evening’s program, and browse through the gift 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 these endangered species. If you’re concerned about being bored, bring a book, tablet, board game or some other quiet activity to fill any time.

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. This is highly variable and fully dependent on the circumstances of the night.

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 Turtle Centre, talk to the Rangers and volunteers; and learn more about these magnificent marine animals.

A: The turtles don’t mind – they’re used to getting wet! Take a rain jacket - 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.

A: There are toilets available in the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Council Car Park while you wait for the Shuttle Bus Transfer.

A: There will be a limited selection of food and drinks available for purchase at the Turtle Centre, and you are welcome to bring your own. 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. We encourage you to bring your own reusable water bottle and make use of our water refill stations in the Turtle Centre.

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!

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

A: Immersive experiences engage many of the senses to enable you to experience something ‘as if’ you were actually there’. Our turtle encounters on the beach are immersive – involving most of our senses in an awesome real life turtle experience – the smells of the ocean, sounds of the waves, moonlight, the sand under our feet. The other immersive experiences at Mon Repos are created using multi-media technologies, sound, animation, scale and lighting to transport you from the visitor centre into the world of marine turtles in a flexibly designed theatre. Immersive experiences can also be challenge-based interactions that require imagination to participate, for example in a simulated world of a turtle researcher such as in the Junior Discovery area.

Shuttle Bus Transfer

A: Shuttle bus transfers will run from 6.30pm onwards, so please arrive from 6.30pm.

A: There will be a Ranger or Mon Repos volunteer stationed at the Shuttle Bus area until 7pm. If you arrive after this, please wait in the pick up area for a Shuttle Bus to arrive.

A: All walking trails are closed from 6pm onwards each day. The only way to get to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre for your Turtle Encounter is by Shuttle Bus Transfer.

A: A Shuttle Bus will be located at the Council Car Park for late arrivals.

A: Yes.

A: No, under Queensland Government Road Safety Rules, Public Transport is exempt from complying with standard child restraint laws. Please ensure your infant sits on your lap during the transfer. https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/children/exemptions

A: The Turtle Encounter is very popular, so tickets should be pre-booked and prepaid online at the Bundaberg, Childers or Gin Gin Visitor Information Centres. Ticket sales close at the Visitor Information Centres at 4pm for that evening’s tour, if spots are still available. Tickets can only be purchased at Mon Repos on the night if the Turtle Encounter is not sold out.

A: Yes, the shuttle bus will be operating regularly

A: Prams are permitted on board the Shuttle Bus, however space on the Shuttle Bus can be limited. Be aware that there is no secure area for prams to be left unattended at the Turtle Centre, and taking them on the beach is not recommended.

Accessibility

A: Generally, the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter tour is suited to all ages & those with a good physical ability, 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, soft 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.

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.

A: If you require Disabled Parking you must phone 1300 722 099 and book your turtle tickets directly with the Booking team. There are Disabled Car Parks available at the Turtle Centre, however pre-booking is necessary. Disabled toilets are located at the Turtle Centre and are fully wheelchair accessible. 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. There are no disabled facilities available on the beach, though you may use your own beach wheelchair on the beach. If using your own beach wheelchair, you must bring two strong people to assist as volunteers and staff are not available.

Turtles

A: Turtle nesting and hatching activity usually occurs at night. If you do visit Mon Repos beach during the day, entry is either from the Council Car Park at the end of Mon Repos Road or the Moores Road Car Park area at the northern end of the Park. 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.

If you wish to visit the Turtle Centre during the day, this can be done from the Moores Road Car Park. A lovely walking trail will lead you to the Turtle Centre. You can also access the Turtle Centre from the boardwalks on the beach. Access to the Turtle Centre, Walking Trails and Mon Repos beach will be closed at 6pm every day during the turtle season. Please note that access to the Turtle Centre may change with progress of the Centre redevelopment. Once available, access will be from Rookery Road.

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 and ensuring you have minimal impact on endangered marine turtles. You can, however, swim with the turtles twelve months of the year at Lady Musgrave Island or Lady Elliot Island.

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.

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!

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

Accommodation

A: Although there is no accommodation at Mon Repos Turtle Centre there are many accommodation options available nearby & in Bargara and coastal areas & also in Bundaberg, only a short 20 kilometre drive from Mon Repos.