FEATURE IMAGE CREDIT: Robert Ashdown
Time of year to visit: between November to March
Family fun and adventure begins at Mon Repos Conservation Park, located in Bundaberg! Home to the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland, Mon Repos has a variety of activities families and children of all ages can enjoy. The Mon Repos Conservation Park is strategically placed and deemed the most significant location for Loggerhead turtle nesting in the South Pacific Ocean region. Park rangers are readily available in the park to impart their knowledge on this special species.
Turtle Education at Mon Repos
The turtle adventure starts at the Mon Repos information centre, where stories about the turtles and their journeys are shared. The centre educates visitors on the real truths of a turtle’s adventures in finding their way back to their birth place to nest. From the information centre, you can then walk through the Mon Repos coastal walking track or watch a presentation held in the outdoor amphitheatre and participate in turtle encounters.
Night Beach Access During Turtle Nesting Season
From mid-October to the end of April each year, public access to the beach is restricted from evening to early morning. There are guided night time turtle encounter tours available, however, and advanced bookings for these are essential. The purpose of this restricted access is to protect nesting turtles and their hatchlings. To find out how to book your tickets, tours costs and for further information, please visit http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos/about.html#bookings.
For an annual treat, visitors who participate in the Connect with Nature Turtle Encounters program at Mon Repos are able to witness the annual pilgrimage of literally hundreds of sea turtles. The best time to visit to watch the female turtles lay their eggs after dark is from mid-November to February, where each turtle lays roughly 130 eggs per clutch and up to flour clutches each season. From mid-January till late March, you can also witness the spectacle of the birth of the tiny hatchlings who begin to leave their nests and start their life in the sea.
The turtle encounters at Mon Repos are ranger-guided and operate seven nights a week from November to late March, excluding the public holidays in December. Discover nature close up and watch miracles occur right before you, and you might even have the chance to help rangers relocate clutches of eggs.
Leave The Space As You Found It
Swimming is not recommended at Mon Repos Beach as it is not patrolled by surf lifesavers. During your beach recreation activities, please help reduce hazards for turtles and visitors by flattening large sandcastles and filling in any holes in the sand you may have created before you leave.
Other Attractions at Mon Repos
Other highlights of this fascinating place include the site of Bert Hinkler’s first glider flights. He began his journey as a pilot by building his own glider in 1911 and 1912, which he rebuilt using an ironing board to be utilised as his cockpit. He then went on to experiment with other different aircraft and made record breaking solo flights.
The tidal lagoon and rock pools are great fun for all visitors. Or you could go shore diving in one of the most popular shore-diving areas in Australia, where you can witness the spectacular colours of sea life.
Don’t Forget To Bring:
- Insect repellent
- Rain jackets – shelter is limited during storms and umbrellas are not permitted on the beach
- A small torch
- A jumper or windcheater as it can be cold, particularly on the beach
- Drinking water
For further information, visit: www.bundabergregion.info or http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos/index.html
All images © The State of Queensland (Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing).