Definitely a thing for your bucket list.
The turtles were THE reason we stayed at Bargara Beach Caravan Park. Mon Repos supports the Pacific region’s largest breeding population of loggerhead turtles, and the largest nesting marine turtles on the eastern mainland Australia.
Of course we found lots of other lovely things to do in Bundaberg and the coast, but seeing the turtles was the highlight of the weekend. Not just for us, but also our son and his friend.
Be prepared for a wait. If you are planning, book well ahead. If not, and it is booked out – ask if you can go on a waitlist. You never know. This is a really popular attraction.
We were amazed at how many people they can get through the tours on one night. You all have to be there at the same time (make sure you have tea first, there are limited food and drinks for sale).
After the initial introduction, it is really just a huge wait (bring a book) until your tour number is called. Your total visit time can be up to 6 hours (remember, they say, that turtles don’t have watches!). You can also view the Turtle Centre displays and shop, whilst you wait.
We were the last tour to be called! Rangers guide you onto the beach – but it is very dark, we recommend you bring a small/low wattage torch, water, suitable footwear and a rain jacket.
The wait was oh, so worth it. Watching those little loggerhead hatchlings make there way to the sea was a goosebumps moment. And to see the awe in the kid’s faces as we helped them into their journey. To know that they will come back to this very beach, and their life-cycle is also a source of wonder.
Remember they are wild creatures, and sometimes they don’t come out. We also learnt about how our environment impacts on these precious creatures.
Nesting is from November to January, and hatching is January to March at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre. Only turtle encounter tour participants are allowed on Mon Repos beach after 6pm.
Mon Repos Turtle Encounters operate seven nights a week from November to late March (closed Christmas Eve, Christmas night and New Year’s Eve). At the time of our visit, a family is around $30, and a concession adult price is only around $7.
Book through the very friendly and efficient team at the Bundaberg Visitor Centre.
Find out more about budget and free camping sites, or caravan parks throughout Australia in the CAMPS guide books, CAMPS Pendium boxed set and CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App.
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