Bundaberg turtle season is here

  • Written by Jacqueline Zia

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services Rangers lead the first turtle encounter tour tonight at 7pm at Mon Repos Turtle Centre

During a certain week every November, every year, there is a unique natural phenomena happening on the beautiful beach of Mon Repos Beach, Bundaberg that gives the Bundaberg region a whole other meaning and another name…Turtle town! Monday 7 November is the official launch of the 2016/17 turtle encounter season at Mon Repos Turtle Centre, with the first tour scurrying away at 7pm.

The only ranger led turtle encounter experience offered on the east coast of Australia is operated by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services and their dedicated rangers. Mumma turtle tracks have sneakily been spotted by the stealth Mon Repos Turtle Rangers last week, so they know the mummas are definitely in town.

Mon Repos is affectionately referred to as 'Where Australia Shines for Turtles', as it is the largest Loggerhead turtle rookery in the Southern Hemisphere and lends itself as being the only place where visitors can experience these turtley-awesome creatures in an environment that ensures safety to these mummas and their hatchlings.

For those that tune into WIN's Today show on weekends, you may have seen the Southern Great Barrier Reef's turtle trackers, Nev and Bev McLaughlan interview on how they have dedicated much of their spare time to tracking turtles all over the Southern Great Barrier Reef. The square-dancing loving turtle-trackers who make their way each December to the Southern Great Barrier Reef for turtle season have been doing it for 40 years and show no plans of slowing down anytime soon!

Other special guests that are heading to Mon Repos this turtle season so far will also include Mayor Stephane Ducrotoy of Vignacourt, France. Mayor Ducrotoy is in Bundaberg for the lead up to Remembrance Day, but also to have the chance to witness the yearly migration of mumma turtles lay her eggs on Mon Repos beach. Mon Repos translated in French means 'place of rest' and it is just that, which is done by these mumma's from November – January for nesting season. It soon becomes hatchling season from January – March, with thousands hatching and scurrying away, with some hatchlings even returning to Mon Repos Beach to lay their own eggs one day.

General Manager of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism and turtle lover, Katherine Mergard, said, “It is incredibly exciting every year when the Rangers report sighting the first turtle tracks of the season at Mon Repos. The Bundaberg turtle experience is made possible by the wonderful work of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers and volunteers that are on the beach every night from November to March providing guided interpretative tours for visitors and monitoring of the turtles. We welcome visitors and locals who haven't seen a nesting mumma turtle or a very cute, tiny hatchling to visit Mon Repos Beach this season”.

To have your own natural encounter this turtle season, bookings are available at www.bundabergregion.info/turtles, by phoning 1300 722 099 or in person with the friendly staff at either Bundaberg, Childers or Gin Gin Visitor Information Centres.