CENTRAL Queensland’s Mon Repos beach has hatched the best turtle-laying season in 28 years and it’s not too late to experience this natural wonder.
About 400 endangered loggerhead turtles have visited the coastline this season to nest at the largest rookery in the South Pacific.
Every year from November to March, Mon Repos near Bundaberg usually welcomes back 200 to 300 nesting turtles and their hatchlings. But this season has seen a dramatic increase in turtle numbers, due to the ongoing conservation efforts of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers.
To manage impacts on threatened loggerhead turtles, turtle exclusion devices are now installed in fishing trawlers, and the establishment of marine parks and go-slow zones for boats help ensure the Mon Repos turtle experience remains one of the best nature experiences in Australia.
Management practices since 1968 are helping these endangered species live a longer life so they can keep laying until they are about 60 years.
Mon Repos has the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and the largest Loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific Ocean.
Access to Mon Repos beach is restricted from 6pm during the turtle season, so the best way to see these endangered animals up close is on a nightly guided tour from the Mon Repos Visitors Centre.
Spots are still available on March weekend and weeknight tours. Bookings are essential for the Mon Repos turtle experience and tickets can be bought at Bundaberg Region Visitor Information Centre by calling 4153 8888 or visiting www.bookbundabergregion.com.au.
For visitor information, see www.bundabergregion.org.
Qantaslink flies from Brisbane to Bundaberg, or Bundaberg is a three-hour drive from the Sunshine Coast.