Hundreds of tiny footprints linking the sand dunes to the sea, a tell-tale sign of turtle hatchlings starting their life at Mon Repos beach. A few months earlier, a mother turtle had dragged her large frame up the beach to above the high tide mark to carefully lay her eggs in the largest turtle rookery in the South Pacific. Witnessing this rare sight — a once a year dash to the water’s edge — is one of Queensland’s top animal encounters that you can experience in the Bundaberg North Burnett region.

When and where to see the turtles
  • November to January: Mother turtles come ashore to nest at Mon Repos
  • January to late March: Tiny hatchlings take their first flips towards the shore at Mon Repos
  • All year round: Swim with the sea turtles that call Lady Elliot Island home!

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    The Bundaberg North Burnett Region offers an experience no other Queensland Region can come close to claiming. What other region can give the best of both worlds. Coastal - with the gateway to the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Offering you an up close and personal experience with nesting sea turtles and white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Country - vast rural settings, national parks of rainforests, hoop pines and naturally formed crevices and gorges, abundance of wildlife and revealing ancient aboriginal paintings and meeting places, all waiting for you. The Ultimate Bundaberg North Burnett Region Tourist Drive will give you an insight into the whole region.
    The largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland occurs at Mon Repos, and from November to March, visitors can watch nesting and hatching turtles on the beach at night. This park is world famous for its marine turtle wildlife spectacle where loggerhead, flatback and green turtles come ashore to nest on an accessible mainland beach. The park is also home to Woongarra rainforest remnants, mangroves, a tidal lagoon and historic sites. In winter and spring, take quiet beach walks, watch birds or explore rock pools. From November to March, take a night tour for a close encounter with turtles on the beach. You may see turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs; or witness hatchlings emerging from their nests and heading for the sea. Turtle watching is very popular, so bookings are essential and fees apply. Visit the information centre to learn about Mon Repos, turtles and the nearby Great Sandy Marine Park.
    The Mon Repos walking track is located within the Mon Repos Regional Park. The largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland occurs at Mon Repos. From November to March, visitors can see nesting and hatching turtles on the beach at night. Mon Repos Regional Park is the largest loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific. The 4.5 kilometre return Mon Repos walking track heads south from the information centre and explores the park behind the dunes on a leafy path. Take drinking water with you and wear sunscreen. Insect repellent is recommended. This track's natural features include saltpans, freshwater ponds, mangroves, melaleuca forests and coastal scenery. View the heritage listed stone wall that is about 1.5 metres tall and extends inland for 1.58 kilometres. South Sea Islanders built the wall around 1884 as they cleared rubble from the cane fields. Many similar walls once stood in the district, but only six exist today. Allow two hours to complete this walk of an easy grade.
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    Lady Musgrave Island on the Great Barrier Reef is accessible from either Bundaberg or the Town of 1770. This 44 acre coral cay sits in a lagoon of approximately 3,000 acres with 14 world class dive sites: Manta Ray and Entrance Bombies, Napoleon's Wall and The Drop-off to name a few. Snorkel the shallows or dive coral gardens on the northern side and the extensive drop-off on the southern side. Divers and snorkellers may come face to face with manta rays, turtles, schooling fish, reef sharks, colourful reef fish, stingrays, and even sea snakes.
    Free Entry
    Hoffman's Rocks is a colourful dive in Woongarra Marine Park which can be accessed from Bargara. A feature of the dive is split bommie - two large submerged rocks with a swim through and small cave. Diver's will be treated to seeing resting turtles, bull rays, groupers and wobbegong sharks. There is a vast array of soft corals (gorgonia sea fans and ‘trees’ of ‘pom poms’) and scattered hard corals. Many varieties of nudibranchs are unique to this location. Schools of barracuda and trevally, lionfish, cuttlefish and even Olive sea snakes are attracted to this area.
    Free Entry
    Mon Repos is home to Australia's largest concentration of nesting sea turtles. Mon Repos caters for everyone from young families to the grey nomads. You will find historical, environmental and leisure activities at Mon Repos. From mid October to the end of April, public access to the beach is restricted from 6pm to 6am. Mon Repos is well known in aviation history as the location of Bert Hinkler's first hangar trial flights in 1912.
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    Bargara Beach is located 15 kilometres east of Bundaberg and offers a climate similar to Hawaii, beautiful beaches and friendly locals. Bargara Beach is located immediately east of the Bundaberg town centre and is backed by a beachfront road, with good beach access and parking. This family friendly beach offers winding board walks, kids playgrounds, eateries, cafes. Dogs are welcome on Bargara Beach (except for Kellys Beach). During the summer months, you will see turtles come to shore to nest. In the mornings, over summer, you will see the turtle tracks leading back to the ocean - an amazing sight to see.
    Free Entry
    Moore Park Beach is only a 15 minute drive from Bundaberg Central Business District. Offering 20 kilometres of unspoilt beaches; the northern end is used for Four Wheel Driving and the southern end is a popular swimming area. Moore Park Beach is a family friendly beach offering all the services and amenities that may be required during your stay; mini mart, service station, bakery, eateries, sporting clubs, motels, caravan holiday parks, hardware stores and Bed and Breakfasts are all conveniently located. During the summer months, Moore Park Beach is used as a nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles. To protect the turtles and their eggs, dogs are only allowed on the beach north of Palm View Drive. Only a short distance up the road from the beach you will find a feeding, roosting and breeding habitat for the local waterbirds. Moore Park beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the Easter Weekend and Public Holidays from 8am to 5pm. Roving lifeguards patrol the beaches seven days a week between 9am and 5pm.
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    The Southern Great Barrier Reef is your first jumping off point travelling north to see one of the wonders of the natural world. Featuring the coral isles of Lady Musgrave, Lady Elliot, Fairfax, Hoskins and the coral reefs of Fitzroy, Boult, Llewelyn - day tours, resort stays and wilderness camping and multi day scuba diving tours are available. The Southern Great Barrier reef is renowned world wide for scuba diving and it's pristine, unspoilt beauty. Only six operators access this region of the reef, an area of over 150000 square kilometres. Manta Rays, turtles and migrating Humpback Whales are an icon of this area, as is the fantastic year round visibility. Bundaberg and the Town of 1770 are your two gateways to visit the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Cruises depart Bundaberg to Lady Musgrave Island and flights depart to Lady Elliot Island and also to other cays and reefs on a day cruise. From the Town of 1770, cruises depart to Lady Musgrave Island and Fitzroy Reef. There's also the wonder of life on a coral cay - for birdwatchers, nature lovers and even geologists - you don't even have to get wet!
    Free Entry
    The Light House Bommie site off Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef is a group of small coral outcrops packed with marine life. Snorkel across a sandy patch, descend past a coral ledge and drift onto the bommies to see Manta Rays waiting to be cleaned by Cleaner Wrasse. Home to batfish, stingrays, whitespotted shovelnose rays, green and loggerhead turtles, sea snakes, moray eels, coral trout, reef sharks, trevally, barracuda and many others. Leopard sharks are seen during summer.
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