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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Mon Repos Regional Park

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Mon Repos Regional Park, a quiet coastal oasis near Bundaberg, is special! The beach supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific region. Their nesting and hatching success here at Mon Repos is critical for their survival. At this globally-significant site you can learn about these extraordinary animals - a visit to Mon Repos Turtle Centre offers a turtle encounter like very few others in the world. Mon Repos also features Woongarra rainforest scrub, the site of Bert Hinkler's first glider flights, a tidal lagoon, rock pools and an historic basalt stone wall built by South Sea Islanders, who were brought to Queensland from the 1880s to work in the sugar industry. Explore the park on walking tracks and cycling tracks or, if you prefer a slower pace, take a wander along the beach to look at tidal rock pools. Entry to Mon Repos Regional Park is free. Fees apply for night access to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Mon Repos Turtle Encounters during turtle season (November to March). See Mon Repos Turtle Centre listing for admission and booking details.

Mon Repos Turtle Centre

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
At the Mon Repos Turtle Centre near Bundaberg, witness an ancient life cycle of the animal kingdom as majestic sea turtles make their journey from sea to shore to lay their eggs. Then delight at the sight of their young, hatching months later, and making their perilous journey to the sea. Mon Repos Regional Park supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. At the Mon Repos Turtle Centre you can learn all about these extraordinary animals and the conservation and research programs that are protecting them, and even have a turtle encounter like very few others in the world. Every year, from November to March, you can join Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre on a guided tour to watch nesting (November to January) and hatching (January to March) marine turtles. Mon Repos Turtle Encounters offer a unique opportunity for you to catch a glimpse of a turtle's world-at least for one night! Don't miss your chance to be part of this special experience. 'Connect with Nature' activities such as ranger-guided walks and turtle talks are also offered during some school holidays at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre.

Hoffman's Rocks Dive Site

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
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.

Hoffman's Rocks Dive Site

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Hoffman's Rocks is a colourful underwater playground just south of Bargara in the Woongarra Marine Park. The area is covered in hard and soft corals including gorgonian sea fans and pretty soft corals, and home to resting turtles, stingrays, gropers and wobbegong sharks. While you're down there, be sure to explore the numerous colourful bommies. The bommies are often visited by schools of barracuda, trevally, lionfish, olive sea snakes and many unique varieties of nudibranchs.

Barolin Rocks Dive Site

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Head to the Woongarra Marine Park on the outskirts of Bundaberg to find some of the most brilliant and easy-to-access shore diving in Queensland. There's something different everywhere you look - turtles, rays, sea snakes, nudibranchs, moray eels, a wide variety of reef fish and coral and even wobbegong sharks. This is a great dive for beginners and you're sure to leave Woongarra Marine Park with new and exciting memories every time you dive. This site, ready to be explored all year round, will surprise you - the fact that it's just metres from the shore doesn't stop it from being breathtaking.

Mon Repos Beach

Mon Repos, Bundaberg 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 (during Turtle Season) , 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. Known as one of Queensland's longest beaches, and the most undeveloped, you will find basalt rocks bordering the beach and a rocky outcrop midway up the beach. A gorgeous location to capture the sunrises of the region.

Lighthouse Bommies Dive Site

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Just off the western side of Lady Elliot Island is a group of small coral outcrops known as Lighthouse Bommies. Descend down the mooring line and drift onto the bommies to discover a vast array of marine life - batfish, stingrays, white-spotted shovelnose rays, green and loggerhead turtles, sea snakes, moray eels, coral trout, reef sharks, trevally, barracuda, and manta rays waiting to be groomed by cleaner wrasse. At times leopard sharks and tasselled wobbegong sharks can be found resting at these wonderful bommies.
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