Mon Repos Turtle Encounter

The Bundaberg Turtle season is a popular attraction on the coast of Australia. Every year from November to March, curious turtles make their way to the beaches of Lady Musgrave, Lady Elliot, and Mon Repos Islands. It brings a surge of tourism where tourists can see these animals and go snorkeling for a closer experience. Though the waters are open all year round for snorkeling, the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter is an experience all on its own.

Mon Repos is famous for turtle sightings as it has the largest count of marine turtles on the coasts of Australia. It also has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting grounds in the South Pacific and Mon Repos is crucial to their survival, as their nesting is protected by both Rangers and authorities.

Things to know before the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter

Tourists need to know that the turtles are wild animals, therefore unpredictable. Even if they visit the coastline, it is not guaranteed that there will be a sighting of these shy animals. There are times that multiple turtles arrive at once or only a few at a time. Sometimes, they time their arrival around midnight. However, if they do arrive in groups, it gives multiple tours a chance to see them.

Another important factor to know is that these tours usually take hours, so tourists are generally advised to bring a book or some form of entertainment to keep themselves engaged without disturbing the environment. At times, the sighting is immediate, while sometimes it takes hours; so a long wait is expected, but usually, the tours are limited to five hours in Mon Repos.

Planning is advised, as is packing for the beach, and being well-aware of the restrictions. Usually, restrictions are placed on anything that will disturb or alarm the animals, such as light-up shoes or glow sticks. Photography is allowed in limited periods and video recording is allowed without a constant source of light. Devices that do not have a sharp light, such as a GoPro, are permitted, but anything too bright, will not be allowed during the turtle sighting.

During the Sighting

Once the tour guide gives the go-ahead, tourists will be expected to follow the rules and listen to the guides and rangers that will escort them. Bright lights and sudden movement will be prohibited, but visitors will be allowed to take photographs when the guides signal them to. No interaction with the turtles will be permitted, however, recording their arrival to the beach and seeing them dig their nests will be. The whole experience requires time and patience to fully enjoy.


After the pictures and videos have been taken, tourists are often encouraged to post them online and raise awareness about endangered species, such as the loggerheads. They are also told about the different efforts made by officials and volunteers to save various species of marine life and to limit the carbon footprint left by visitors to the island so that others who visit are more careful and respectful of these coastal areas.

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