Manta-Ray season is here. See these beauties right at your doorstep!

Manta-Ray season is here. See these beauties right at your doorstep!

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; no, it’s a manta ray flying and leaping out of the water. Wouldn’t it be something else to see the mantas take flight over the June/July school holidays? Can you imagine being lucky enough to see 40+ mantas cruising the open ocean? But, I hear you…it’s winter, right, time to hibernate and stay indoors? Well, that’s not the case here in our stunning Bundaberg Greater Region. Lady Elliot Island is ripe with mantas majestically thriving in their gorgeous habitat throughout the winter season, and Kelly’s Beach Resort is your perfect home base to stay while you play.

Is the water warm?
The ocean temperature is a refreshing 23 degrees at Lady Elliot Island and just so happens to be the perfect time to snorkel with the rays. The crystal clear waters are also abundant with other marine life, such as turtles, whales and more!

Here’s a brief video from February 2022 that Lady Elliot posted on their Facebook page titled; Rare sighting! Ornate eagle ray. #eyeonthereef

School Holidays Book now!
The Qld school holidays are from the 25th of June to the 10th of July. And with flights departing from the Bundaberg airport to Lady Elliot Island, you can take a day trip that will have you soaring both in the air and under the water with the manta rays.

So, why do you need to add diving and snorkelling with the mantas to your bucket list?
Why not!
But here are some fun and exciting facts about WHY you need to see the manta firsthand;

  1. Mantas are among the largest animals in the ocean, with their wings spanning up to seven metres and weighing up to two tonnes. To put that into perspective, that’s as big as a rhino.
  2. They baffle Scientists as to why they can fly. It is suggested that mantas fly as part of a mating ritual, or a form of communication, and the removal of parasites.
  3. Manta give birth only every two years. That’s why you need to see them!
  4. Their spots on their belly are akin to fingerprints, distinguishing them apart.
  5. They are smart, having a decent-sized brain compared to their body. Dolphins are put to shame in that retrospect.
  6. They have to keep moving to live.
  7. Manta means cloak or blanket in Spanish, and I bet you can tell why…
  8. They are harmless to humans having 300 tiny teeth to feed on plankton and small fish. And their tail spine is non-functioning, so you’re safe to bask in their magnificence.

Can kids experience the mantas also?
The manta ray experience is a totally wild encounter. If the child can swim, then they can join in. Lady Elliot Island also offers a glass-bottom boat tour, a snorkel safari, and kayaks that seat 2 with clear bottoms. Kids are all the buzz at Lady Elliot Island, where they have Junior Reef Ranger Club, which is eco-focused.

Where can I stay?
Kelly’s Beach Resort Bargara is the ultimate eco-village for family-friendly accommodation. Check out our facilities where the friendly and knowledgeable tour desk team can arrange any day tours or tourist attractions. Also, check our Stay and Pay deals.

Think Green, Easter is Here

Think Green, Easter is Here

At Kelly’s Beach Resort our guests are pleasantly surprised to learn about our Think Green Program. They love that not only can they stay and play, but they leave a light footprint on our beautiful beaches and the environment. We want to be a role model that others follow.

Parents, grandparents, holiday makers, how can you contribute to the Think Green Program? You have the opportunity of planting a tree with us. In 2019 we partnered alongside Greenfleet with the aim to regenerate mother nature, where we proudly go halves in the cost of the tree that you plant. And for under $5 you can spread some good, knowing that you’ve helped by thinking green. Thank you!

And for all the turtle lovers out there, not only can you see turtles amongst our beaches when you snorkel, or book to see them laying eggs during their September turtle breeding season, but we have teamed up with our local Sea Turtle Alliance organisation installing containers for change. Rather than unwanted containers going into landfill we have 2 specially marked bins ready for you to deposit your containers, where 100% of the proceeds go to helping increase habitat protection through improved vegetation management.

Do you have an electric car, yet find it hard to holiday because your destination doesn’t cater to your specific needs? Well worry no more! At Kelly’s Beach Resort our latest addition to our Think Green Program is our electric car charging station, catered with much thought for you.

Our energy conservation doesn’t stop there! We are huge advocates for reminding staff to turn off power points not in use, appliances must be 3 star energy efficient or above, our pool and management block are solar powered, we use energy efficient light bulbs, and as a guest you’ll notice around the resort our Think Green stickers, including green bins located throughout the resorts 5.5 acres of lush land. Because we are an eco-certified resort everything green is taken into account, from recycling to housekeeping, to water management and garden waste.

Kelly’s Beach Resort is the eco-village that is conscious of maintaining the beautiful world we live in. And you can make a difference at home too on Earth Day, April 22. It’s easy!

Easter is nearly here and for all guests who book and stay Easter Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then our gift to you is 50% off your Easter Monday stay. But you better hop to it (yes that was a deliberate pun) to secure your booking. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up, walk a few minutes to our glorious beaches and set up the kiddos Easter egg hunt directly on the sandy shores, eggs nestled throughout the rocks and vegetation? It’ll be an Easter the kiddos will remember for a lifetime. They can then swim in the ocean and wash off all the chocolate that’s smothered across their face, and burn off that sugar too! On return to your villa at Kelly’s Beach Resort, the kids can enjoy the game room, pool, and go exploring the many acres of our beautiful property, all while the family sits back, cooking up a storm on one of our 3 BBQ’s. But, if you don’t want to cook then our on-site restaurant will happily make you a delicious breakfast hamper.

Make Easter 2022 one for the memory books. Book now!

Why everyone loves the Hatchings!

Why everyone loves the Hatchings!

it ain't just because they're cute

Everyone wants to see the hatchings! We often tell our guests not to underestimate how special and majestic it is seeing the mum turtles nesting, but most just have their hearts on seeing the ‘babies’. Just like us humans, the mums do all the hard work and the cute little babies get the spotlight!

However it isn’t just because they’re cute, seeing these little guys make their way by themselves to the big wide ocean truely does something to you!

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THE BRAVEST NEW BORNS

After incubating for 6-8 weeks they use a little egg tooth to break free of the ping pong ball looking egg shell. Over 5-6 days (they have little power naps in between) all the brother and sister hatchings work together to climb out of the sandy egg chamber.

Seeing them break the surface is like an eruption! All these little flippers and shells piling on top of one another, all instinctively heading towards the lowest lightest horizon above the sea.

If they survive the beach run with seagulls and crabs chasing them, they have a marathon swim of 80-100 km that takes 3-5 days to make it to the East Australia Current and they do with no help from parents!

Hatching Eruption

HUMBLING

Witnessing this tiniest part of the turtle journey, really puts things in perspective. Seeing these 4.5 cm long and 40 gram little turtles go out to the big blue by themselves, is kinda like wow, should I really be annoyed that my latte is too hot, or someone stole my carp park?  Only 1 in 1000 of these little guys make it to adulthood. Might sound weird but witnessing the hatchings climbing the surf makes getting out of bed the day after a lot easier!

GIVES HOPE

Like any new life, these cuties bring hope for the future. What is special is the ones that survive will one day, approximately 30 years later, return to the same beach to do as their mums did.

The Bundaberg community and the Bundaberg Regional Council are really proud that we are the guardians of the Loggerhead Turtles and do what we can to ensure future generations will get to experience this up close and personal wildlife encounter. In an age that sometimes can feel like the little dudes don’t mean so much, the hatching turtles at Mon Repos makes you feel anything is possible!

Thank you to the lovely Kev Webb for sharing the images of the Hatching makings its way to the big blue! The You Tube Video and other images have been sourced from Tourism Events Queensland.

 3 Day Turtle & Bundaberg Experience Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive @ Kellys

Check in at Kellys Beach Resort. Enjoy a swim in the resort pool, a game of tennis and explore the 5.5 acres of grounds. Head to Bargara for some fish n chips and ice cream on the Esplanade

Day 2

Explore Bundaberg by Day, Turtles By night

Choose from our many beaches, check if their is a Bundaberg Food Tour available or head to Ohana Cider House or The Brewhouse.

Pre-order your dinner at KBR’s in-house Restaurant so you can eat before you leave for Mon Repos and your turtle experience.

Day 3

discover bundaberg’s spirit

We have some amazing Sunsets here in Bargara. After witnessing the miricle of Turtle Hatchlings you will spring out of bed! Before heading home no visit to Bundaberg is complete without visiting the Bundaberg Rum Distillery!

Everything you need to know about Turtle season in Bundaberg

Everything you need to know about Turtle season in Bundaberg

Bundaberg is all about Turtles from October until April. We are lucky enough to have the largest concentration in the whole South Pacific of Loggerhead Turtles nesting and hatchlings at Mon Repos Beach. Every year over 400 turtles nest on our beaches and the surrounding islands of Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot every year! Pretty Special right! 

We have provided this blog to give our visitors as much information about the Turtle Season here in Bundaberg as we can!

Turtles Facts

A turtle’s history and journey is a real special one!

Some live until they’re 80 years old and can get up to 900 kg! Whoa that is a lot of plankton!

Did you know the temperature of the nest will determine the sex of the hatchlings?

Once laid, the eggs will incubate for 6-8 weeks until the hatchlings erupt out of the sand beginning their journey along the East Australian Current (EAC Dude)

Light pollution is one of the biggest threats to the marine turtles survival. Our region has a Low Glow understanding where we all try to do our bit to reduce the light pollution during turtle season. Thanks to Greenfleet, Bundaberg Regional Council, Sea Turtle Alliance, Bundaberg Tourism, The Walt Disney Co and the Princes Trust Australia for coming together to protect our turtles.

Low Glow

Sign the Low Glow Pledge Here

Turtle encounter Tours

Ranger Guided Tours are operated from Mon Repos Turtle Centre nightly from early November until late March every year. (Except 24/12, 25/12 and 31/12)

Visitors need to at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre between 6.15 pm and 6.45 pm.

On arrival to Mon Repos Conservation Park follow the road 750 meters to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre Car Park, there is additional parking at the end of Mon Repos Road and the end of Moores Road (northern park entrance)

Your night starts with wandering through the beautiful conservation park, which is dimly lit (to protect our turtles) as you head to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre entrance. Hear you will be given your Tour Group sticker which are pre-allocated by the rangers based on the date of booking.

While waiting for a turtle to make its way to the beach or start to hatch, visitors get to take the Turtle Tales Experience to learn about the special journey turtles and people have taken at Mon Repos, the work of turtle conservation, watch turtle documentries in the audotorium, browse the Gift shop, and enjoy a snack in the Mon Repos Gidji Cafe

For the young ones there is Junior Ranger activities to keep them occupied however feel free to brings board games, cards or a tablet just encase.

Once your group number is called you make your way along the boardwalk to the beach with a Ranger and Turtle volunteer to experience this truly natural encounter. Picture a secluded beach at night with minimal light pollution so the stars are amazing and baring witness to a mum laying her eggs or a clutch of hatchings running down the beach to the moonlit ocean. Really really special!

Please read The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter FAQ for the ins and outs of the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter

 

Bookings

We cannot express enough to ensure you BOOK IN ADVANCE. You will be really disappointed if you try to book while you are here. The turtles are really popular. There are no tickets available at Mon Repos on the night!

You can book direct here

Or you can book one of our Turtle Packages which includes accommodation here at Kellys Beach Resort and Mon Repos Turtle Encounter tickets 

Or contact us to add a ticket to your stay

Secret insider Turtle Tips:

  • Missed out on a ticket? or here after the tour season is finished? Turtles nest all along our beaches until mid May so feel free to go for a walk along the beach (conscious of noise and light pollution of course) and you never know your luck. There are volunteers patrolling the beaches until May so they will advise you what to do!
  • Hatching Tours typically happen quicker than Nesting Tours.
  • Bring bug repeallant.
  • Turtles don’t mind the rain so tours will operate in all weather except, lightning or extreme weather events.
  • Bring a torch on tour as you may be lucky enough to use the light to guide a little hatching to the ocean

Our favourite secluded beaches in Bundaberg!

Our favourite secluded beaches in Bundaberg!

Off the back of our first blog the Top 10 Things we love about Winter in Bundaberg on the Southern Great Barrier Reef comes ‘Our Favourite Secluded Beaches’ Blog. We are pretty lucky here to still have secluded beaches. Even though they’re at there most secluded during the winter months, even over January you can still get a beach to yourself if you know where to look!

Our busiest beaches are not even that crazy at the busiest time of year so we also love Archies Beach and Kellys Beach too, which are only 2 minutes walk away from the resort!

 

Rifle Range Beach

Our favourite part of Rifle Range Beach is the natural coastal bush that you walk through and that shelters the beach. There is no car park in sight and the bush protects it from the road.

At low tide there is great rock pools and Rifle Range Creek can be explored. Great place to chase ghost crabs too.

If you have bikes (you can hire some from us) there is a great path that weaves along Rifle Range Creek and along the Coast.

It is so beautifully peaceful.

 

Neilson’s Beach

Neilo’s as it is affectionately known by us locals, is our local Surf Beach. Nippers and Surf Carnivals are held here, so if you’re after seclusion plan around these events.

This is a lovely beach with an awesome Park for the kids, a basketball court, exercise equipment close by and showers! The bike path goes right past here so you could even ride down, it is only 3. 8 km. You could definitely make a day out of Neilson’s Park.

Psst, there is also awesome coffee too. Check out Sea Bean for their opening hours

 

Elliot Heads Beach

Elliot Heads is one of Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reefs best kept secrets. The river meets the ocean here and the colours and the view is spectacular, we reckon it even gives the Whitsundays a run for its money.

On low tide you can walk across the sand to Dr Mays Island (in season as closed for nesting birds) and even get glimpses of Coonar Beach. It seems like the beach goes on forever here in three different directions!

There is Driftwood Cafe that has burgers and chips too, so make an afternoon of it!

 

Woodgate Beach

Woodgate Beach is just over 40 minute drive but well worth it! This has got to be the most untouched part of the Bundaberg Region sitting in the Burrum Coast National Park. Just down the road from the beach is the unmissable Theodolite Creek. If you can plan it go on dusk or dawn to check out the kangaroos.

There is a great cafe just across the road from the beach, if you need a coffee for the return drive Russo Nature park is only 20 minutes away too which has a nice easy 30 minute walk through bush to a lookout!

Come stay in one of our Eco Villas at  Kellys Beach Resort when exploring the beaches of Bundaberg!
Blog written by Loni Springer and lover of everything Bundaberg and Nature