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!




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


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!


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 Tours

Ranger Guided Tours are operated from Mon Repos Turtle Centre nightly from 9th of November 2019 until 28th of March 2020. Except 24/12, 25/12 and 31/12

Visitors need to at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre between 6.30 pm and 6.45 pm.

Your night starts with wandering through the dimly lit (to protect our turtles) reserve to the Turtle Centre. 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 do its thing, there is a visitor centre with where you can learn more about turtles and the conservation efforts to increase their numbers as well as an outdoor auditorium where documentaries about Mon Repos and Turtles are shown through the night

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 how the Tours operate.



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 a discount on accommodation and breakfast

Or contact us to add a ticket to your stay


The Turtle Express

The Turtle Express includes return transfers from Kellys Beach Resort to the Rookery as well as the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter.

You can check out our Turtle Express Package which includes a discount on accommodation and breakfast.

Or you can book direct with Bundaberg Coach Tours

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