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Bundaberg Expecting Bumper Turtle Season—Southern Great Barrier Reef

Sea Turtle Tourism Queensland
Sea Turtle Tourism Queensland
Lady Elliot Resort
lifes a beach - southern great barrier reef
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Bundaberg Expecting Bumper Turtle Season—Southern Great Barrier Reef

story by: Mike Williams

Meeting the marine life is one of the many highlights of visiting the Southern Great Barrier Reef in Southern Queensland. In fact, many tourists plan their trip for between November and March, to coincide with the annual breeding season of one of the Reef’s prime marine attractions, the sea turtle.

This breeding season is expected to be even more amazing than usual, with sightings of nesting turtles being reported earlier than usual out of Bundaberg, a coastal Queensland town and a rally point for turtle-seeking enthusiasts. Especially good news for turtle lovers is that the endangered loggerhead and flatback turtle varieties have already started nesting. The Mon Repos Conservation Park has ranger-guided tours that give nature-lovers an insight usually only available on wildlife documentaries.

Sea turtles are renowned mariners, swimming thousands of kilometres to nest at the place of their birth. The turtles will mate in the water, and then the female will meander up the beach and dig a hole with her flippers above the high tide line, laying a clutch of 130 eggs each time. A female turtle might return up to four times a season to lay more eggs. Rangers at the Mon Repos Conservation Park will relocate the eggs if they are laid below the tideline, sometimes enlisting the help of eager visitors.

The Southern Great Barrier Reef plays host to the nesting season of six species of sea turtles. These include the green sea turtle, the critically endangered hawksbill, the loggerhead, the smaller olive ridley, the flatback and the biggest of them all, the leatherback, which can weigh up to 700 kg.

Most species of the majestic and ancient creatures are endangered, so the opportunity to visit Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef and witness this amazing phenomena is not to be missed.

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