Everybody loves baby turtles.
Bundaberg Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Bundaberg is probably most famous for manufacturing Bundaberg Rum. Whilst weâ€™re sure itâ€™s lovely stuff; we visited Bundaberg, because we wanted to see turtles. Whilst we were happy to see them swimming in the sea, we really wanted to see some hatching out and making their way down to the sea.
The best place to see turtles hatching and laying is Mon Repos turtle rookery, just 15km away from Bundaberg . Plus January is a great time to visit as you may get a chance to see both nesting and hatching. Nesting is between November through to February , with hatchling appearing from January through to March. You can only have access to the beach if you are on a turtle watching tour.Tickets must be booked & paid for in advance either on-line or through visitor centres in the Bundaberg region. Three hundred visitors are allowed on the beach each night. This sounds like a lot but the places are quickly filled. Therefore make sure that you book early, or you could miss out.Itâ€™s worth remembering that the money you pay to see the turtles, goes towards conserving them.
After getting into our wet-weather gear, and everyone dousing themselves in insect repellent. We were reminded once more that we could be in for a long wait (5-6 hours), and a late night 12-1am. There was also a small chance that we might not see any turtles at all.We were barely through the door of the visitor centre when the first group was called. Fortunately we were in group 1 and were all eager to find out what turtle activity was happening on the beach.A turtle had come onto the beach to lay eggs. Still exciting, but disappointing, because I really wanted to see hatchlings. It was a false alarm, the turtle in question had been on the beach the last 14 nights.The volunteers had help her dig a nest each time, but all she did was fill the hole in with her back flippers.The wardens think this particular turtles may have been involved previously in some sort of accident and suffered some sort of brain injury. A tiny part of me likes to think that she was just having them on.
Minutes later, we had just made it back to the visitors centre when were called again. This time we were told that we were going to see hatchlings, yay.It felt very bizarre hurrying along the beach in the dark, but we soon reached a patch of sand, where one of the volunteers was holding her hand over the hatchlings to stop them digging their way out of the sand.Once the group had crowded round, the volunteer lifted her hand and out popped all these baby turtles, it was a fantastic sight to see.
Then we stood aside to let the baby turtles makes their way to the sea. It was important that no photos were taken at this stage as the baby turtles are getting themselves orientated and could be easily confused. Despite it being a full moon there was not much light, so children were given torches to help the turtles find their way.
Because visitor numbers were so high we were only supposed to see the hatchling turtles.However a massive female turtle had other ideas and tried to make her way up the beach to nest, just as the baby turtles were reaching the sea. The whole experience was so fantastic that we didnâ€™t even notice that we were drenched from the pouring rain. Fortunately thanks to the prompt appearance of the turtles we were soon on our way home to dry off.
*Unfortunately we didnâ€™t get any decent photos to share with you guys, but take our word for it that the baby turtles were beyond cute .*