Bells toll welcoming the first nesting turtles

07 November 2022

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs

The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon


The sound of bells tolling have echoed across Bundaberg today to celebrate the arrival of the first nesting turtle of the season at Mon Repos, and marking the start of a bumper tourism season supporting good jobs. 


Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the ringing of the bells signalled the arrival of thousands of tourists returning to the Bundaberg region for the start of the turtle season.


“St Peter’s Anglican Church in Bargara will be the first to ring its bells today at 11am, to signal that the turtle season has begun,” Mr Smith said.


“Rangers, Researchers and volunteers patrolling the beach and were excited to witness the first turtle ashore for the breeding season on the weekend.


“While the bells signals the return of the turtles to Mon Repos for the nesting season, it’s also marks the arrival of thousands of tourists from across Queensland and interstate headed for Bundaberg to experience all that our region has to offer.”


The first nesting turtle of the season, Flatback turtle X8473 was first recorded nesting at Mon Repos rookery in 1977 and has had 17 breeding seasons since this time. She came ashore on Mon Repos beach on Friday night and after digging her egg chamber laid 64 eggs in her first clutch for the season. 


Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said last year 364 turtles migrated to nest on the beaches of the Woongarra Coast.


“On top of this, 16,615 people visited Mon Repos during the previous turtle season which is a testament to its popularity and educational value for visitors,” Minister Scanlon said.


“It’s why the Palaszczuk Government upgraded the turtle centre to add to the experience and environmental value, with an additional 42 hectares in the surrounding area acquired and protected, and a major award-winning overhaul of the centre in 2020.


“It’s now also almost run entirely off of renewable energy with 446 solar panels powering the popular tourism destination.


“If you’re planning on visiting us at the centre for a day tour you can book online, or if joining one of our Ranger-guided Turtle Encounter tours then I encourage you to snap up your tickets as they’re selling fast.


Mon Repos Turtle Encounter is the only Ranger-guided turtle encounter available on the east coast and is instrumental in the research into turtle conservation.


Mon Repos Conservation Park supports the largest population of nesting loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific and is critical to the survival of this endangered turtle.


Please visit the Mon Repos Turtle Centre website for more information.




Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078