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A Date with Sea Turtles

钟彤悦 Anna Zhong 2018-04-08 10:21

Every year, sea turtles of different kinds: loggerhead turtles, green turtles, hawksbill turtles, leatherback turtles, and flatback turtles, all gather here, from Bundaberg of the South to the Cape in the North tropical Queensland, and the islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, you wouldn’t miss the amazing creatures. The Mon Repos Beach around Bundaberg is the largest habitat for turtles in the South Pacific! 


Turtles have been living on earth for more than 200 million years. A migrating marine animal, the turtles spend their entire life shifting back and forth between their birthplace and their feeding grounds, navigating with an internal GPS. Among them, certain species of turtles must travel thousands of miles every single year. The turtles are a living wonder on the earth. The turtles in oestrus are busily preparing for the egg-laying season, and this is also one of the sign of spring in Queensland. 


Location: Mon Repos 

Time: from November to next March 


The Mon Repos Beach around Bundaberg is a 4-hour northbound ride from Brisbane. It is located at the end of the continent, bearing the name of the largest and most accessible turtle habitat in Australia. Mon Repos has the most turtles living and nesting in the east coast of Australia and also a major destination for egg laying and feeding. Here is also one of the largest habitats for loggerhead turtles. You would have the luck to witness the marvellous scene of thousands of turtles laying eggs on the shore. At night, you would also have the chance to follow the lead of an experienced inspector, to have a close look at the turtles nesting and laying eggs, and listen to their stories of life. 


Location: Lady Elliot Island of the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

Time: All Year Round 


Located at the southernmost point of Great Barrier Reef, the island was renowned as the best diving and snorkelling destination. Her unpolluted coral reef and diversified marine life community establish herself as the acclaimed marine star. Three turtle species dwell on this fascinating island – hawksbill turtles, green turtles, and loggerhead turtles. Turtle nests hidden under the sand dunes could be seen everywhere on the shore, while the inspectors guard the lives of the baby turtles. 


Location: Great Keppel Island of the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

Time: from November to next March 


Great Keppel Island, along with the surrounding islands, is one of the most important habitats for flatback turtles. This highly endangered species could now only be seen in Australia. From November to December, flatback turtles travel from the distant Torres Strait, build their nests and get prepared for breeding the new-born. Monkey Beach is their favourite destination. Thousands of pregnant turtles drag their heavy shields and lay eggs along the Queensland coast. And from January to March, baby turtles are hatched. 


Location: Lady Musgrave Island of the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

Time: All Year Round 


Lady Musgrave Island is the only coral island with access to the lagoon in the Great Barrier Reef. The crystal-clear lagoon is home to colourful corals, mobulas, fish of all sorts and the sea turtles. You may jump into the lagoon, swim and try snorkelling and explore in your own way. Under the tranquil surface of water hides a huge aquarium. Sea turtles could be seen here all year round. 


Location: Heron Island of the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

Time : All Year Round 


In the animated film, Finding Nemo, the adorable, dorky green turtle Crush is impressive to the audience. Since green turtles are fond of warm waters, they usually swim to the surface of sea to gain heat from the sunlight. However, on the Heron Island of Queensland, green turtles would land on the shore and get a proper sunbathe in. On the shore of Heron Island, you may walk to the fringing reef in the crystal-clear seawater, where you would find the home of loggerhead turtles.

Non-Stop Flight Guide to Meet the Wonderous Turtles 


Currently, China Eastern, China Southern and Hainan Airlines all offer non-stop flights to Brisbane, from Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen respectively. Meanwhile, Air China opened non-stop flights from Beijing to Brisbane. From Brisbane, domestic flights heading for south Great Barrier Reef area are widely available! 

Tips for Observing Turtles 


1. In order not to disturb turtles, please do not use torchlights. Torch lights over 3 Volts and flashlights are strictly prohibited. 

2. Frightened turtles would forsake giving birth and directly return to the sea. Hence please do not walk in front of the turtles to avoid frightening them. 

3. If the turtles are nesting, please keep a distance for at least 10 metres. You may sit behind and watch silently. 

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