Mon Repos Conservation Park
Mon Repos Conservation Park is a turtle rookery located on Queensland's central coast, 14 km east of Bundaberg. Mon Repos hosts the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and supports the most significant nesting population of the endangered loggerhead turtle in the South Pacific Ocean region. Successful breeding here is critical if the loggerhead species is to survive. Flatback, green and leatherback turtles also nest along the Bundaberg coast, but in much smaller numbers.
From November to March each year, adult turtles come ashore to lay eggs on Mon Repos beach. About eight weeks later young turtles emerge from the eggs and begin their journey to the sea. The best time to see turtles nesting is after dark from mid November to February. Hatchlings usually leave their nests at night from mid January until late March.
Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service rangers operate guided tours nightly during the breeding season. Mon Repos is becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction, with around 25,000 visitors every season. Beach access is now managed during the season to ensure that the impact of humans on nesting sea turtles is minimal.
The French title of the area reflects the fact that it was owned by the French Government between 1890 and 1925 after they had laid the first telegraph cable from Australia to the French dependency of New Caledonia. The cable came ashore on Mon Repos beach. Mon Repos is French for "My Rest".
A turtle conservation movie used at this centre was actually filmed in Ballina, New South Wales approx 7 hours drive from Bundaberg. It was filmed in the serpentine river and the turtle was released by the local wild bird rescue man just south of Shaws Bay.
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