By Juliano Oliveira
The new world-class Mon Repos Turtle Centre is again open for the public after a period closed for redevelopment. An official launching is planned for 23 November, however, night tours from 9 November and day tours from 18 November will be offered to the public.
Known for housing the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific region, the centre starts to play a crucial part in the survival of this endangered turtle.
Part of the renovation consists of a contemporary ecotourism experience that, according to the administration of the centre, allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in marine turtle research and conservation.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the centre will offer a year-round state-of-the-art experience, with touch screen televisions, vivid displays, an immersive theatre room and interpretive signage. “The design of the centre was carefully considered to ensure the building is ecologically sustainable, long-lasting and had minimal impact on the surrounding environment.”
Each year, Mon Repos welcomes over 30,000 visitors looking to see the hatchlings breaking-egg process and their race to the ocean for the very first time.
“The first turtle of the season – a 70-year-old female flatback – has already made her arrival, coming ashore on 16 October for her 17th breeding season here at Mon Repos. During the peak of the season, up to 20 turtles a night will come ashore to nest on the 1.5-kilometre sandy beach,” said Mr Enoch.
According to figures announced by the government, more than $22 million had been invested in the redevelopment project.
Turtle tours run from November to March each year, with the Nightly Turtle Encounter tours starting on 9 November. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from https://www.bundabergregion.org/turtles.
More information about the Mon Repos Turtle Centre redevelopment and the turtle tours is available at https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos/.