Turtle Hatching, Heron Island, QLD
Summer in Queensland is the season to witness the birth of new marine life. See newly-hatched turtles take their very first swim on Mon Repos beach, near Bundaberg. Or witness the hyper-colour production of a mass coral spawning across the Great Barrier Reef. You can see this dazzling natural phenomenon, nicknamed by marine biologists as ‘sex on the reef', from a glass-bottomed boat or live-aboard dive tour.
It's a 15 minute drive east to from Bundaberg to Mon Repos Conservation Park, where green, flatback and loggerhead turtles nest on the accessible mainland beach. After dark between November and March, see female turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, or their newly-hatched babies crawling to shore for their first swim. Mid-November to February is the best time to see turtles laying eggs, while hatchlings usually begin to leave their nests from mid-January. Visit in January and you might get a fascinating glimpse of both nesting adults and little brown hatchlings. Join a guided tour or learn about the turtles at the information centre, then follow the walking track to the turtle rockery. You can also experience the turtles nesting on nearby Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrave and Heron Islands.