Witness a miracle of life
Birth is an incredible thing – it’s a miracle of life. In the concrete jungle that is Singapore, it seems the only miracles we get to witness are getting seats on a crowded bus during peak hour. Nature’s magic seems so distant, and is something we wish we could see more of.
Enter turtle births. There’s something gratifying about seeing tiny creatures emerge from their shells and enter the world, filling you with a sense of wonder about Mother Nature. The fact that baby animals are positively adorable makes the entire experience something to warm the coals of your heart.
If you want to be a lucky group of people who have witnessed baby turtles emerging from their shells and waddling into the sea, here’s how you can be a part of this life-giving experience.
– BEFORE –
Where to go
As a real estate agent would say, it’s all about location, location, location.
There are many places you can go to to witness turtle births. Some of the more popular locations include Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Oman and Sri Lanka, and these turtle-hatching sites are often part of larger conservation efforts.
But we find that the place to experience this joyous sight is at Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia. Mon Repos Conservation Park supports the most significant nesting population of endangered loggerhead turtles, and they provide an all-in-one experience that’s both educational and insightful.
Get out of my way, I’ve got some eggs to lay!
When to go
The turtle nesting and hatching season in Bundaberg runs from November to March. Turtle nesting season, which is when mummy turtles crawl ashore to lay their eggs, is from November to mid-January. The tiny baby turtles emerge from their shells into the big bad world we live in from January – March, so the best time to visit is in January. If you’re very, very lucky, you may be able to observe both nesting and hatching in one night.
The turtles usually nest and hatch after dark, so be prepared to sacrifice some sleep in order to witness this incredible sight.
What to prepare
You will need
- Footwear suitable for walking on a sandy beach
- Rain jackets, as shelter is limited, and you can’t carry umbrellas onto the beach
- A jacket or windbreaker, as it can get chilly
- Drinking water and insect repellent
- Snacks If you have kids, some simple games or toys to entertain them while waiting for the turtles
– DURING –
Upon arrival at Mon Repos, you will check in with a Ranger. Remember, turtles are wild animals, and the park has no control over their behaviour. It’s not a 100% guarantee that you’ll be able to see them nest and hatch, but the odds are pretty high!
Seize the opportunity to talk to the rangers to learn about these lovely marine creatures. It’s not often that we get a chance to speak with people who deal with wildlife on a daily basis, and hearing them speak earnestly about their experiences will make you wish that Singapore is more jungle than concrete jungle.
Hang tight – once the turtles crawl ashore, the staff will get you ready to watch nature’s magic happen.
The most important thing to take note of during your turtle-watching experience is to respect the park rangers. They know what’s up, and they know what to do in order to ensure an optimal experience for both you and the turtles, so follow their instructions!
Some general guidelines to follow:
- Bright lights disturb the turtles, so avoid using torches or artificial lighting, and especially avoid shining them at the turtles
- Flash photography is not allowed
- Listen to staff directions at all times
- Turtles nest and hatch rain or shine, so having a raincoat or poncho on hand is very useful
Above all, leave your preconceived notions behind and appreciate the wonderful miracle that’s happening before your eyes. It fills you with a sense of wonder at this literal life-giving experience that you are bearing witness to.
– AFTER –
After this incredible experience, you’ll feel a sense of attachment to these lovely creatures, especially the positively adorable baby turtles. Loggerheads are a threatened species – with only about 50,000 nesting females left, and many of them not surviving to maturity, we’re running a very real risk that these turtles might disappear off the face of the earth forever.
Most loggerhead turtles meet their untimely ends when they get caught in the nets of fishing trawlers. Trapped in the nets and unable to surface to breathe, these turtles suffocate and die. Litter thrown into the seas, especially plastic bags, looks like the turtles’ jellyfish prey.
Some turtles unknowingly eat the plastic bags and choke to death. Additionally, many of their nesting grounds have been destroyed by coastal developments, further threatening their population. What you can do to help We may not be able to do much, but every little bit counts towards protecting these turtles.
Here are three simple ways you can help ensure our future generation will be able to see these sea creatures in reality.
- Don’t throw litter on the beach or into the sea.Turtles may eat or be tangled up in the trash, leading to their untimely demise.
- Spread the word about the danger the loggerhead turtle is in! The more people know about it, the stronger the message and the better the movement to protect these creatures.
- Encourage more friends to visit Mon Repos! Entry fees for the Mon Repos Turtle Encounter go towards conservation and educational efforts for the endangered turtles.
This miracle of life is something that is truly once-in-a-lifetime, and you can plan your turtle-watching adventure at Mon Repos right here.
Other than witnessing the birth of these adorable baby sea turtles, there are so many fun things to do in Queensland. It’s a great place to have a blast while immersing yourself in all that Mother Nature has to offer. Sampling delicious brewed cider, or getting an adrenaline rush from a roller coaster are some of the things you can put on your agenda. Check out our guide to other awesome activities Queensland has to offer.
If you want to experience Queensland this December holidays, Scoot has the perfect promotion for you. Their World Heritage Drive package includes airfare, accommodation, and a ton of activities to try out from only $1,498. The first 100 bookings also get $100 off, and a free turtle encounter experience!
So what are you waiting for? Go forth and have an amazing adventure Down Under now!
Book the tour package with any of the agents listed below:
Chan Brothers Travel 6212 9684 | CTC Travel 6536 3345 | Farmosa Holiday 6534 1133 |
Jetabout Holidays 6734 1818 | MISA Travel 6538 0318 | PriceBreaker 6317 2888 |
Scenic Travel 6226 3611 | UOBTravel 6252 6822
This article was brought to you by Tourism and Events Queensland.