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About Mon Repos

Getting there and getting around

A boardwalk provides access around the information centre and to the beach. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

A boardwalk provides access around the information centre and to the beach. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Beach view, Mon Repos Conservation Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Beach view, Mon Repos Conservation Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Mon Repos is about a four and a half hour drive north from Brisbane and 15 minutes (14km) east of Bundaberg.

By car

From Bundaberg, follow the signs to Bargara along the Bundaberg-Bargara Road. At the Bargara Primary School, turn left into Potters Road. When you come to the T-intersection at the end of Potters Road, turn right into Grange Road. Continue straight ahead onto Mon Repos Road and follow the signs. Turn left into Rookery Road and travel a short distance to the Mon Repos Conservation Park car park. Watch out for wildlife and drive slowly and safely along the narrow Rookery Road.

Alternative travel options

A number of companies provide bus transport to Mon Repos during turtle nesting season. Contact Bundaberg West Visitor Information Centre for details.

Night beach access during turtle nesting season

From mid-October to the end of April, public access to the beach is restricted from 6pm to 6am to protect nesting turtles and hatchlings. Mon Repos turtle watching tours Turtle Encounters operate from the information centre from 7pm nightly from November to late March. Bookings are essential and fees apply.

Wheelchair accessibility

The information centre has wheelchair access. On ranger-guided Turtle Encounters, a special wheelchair is available for use on the beach. Conditions apply for use including a requirement for two able bodied people to accompany the wheelchair user for handling along the beach in soft sand.

Bookings are essential. For images of the beach wheel-chair and details see wheelchair information (PDF, 88K)*.

Park features

This historic basalt stone wall was built by South Sea Islanders and can be viewed from the Turtle Trail. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR

This historic basalt stone wall was built by South Sea Islanders and can be viewed from the Turtle Trail. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR

Mon Repos supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. This is the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific Ocean region. Successful breeding here is critical for the survival of this endangered species.

The park's features also include Woongarra rainforest scrub remnants, mangroves, the site of Bert Hinkler's first glider flights, a tidal lagoon, rock pools and an historic basalt stone wall built by South Sea Islanders who were brought to Queensland from the 1880s to work in the sugar industry.

The basalt slabs and reefs that form much of this coastline provide an ideal canvas for colourful displays of corals, sponges, barnacles and shellfish. This stunning diversity of sea life so close to shore has made the Woongarra coast one of the most popular shore-diving areas in Australia.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Mon Repos Conservation Park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of accommodation options in Bargara and Bundaberg including camping. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Mon Repos information centre has stories to delight all ages. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Mon Repos information centre has stories to delight all ages. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Take a stroll along the Mon Repos walking track. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Take a stroll along the Mon Repos walking track. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Visitors watch a presentation in the amphitheatre at Mon Repos information centre. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Visitors watch a presentation in the amphitheatre at Mon Repos information centre. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Visitors participating in Turtle Encounters at Mon Repos. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Visitors participating in Turtle Encounters at Mon Repos. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

A female loggerhead returns to the sea late at night after laying her eggs at Mon Repos. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

A female loggerhead returns to the sea late at night after laying her eggs at Mon Repos. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

At Mon Repos visitors can take a walk to explore the park during the day and participate in Connect with Nature—Turtle Encounters at night.

Mon Repos information centre tells stories about the special journeys turtles and people have taken at Mon Repos, and about the adjacent Great Sandy Marine Park.

Many people visit Mon Repos each year to watch nesting and hatchling turtles. Turtles are easily disturbed by people if correct turtle watching guidelines are not followed. To manage turtle watching the beach is closed at night except to people participating in guided Turtle Encounters. Bookings are essential—limited numbers of tickets are available so book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Outside the turtle nesting season, the park is a quiet retreat and access is unrestricted. You can walk along the beach, explore the rock pools or snorkel on the fringing reef.

Track standards

  Easy—wide trail with gentle gradient and smooth surface. No bushwalking experience required. Suitable for beginner mountain bike riders.

Walking

 Mon Repos walking track

Distance: 4.5km return
Time: allow 2hrs
Details: A walking track heads south from the information centre and explores the park behind the dunes on a leafy path. Take drinking water with you and wear sunscreen. Insect repellent is recommended.

This track's natural features include saltpans, freshwater ponds, mangroves, melaleuca forests and coastal scenery.

View the heritage listed stone wall that is about 1.5m tall and extends inland for 1.58km. South Sea Islanders built the wall around 1884 as they cleared rubble from the cane fields. Many similar walls once stood in the district, but only six exist today.

Walking and cycling

  Turtle Trail

Details: A walking and cycling trail travels through Mon Repos Conservation Park as part of the 6.4km Bundaberg Regional Council's Turtle trail walking and cycling track—a scenic trail that winds along Woongarra coast, linking Kelly's beach Bargara to Burnett Heads Port.

Beach recreation

Swimming is not recommended at Mon Repos Beach as it is not patrolled by Queensland surf lifesavers. Swim at nearby patrolled beaches—visit the Bundaberg Regional Council's website for information about other patrolled beaches in this region.

Enjoy your beach recreation and help reduce hazards for turtles and visitors by flattening large sandcastles and filling in any holes you create before you leave.

Be aware that during the turtle breeding season Mon Repos beach is closed to public access from 6pm to 6am for turtle conservation. Read more about the Mon Repos Designated Area.

Boating

The coastal waters adjacent to Mon Repos Conservation Park, Bargara, Burnett Heads and Elliot Heads are within the Great Sandy Marine Park. Before you go boating, please ensure you are aware of the marine park zones and the management provisions.

See Great Sandy Marine Park for more information.

Read about how boaties can help protect marine life.

Turtle Encounters

From November to March, visitors to Mon Repos participating in a Connect with Nature Turtle Encounters program can witness one of nature's most fascinating spectacles—the annual pilgrimage of sea turtles.

Each year, adult female turtles come ashore to lay eggs on Mon Repos beach. About eight weeks later young sea turtles emerge from the eggs and race to the sea.

The best time to see turtles laying eggs is after dark from mid November to February. Hatchlings usually leave their nests to begin their journey to the sea, at night from mid January until late March. If you visit in January you might be lucky enough to see both adults and hatchlings.

Turtles are easily disturbed from their nesting if correct turtle watching guidelines are not followed. Each year more people visit Mon Repos to watch the turtles. To protect nesting turtles and hatchlings, people can only visit the park at night as a participant in Connect with Nature Turtle Encounters—a ranger-guided experience available seven nights a week from November to late March, excluding 24, 25 and 31 December.

It is essential to book your Turtle Encounters—numbers are limited.

Bookings can be made from 1 September and are managed by Bundaberg West Visitor Information Centre. Book:

  • online
  • by phone (07) 4153 8888
  • or visit the Bundaberg West Visitor Information Centre at 271 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg.

Single visit tickets
Ticket Price
Child (5–14 years) $5.70
Adult* $10.90
Family** $26.00
Concession# $5.70
Education Group## $2.55

* Adult is a person 15 years of age and older.

** Family is a group of related people of up to 4 people, comprising a maximum of two (2) adults and two (2) children.

# Concession—a person is eligible for a ‘card’ concession if they have:

  • from Centrelink; a Commonwealth Seniors Health card, a Health Care card, a Pensioner Concession card;
  • or from the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs; a Gold, White or Orange DVA card;
  • or a ‘student’ concession if they are a secondary school student aged 15 years and over. They must show an official student photo ID card;
  • or if they are a full time, tertiary (TAFE or University) student. They must show an official ‘full time’ student card from the tertiary institution.

##Education Group fee is per person and is available to Primary and Secondary school student groups.

Tour fees contribute to visitor and habitat management for the conservation and protection of marine turtles.

Please be aware that turtles are wild animals and we cannot guarantee you will see either nesting adults or hatchling turtles. Occasionally, turtles do not arrive at all.

When you visit for a Turtle Encounter:

  • Arrive around 6.45pm. On arrival, queue at the park information centre with your booking and you will be given a numbered group sticker, which must be worn, clearly visible. Doors open at 7pm.
  • In the information centre take time to look at the displays and browse through the shop. Ranger shows and videos are presented in the amphitheatre (weather permitting).
  • Staff patrol the beach for turtles. Groups are called as soon as events occur. You will be escorted onto the beach only when your allocated group is called.
  • Be aware that if turtles are scarce you may have to wait for two or more hours before going onto the beach. The total visit time at Mon Repos can be up to six hours.

Guidelines for successful watching:

Nesting turtles are easily disturbed by lights and movement, especially when leaving the water, crossing the beach and digging their nests.

Hatching turtles are very disorientated by lights after they emerge from their nests.

  • Listen to staff on the beach and follow their instructions. They are there to look after the turtles and give you a memorable experience.
  • Do not approach or shine lights on turtles leaving the sea or moving up the beach.
  • Remain with your allocated group at all times and avoid sudden movement.
  • Limited photographic opportunities—follow staff directions.
  • Please be patient. Turtles may arrive any time after dark.

Remember: Do not bring any domestic animals into the park; they are not permitted in Mon Repos Conservation Park.

Video of what you can see at Mon Repos

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Higher resolution

Bright lights and marine turtles don't go together

Nesting female sea turtles and hatchlings are disorientated by artificial light. Disorientation results in turtles wandering onto land, potentially leading to death or injury.

The department's Cut the Glow to help Turtles Go community awareness campaign aims to reduce the glow from lights affecting nesting sea turtles on beaches in the greater Bundaberg area.

During the breeding season from mid-October to mid-April, you can help by joining the campaign and following some easy guidelines to reduce light glow.

The department's information booklet Cut the Glow to help Turtles Go (PDF)* and poster (PDF)* are packed with great tips on how to reduce light glow from your home, business or shop.

Read more about turtles

In addition to the seasonal guided tours, rangers also conduct other Connect with Nature activities throughout the year.

Things to know before you go

The Mon Repos information centre is open daily. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

The Mon Repos information centre is open daily. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Visitors entering the information centre at Turtle Encounters opening time. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Visitors entering the information centre at Turtle Encounters opening time. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Essentials to bring

By day:

  • for walking, wear suitable shoes, sunscreen, a hat and long-sleeved shirt and carry drinking water and insect repellent.

For night time Turtle Encounters bring:

  • footwear suitable for walking along a sandy beach at night
  • rain jackets. Shelter is limited during storms and umbrellas are not permitted on the beach
  • a small torch
  • a jumper or windcheater as it can be cold, particularly on the beach
  • insect repellent
  • drinking water
  • your Turtle Encounters booking reference number.

Food and drinks (hot and cold) are available from a food van at the park from November to March 5pm–11pm.

Note: Smoking is not permitted at the Mon Repos information centre, on the beach or surrounds. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted.

Opening hours

During turtle season (November to late March):

  • The information centre is open daily, free of charge, from 8am to 5pm.
  • Between 6pm and 6am, public access to Mon Repos beach is restricted to Turtle Encounters participants.
  • Turtle Encounters run from 7pm nightly, seven days a week (except 24, 25 and 31 December) and entry is through the information centre. Bookings are essential.

Outside turtle season (April to early November):

  • The Mon Repos park office and information centre are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm.

Permits and fees

Fees apply for night access to the information centre and Turtle Encounters during turtle season (November to March). Bookings are essential as numbers are limited. These fees are payable at the time of booking turtle viewing tours. Your fees contribute to visitor and habitat management for the conservation and protection of turtles.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Mon Repos Conservation Park. Penalties apply to people who bring domestic animals into the park.

Climate and weather

Mon Repos Conservation Park has a mild subtropical climate. In summer, evenings can be humid. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Bargara and Bundaberg. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Food and drinks (hot and cold) are available from a food van at the park from November to March 5pm–11pm. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted.

Staying safe

  • Never walk alone; always walk with a group or in sight of another group. Stay on marked walking tracks. Let a responsible person know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Thieves use Mon Repos Conservation Park too! While visiting the park, please ensure that you lock your vehicle and remove all valuables. Do not leave valuables unattended.

Turtle Encounters take place at night. Lighting in the park is deliberately kept low to avoid disturbing nesting turtles and disorientating hatchlings. There is no lighting on the beach. For your safety, listen to staff on the beach and follow their instructions. Remain with your group at all times.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Follow staff instructions to keep yourself and the wildlife safe. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Follow staff instructions to keep yourself and the wildlife safe. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Emerging hatchlings can be seen from mid-January until late March. Photo: NPRSR

Emerging hatchlings can be seen from mid-January until late March. Photo: NPRSR

  • Help protect fragile sand dunes. Keep off the dunes to protect turtle eggs during the marine turtle breeding season from mid October to end of April and prevent erosion.
  • Smoking is not permitted at the Mon Repos information centre and surrounds or on the beach.
  • Please take your rubbish with you.
  • Leave your pets at home—domestic animals are not permitted in Mon Repos Conservation Park.

When watching turtles:

  • listen to staff on the beach and follow their instructions. They are there to look after you and the turtles and give you a memorable experience.
  • do not approach or shine lights on turtles leaving the sea or moving up the beach
  • lights emitted from electronic devices can disturb turtles; do not use devices on the beach
  • remain with the group at all times and avoid sudden movement.

Nesting and hatchling marine turtles are disoriented by bright lights. Artificial lights interfere with their natural habits and instincts, resulting in negative impact on their population. Marine turtles are threatened species—they need our help to survive.

For light reducing tips read Cut the Glow to help Turtles Go.

Find out more about marine wildlife strandings—Queensland is experiencing fallout from the 2013 natural disasters and our marine animals are unfortunate victims.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

The area now within Mon Repos Conservation Park was declared an Environmental Park under the Land Act in 1990. In 1994 it was re-gazetted as a Conservation Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. It includes 45 hectares of beach and coastal vegetation.

Tourism information links

Bundaberg West Visitor Information Centre
www.bundabergregion.info
271 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg
PO Box 930, Bundaberg QLD 4670
ph (07) 4153 8888
fax (07) 4151 2527
email info@bundabergregion.org

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au.

Further information

Contact us

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Last updated
20 December 2013