Turtle park has biggest season in a decade

BUNDABERG'S Mon Repos Conservation Park has hosted its second busiest tourist season in the past decade with more than 28,000 visitors witnessing the annual pilgrimage of sea turtles.

During the season 370 loggerheads, three greens and 12 flatbacks nested up to five times each on Mon Repos and adjacent beaches.

The tours finished on the weekend, with visitors witnessing three clutches of loggerhead hatchlings make their way to the sea.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said today the Mon Repos turtles were a memorable experience for Queenslanders and internationals alike.

"People have come from as far as Germany, Taiwan, Greece, Switzerland, Netherlands and the Czech Republic to witness these amazing creatures pop out of their nests and take the first brave steps," she said.

"The collaborative promotional efforts of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism and Tourism and Events Queensland played an important role in showing tourists that there is no better place in Australia to experience this remarkable natural encounter than in Bundaberg."

Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger Cathy Gatley said it had also been a bumper season for the turtles.

"We have seen a good rate of hatching, as we have been blessed with good weather and not too many extreme tides so far, unlike last year when despite best efforts we lost 59% of the nests," she said.

"Staff and volunteers rescued 700 clutches of eggs, moving them to higher ground to protect them from the very high tides in January-February.

"So far this summer we have lost less than 20%of clutches to storm erosion."