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Heron Island Turtle Season

Experience one of nature's greatest journeys with baby turtles hatching on Heron Island!

Experience one of nature's greatest journeys...

From October to March each year, Heron Island becomes the breeding home to hundreds of Green and Loggerhead turtles. These giants of the sea return to the island some 30 years after they hatched here, continuing the circle of life.

Heron Island has a resident population of around 4000 turtles, who live on Heron reef all year, so you can expect to see turtles in the water anytime you visit. In September, even more turtles come back to the island to mate, and nesting usually occurs with the warmer weather in November. The turtle hatchlings usually begin to emerge from their nests and make a dash for the ocean from December through to late March.


Turtle Watching Guidelines

To find a turtle, simply walk along Heron Beach one or two hours after the evening’s high tide. Look for the tracks in the sand where the turtle has come in from the sea.

  • Light can disturb and disorient the turtles, minimise the use of torches and be sure to only use 3-volt low-impact torches. No flash photography, please.
  • When you see a turtle moving up or down the beach, stay still. Excessive movement can disturb her. And remember to never walk in front of a turtle. Instead, walk behind them.
  • If the turtles feel threatened or disturbed, they will  turn around and head back out to sea and not lay their eggs. Try not to approach them.
  • If you come upon a turtle while digging, give her some room. Sit down quietly behind the turtle and at least 10 metres away. A girl needs her privacy. Once she has finished digging, wait at least 15 minutes, then you may approach her from behind.
  • The turtles are quite stressed and tired after their night's work, so again, give her some room (10 metres) so as not to panic her.

Let's get social!

While you're holidaying on Heron Island, post your turtle photos to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and include #heronturtletime.

     

The circle of life...

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