The best shore diving in Queensland is in Bundaberg’s Woongarra Marine Park. It has soft and hard corals, urchins, rays, sea snakes, and 60 fish species, plus a World War II Beaufort bomber wreck.
By far the most popular attraction in Bundaberg is the annual turtle nesting season on Mon Repos Beach, about 14 km (8 3/4 miles) from the city center. Mon Repos Conservation Park is one of the two largest loggerhead-turtle rookeries in the South Pacific. The visitor center by the beach has a great display on the turtle life cycle and shows films at 7:30pm daily in summer. There is a strict booking system for turtle-watching tours, to help cope with the crowds. Access to the beach is by ticket only, and you must book your visit to Mon Repos during the turtle season. Tickets are sold through the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre at 271 Bourbong St., Bundaberg (tel. 1300/722 099 in Australia), or you can book online at www.bookbundabergregion.com.au from September 1. The website has a lot of very useful information on how to get to the rookery and what to expect from your turtle-watching experience. Tours start at 7pm, but you may have to wait up to 2 hours or more, depending on when the turtles appear. Nesting happens around high tide; hatching usually occurs between 8pm and midnight. Take a sweater, as it can get quite cool.
The Conservation Park information center (www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos) is at 141 Mon Repos Rd. and is well signposted. During turtle-nesting season (Nov to late Mar), the park and information center are open 24 hours a day. Public access to the beach is closed from 6pm to 6am. Turtle viewing tours run from 7pm until midnight daily (except for Dec 24, 25, and 31). From April to early November (when no turtles are around), the information center is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3:30pm, but the park is still open 24 hours. Admission to the visitor center is free from April through November; but when the turtles start nesting, you pay A$11 for adults, A$5.60 for children ages 5 to 14 and seniors, and A$26 for families, including your tour. It’s the best value anywhere!
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.