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Turtle Hatching season begins on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef

January 14, 2019 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

January marks the beginning of Baby Green and Loggerhead Turtle hatching season on Queensland’s Heron Island, a cycle that will continue from now for five months leading into May.   Undeterred by human presence the hatchlings emerge from their sandy nests between 25 to 50 metres from shore and make their way to the reef, just beyond the water’s edge.

Positioned on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island is a protected habitat and national marine park for the turtles that return each year from October to December to nest on the island sands, which they themselves hatched on up to 30 years earlier.

Calling Heron Island home, General Manager, Tony Barradale gets to witness the wondrous lifecycle of the turtles and their hatchling’s each year, sharing did you know facts often not common to visitors.

“During turtle hatching season the babies journey to the sea is an imprint on the environment to them so they know to return to these sands as mature adults, it’s therefore very important that they’re permitted to make their own journey to the water without assistance or hindrance,” commented Barradale.

Naturalist guides on Heron Island lead educational tours for observing the hatchlings daily in the evenings, when its best to view the turtles hatching.   The optimal time to view turtles is two hours each side of the high tide.

Bed and breakfast turtle hatching packages to Heron Island start from $347AUD per night, based on double occupancy, including daily buffet breakfast, a turtle gift, turtle talk and snorkelling trip for two. A variety of accommodations options are available including tropical garden and reef view rooms, beachside suites and a beach house. For bookings and enquiries call 1800 875 434 or visit

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