WITH summer just around the corner, so too are the creatures that have put Bundaberg on the tourist map - the endangered loggerhead turtles who nest at Mon Repos.
Over 30,000 people witnessed the miracle of life in a Mon Repos Turtle Experience in the summer of 2016/17.
The figure included more than 4000 international visitors, 2600 interstate visitors and 18,000 intrastate visitors (Queenslanders not from Bundaberg or the North Burnett), as well as 5000 locals.
With just a few weeks until the much anticipated return of the turtles, Bundaberg and the surrounding region is getting ready to greet the influx of bucket-list travellers who will descend once again on our unspoiled region.
And Bundaberg will be rolling out the red carpet, with a huge selection of family-friendly turtle activities to welcome our visitors of both the aquatic and land-bound persuasion!
Tourists arriving in the region are already spotting turtles, with billboards welcoming drivers, while those flying in can have a selfie with brightly coloured turtles on the Bundaberg Airport luggage carousel, the newest addition to the welcome they receive on landing.
Keep your eyes peeled for the roaming turtle selfie board, where you can get pictures of yourself as a dancing loggerhead turtle, which will be popping up around the region in the coming months.
Promotions have been rolling out across the east coast to promote Bundaberg's turtle season, including in the Courier-Mail, RACQ's Road Ahead and website, through Queensland.com and in local papers across Queensland.
Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager Katherine Reid said the destinations vision had long been to become globally recognised as the place visitors go to immerse themselves in a world-class turtle conservation experience.
"The QPWS rangers and volunteers at Mon Repos do an amazing job, season after season, guiding and managing visitors for the nightly turtle encounter and the team at BNBT market and operate the booking system in partnership with QPWS,” Ms Reid said.
"With Mon Repos recognised as the largest loggerhead turtle rookery on the eastern Australian mainland and our islands of Musgrave and Elliot also boasting turtle encounters, the turtle experience is an outstanding asset of Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef and it's important for the broader community to absolutely embrace the turtles as not only an economic driver for the region, but also as a beautiful warm fuzzy experience that we can call our own,” she said.
"When visitors come into the region, we want them to know that Bundaberg is synonymous with turtles and everyone across the region can help to make that happen."
Businesses and communities, in Bundaberg and coastal areas and further afield, are encouraged to be a part of the region's turtle welcome with free resources from Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism.
A limited number of turtle decorating kits available, as well as a free downloadable Turtle Toolkit with tips on how to welcome visitors as a community.
Click here to book your turtle experience or just for more information on this magical experience on our doorstep, go to.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ranger guided turtle encounters run from November-March annually.