The sounds of bells tolling have echoed across Bundaberg as locals celebrate the arrival of the first nesting turtle of the season.
School children from across the region have taken part in the festivities.
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith says the ringing of the bells signalled the arrival of thousands of tourists returning to the Bundaberg region for the start of the turtle season.
“Rangers, researchers and volunteers patrolling the beach and were excited to witness the first turtle ashore for the breeding season on the weekend,” he says.
“While the bells signals the return of the turtles to Mon Repos for the nesting season, it’s also marks the arrival of thousands of tourists from across Queensland and interstate headed for Bundaberg to experience all that our region has to offer.”
The first nesting turtle of the season, Flatback turtle X8473 was first recorded nesting at Mon Repos rookery in 1977 and has had 17 breeding seasons since this time.
She came ashore on Mon Repos beach on Friday night and after digging her egg chamber laid 64 eggs in her first clutch for the season.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon says last year 364 turtles migrated to nest on the beaches of the Woongarra Coast.
“On top of this, 16,615 people visited Mon Repos during the previous turtle season which is a testament to its popularity and educational value for visitors,” Minister Scanlon says.