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January 2019


A loggerhead turtle near Turtle Sands Caravan Park

A loggerhead turtle near Turtle Sands tourist park

Upgrade will protect environment

Bundaberg's Turtle Sands heading for new lease of life

Story and Photos: Dennis Amor

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Turtle Sands signTHE once popular Turtle Sands Tourist Park adjoining the world-famous Mon Repos turtle rookery in Queensland is destined for a new lease of life.

Owners David and Jenny Baker plan to transform it into a 127-site tourism park with an accommodation mix to meet the current market.

They pulled down the shutters at the million dollar-view beachside eco park near Bundaberg in 2010 ... to help protect threatened survivors from the dinosaur age.

They switched off its powered sites for caravanners and campers and have since welcomed only group-style bookings, such as families and friends, school groups and caravan clubs. It does not cater for single site bookings or overnight accommodation.

The Bakers told Caravanning News at the time that they were concerned bright lights from caravans and tents were discouraging some endangered turtles from nesting on the beach just metres away.

FLASHBACK: Turtle Sands park in 2010

The adjoining Mon Repos Conservation Park is the largest loggerhead rookery in the southern hemisphere and also attracts green and flatback turtles.

Bundaberg Regional Council will soon consider a development application which includes turtle-friendly lighting conditions said to have been drawn up by an internationally recognised expert.

The Bakers' development application comes after plans were announced to turn Mon Repos, which operates a turtle research centre during the turtle season from November to March, into a multi-million dollar year-long tourist attraction.

The upgrTurtle Sands caravan park signaded caravan park would include caravan sites, glamping facilities, resort-style pool, playground, larger cabins and dormitory-style accommodation.

Mr Baker, who has owned the park for about 22 years, told Caravanning News shortly before closing it to general tourists that it was not practical to operate for only a few months of the year.

"I guess people will be disappointed but the reality is that there is more to consider," he explained.

"It is not a decision we took lightly ... because of the turtles this is the most sensitive parcel of land in Queensland.

"And as a family we are very conscious of its environmental importance ... that is why we bought it all those years ago.

"Our children were reared on this site and we are very protective of it. We do not want to contribute to anything that would damage this fragile environment."


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the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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