November to March is turtle nesting season in Exmouth. Your opportunity to bear witness to one of natures true spectacles. Watching as a loggerhead, hawksbill or green turtle haul itself ashore is an experience you will not forget. With eggs beginning to hatch now in February, chances are you could also see some baby turtles flap and slide their way down the beach towards the water.
There are many beaches in Exmouth where you can observe turtles mating, nesting and hatching. Exmouth’s warm summer nights and early mornings are perfect for turtle watching.
During turtle nesting season, a turtle watching trip should start with a visit to the Jurabi Turtle Centre. It is open 24 hours and a quick tour will tell you all you need to know about our Ningaloo turtles as well as fill you in on the Turtle Watchers Code of Conduct.
Turtle tours can be booked at the Exmouth Visitor Centre. As part of the tour, which can last 3-4 hours, you guide will tell you all there is to know about the three species of turtles that nest on the Ningaloo coast. Why are they special, what threatens them and what is being done to conserve the species?
If you are not so keen on the late nights and early mornings or you don’t want to test the kids patience and “quiet” ability at a late hour, you could try your luck in the early evening at one of the more popular rookeries like Wobiri Beach.
Take a picnic dinner to enjoy on the beachside picnic tables and explore the beach for sea creatures, shells and nesting sites.
Turtle tracks like the ones pictured can be seen leading to deep holes where the turtles have laid their eggs.
Watch the sun set over the water and look for turtles in the shallows, waiting for the light to fade before struggling up the beach.
As it gets darker, the beach comes alive with sand crabs on the look out for a tasty turtle meal.
When the moon starts to glisten on the water, let your eyes adjust to the dark or take a dim light to guide you along the beach as you search for baby turtles hurtling towards shore.
And if you don’t see any turtles? There is always tomorrow