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
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.
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
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
The upgraded caravan park would include caravan sites, glamping
facilities, resort-style pool, playground, larger cabins and
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