This small group experiences provides intimate encounters with flatback turtles, while supporting a long term scientific research project.
This rewarding turtle tour is located in the breathtaking natural surrounds of Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast.
The northern Australian coastline provides an excellent nesting ground for turtles. Flatback are the only sea turtle species endemic to Australian waters, but much remains unknown about them. Returning to the exact beach at which they were hatched, flatback turtles return to Eco Beach during November – December to nest.
Join our naturalist guides and researchers to discover the remarkable and untouched Kimberley Coast. Experience insights into the nesting turtle populations at Eco Beach. Enjoy close encounters with flatback turtles and contribute through citizen science to our long term research project, recording data on nesting activities. With over 25 years experience in turtle monitoring projects, our researchers will share their expertise and insights into the turtle nesting behaviours.
Stay at the stunning and environmentally friendly Eco Beach Resort with plenty of time to enjoy northern Australia’s beautiful coastal scenery and the fantastic resort facilities. This is a truly remarkable experience and a rare opportunity to connect with our natural world.
- Two expert naturalist guides/researchers with over 25 years turtle and wildlife research experience
- Intimate encounters with turtles
- Spectacular coastal scenery and remote, uncrowded beaches
- 3.5 hour catamaran eco cruise on Roebuck Bay in search of marine life, shorebirds and Snubfin dolphins
- Time to relax and enjoy the award winning and eco friendly Eco Beach Resort
- Beautifully appointed ensuite eco tent or air conditioned villa accommodation
- Small group, personalised experience of up to 8 people
- Supporting flatback turtle research and conservation
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Departs: Broome, 8 – 8.30am
Price: 5 days from $1200 per person ($300 reduced!!!)
Day 1 Roebuck Bay Eco Tour – Eco Beach Turtles
Hotel pick up and transfer to our morning boat cruise on the beautiful Roebuck Bay. In 2015 Roebuck Bay became of international importance and was declared an Australia marine park. Home to dugongs, turtles and rare Australian snubfin dolphins, Roebuck Bay provides extensive seagrass meadows for feeding and is a major nursery for numerous species of marine life. Cruising the bay by catamaran is the perfect way to experience the regions spectacular marine environment including sea and bird life. After the cruise we travel to our stunning base for the next few days, Eco Beach Resort. Overlooking a beautiful beach, and turtle nesting ground, the resort has received Advanced Eco Certification for its sustainable lodge operations. Time to relax and maybe take a dip in the infinity pool, before a talk on flatback turtles and the monitoring program. Dinner and evening beach walk alongside our experienced guides in search in nesting flatback turtles. (LD)
Day 2 Eco Beach Turtles
Optional early morning beach patrol looking for new turtle nests and tracks. Breakfast and time to relax, take in the beautiful the surrounds, take a dip in the pool, go for a kayak, treat yourself to a delicious lunch at the restaurant or visit the local bird hide in the afternoon.
In the evening just before high tide we walk the beach in search of nesting flatback turtles. With over 20 years experience in turtle monitoring projects, our guides Steve and Anne will share their expertise and insights into the turtle nesting behaviours, false crawls, egg chambers, sand temperatures, egg incubation periods and hatchlings. (BLD)
Day 3 Eco Beach – Turtle Activity
Optional early morning beach patrol looking for new turtle nests and tracks. The morning is a beautiful time for a walk when the temperatures are cooler. Spend the day enjoying the resort facilities, hire a kayak, or relax taking in the endless coastal views at the infinity pool. Today our group lunch together is at the resorts restaurant. Evening beach walk in search of nesting flatback turtles and turtle monitoring. (BLD)
Day 4 Eco Beach – Turtle Activities
Optional early morning beach patrol looking for new turtle nests and shorebirds. Time to enjoy the resort facilities and activities or relax taking in the endless coastal views at the infinity pool. Evening beach walk in search of nesting flatback turtles and turtle monitoring. (BLD)
Day 5 Eco Beach – Broome
Leisurely breakfast before our return journey to Broome. Our approximate drop off time will be 12 noon at either your city hotel or airport. (B)
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to participate in turtle monitoring activities every night?
Activities are optional. This is your holiday and trip. Some people cant get enough of the turtles and the thrill of being so close to a nesting female flatbacks and will join our patrols each night. Others enjoy an evening off to relax or enjoy an evening meal at Jacks Bar.
Is it hot?
This is the start of the wet season and the temperatures are warm with relatively high humidity. If you do suffer in the heat we recommend booking an air conditioned eco villa.
How long have you been doing the research?
This is be our 10th year of turtle research at Eco Beach. Our researchers will share previous research data and we will provide a post tour report detailing the findings and outcomes. All of our data is given to the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Western Australia.
What sorts of activities will we be part of during the research?
How active you choose to be on this trip is completely up to you. Our researchers will provide a detailed overview the activities that will take place on a turtle patrol. You can choose to watch and enjoy this remarkable experience, or you can get hands-on and be a research assistant – carrying our research grab bag, GPS mapping the turtle nests, recording data, passing our researchers a turtle tag and even measuring a turtle.
Is this tour suitable for kids?
Yes it is. We have had many families join this experience. Because we work at night and follow the high tide, nights can be long and late (sometimes up to midnight). For this reason we recommend a minimum of 10 years. But please contact us, we have had younger kids on this trip.
What accommodation would you recommend?
We have stayed in each of the units. Our personal favourite is an ocean view villa. But it comes down to your budget and personal travel style. The Eco Tents are beautiful with ensuite bathroom and ceiling fan. The air conditioned villas provide an extra level of comfort with a spacious lounge room, bedroom, ensuite bathroom, private deck and kitchenette.
How fit do I need to be?
This trip is rated easy to moderate. It is warm during November and December but activities take place during the evening and early hours of the morning. During the heat of the day its time to relax and enjoy the resorts facilities. Beach patrols are a combination of walking and driving. Depending on the tides and turtles activities evening beach patrols can be between 3 – 4 hours.
Will I see a turtle?
While our standard response is – this is nature and there are no guarantees, we have never had a trip which have not seen turtles. Some years we are lucky and will see multiple turtles every night, other years it will be every second night. What we love about Eco Beach is the fact that its so intimate and personalised – you are not on a beach with hundreds of people, its you, the turtle and a small group of people enjoying this remarkable experience.
About our naturalist guides
Steve Winderlich and Anne O’Dea have over 20 years’ experience in natural and cultural resource management. They are passionate about marine and terrestrial protected areas and wildlife. Their experience includes running research and monitoring programs, volunteer engagement, education, interpretation and training. They operated one of the longest turtle research projects in Australia on Field Island in Kakadu National Park. Steve and Anne have interesting stories to share having spent time working in National Parks including Fraser Island, the jointly managed Kakadu National Park and more recently Papua New Guinea. Ann also featured in the ABC Television Series – Kakadu.
B- Self serve continental breakfast
L- Light lunch
Meals are a group activity with everyone assisting with the catering. Meals are simple and wholesome, using fresh local produce. On one of the days we enjoy a delightful chef prepared lunch together in the resorts restaurant. If you have special dietary requirements please let us know in advance and we are happy to assist. BYO alcohol is allowed in your accommodation, otherwise you can purchase supplies from the resort bar at your own expense. Additional meals and snacks may be purchased at your own expense from the resort restaurant (please note that during this time of the year the restaurant and bar are only open on weekends).
Easy to moderate – activities involve walking along the beach in soft sand at night, in warm climatic conditions. Depending on the nesting turtle activity we can walk up to 3 kilometres.
- Group of up to 8 people
- Minimum age for participation is 10.
- Participants under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult.
- Guaranteed departures based on a minimum of 4 people travelling.
Only 1 in 1000 marine turtles make it from a hatchling to a mature turtle
In Australia 6 of the world’s 7 species of marine turtles live in our waters. Sea turtles are subject to numerous threats from entanglement in fishing nets and marine debris, the indigestion of plastic bags (which they mistake for jelly fish), illegal hunting, predation of nests from dingoes, lizards and wild pigs in Australia, beach erosion and increased sand temperatures due to climate change which affects hatchling success rates. As a result of these impacts, almost all marine turtle species are vulnerable or endangered.
The Flatback turtles are the only sea turtle species endemic to Australian waters, but much remains unknown about them. They are listed as ‘vulnerable’ in Western Australia under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and data deficient by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Meaning there is not enough information to tell whether flatback turtle populations are declining, stable or increasing. Each year our experienced turtle team undertake research on the nesting turtle population including:
- Monitoring turtle nesting activities to confirm nesting success rates
- Measuring and tagging nesting turtles
- Egg counts
- GPS mapping turtle nest locations
- Recording data on previously tagged turtles
Our research is vital in assisting to determine the status and ongoing conservation of marine turtles. The data is used by researchers and the national park agency to determine turtle population trends so we can place more conservation efforts on this marine species.
Location and Transportation
This holiday is located at Eco Beach, 130 km’s South East of Broome on Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast.
You will be transported from Broome in an air conditioned vehicle. The approximate travel time to Eco Beach is 1 hour and 30 minutes.
You will be staying at the 4 star, award winning Eco Beach Resort. This stunning eco-friendly resort offers luxurious spacious safari-style eco tents or beautifully appointed air conditioned villas, all with private bathroom facilities. Choose from twin,double or single room options. Linen provided.
Tip: The turtle season is during the build up when the humidity can be high. If you have difficulty with the heat and humidity we recommend booking an air conditioned villa.
Please note the nesting turtle season takes place during the resorts low season. Some services, tours, activities and the resorts restaurant may be limited and closed during Monday – Thursday.
All prices are for 5 days/ 4 nights, per person.
Ensuite Eco Tent, Twin/Double room – $1,200
Ensuite Eco Tent, Single room – $1,470
(Eco Tents do not contain air-conditioning)
Garden View Ensuite Villa, Twin/Double room – $1,430
Garden View Ensuite Villa, Single room – $1,930
Ocean View Ensuite Villa, Twin/Double room – $1,630
Ocean View Ensuite Villa, Single room – $2,330
4 nights four star accommodation at the award winning Eco Beach Resort • transfers from Broome • 2 experienced naturalist guides / turtle researchers • 3.5 hour eco cruise on Roebuck Bay • turtle viewing and monitoring activities • meals as indicated
The turtle program takes place during Eco Beach resorts low season when the resort restaurant, guided tours and activities only operate over the weekends.
Alcoholic beverages • travel to the Broome departure point • optional extra tours and water sport equipment • travel insurance
Departs Broome: Hotel pick up between 8 – 8.30am
Scheduled Pick up locations in Broome
– Mercure Broome
– Mangrove Hotel
– Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary
– Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa
Returns: Day 5 at approximately 12pm to Broome accommodation or airport.
Pre and Post Tour Accommodation
Do you need pre or post accommodation in Broome? We can assist you with accommodation bookings in Broome and Eco Beach. Email us your dates, preferred price range and if would like to stay in Broome or Cable Beach.