Discover the Turtles of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is home to some of the world’s most incredible and diverse wildlife for you to discover on your Whitsunday Islands boat trip. Along with the amazing corals and literally thousands of species of fish, the Great Barrier Reef is also home to six species of turtles.

The most common turtles you might see on your Whitsunday Islands boat trip are green turtles. These turtles have a smooth, high-domed shell and green in colour. They are herbivores, mostly living off algae and seagrass, but they can occasionally be found snacking on jelly fish too.

Loggerhead turtles, on the other hand, love to eat other sea creatures. They use their large heads and thick jaws to crush crabs and sea urchins for food. These turtles have large brown and black shells.

Like Green turtles, Hawksbill turtles are some of the more common turtles you might discover on a Whitsunday Islands boat trip. These turtles enjoy foraging in coral reefs and one of their main feeding grounds is the Great Barrier Reef. The shell of the Hawksbill turtle is dark green or brown, and they have pointy beaks, used for foraging sponges out of crevices in coral.

Other turtles that are known to inhabit the Great Barrier Reef include Flatback turtles, Olive Ridley turtles, and Leatherback turtles.

The turtles of the Great Barrier Reef are all classified as either vulnerable or endangered. All species have a similar life cycle. They take decades to reach maturity and can travel thousands of kilometres to find the perfect nesting ground to lay their eggs. Eggs take about 12 weeks to hatch before the baby turtles take the dangerous journey from nest to ocean. It isn’t until they are about ten years old before they return to inshore foraging areas, and it’s these turtles that you might meet on your Whitsunday Islands boat tour. Hop on board a catamaran and put your snorkel gear on to get up close with these incredible creatures.

Book your Whitsunday Islands boat trip to meet the rare and beautiful turtles of the Great Barrier Reef.