Back in 2019, I wrote a blog about the importance of turtle conservation and my 2 memorable moments encountering Mama turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. The first was when I was just a little girl, and my Mum & Dad had taken my sister Cristi and I sailing in the Whitsunday Islands of Australia.
While we were on the natural coral cay of Heron Island, many baby turtles had hatched and were being taken care of by an organization on the island who were helping these babies reach adulthood and thus, exponentially increasing their potential to survive and procreate. Back in the late 70’s & early 80’s, this was a relatively new concept, but today, many organizations like this one are nurturing our highly endangered turtle species. CLICK TO LEARN MORE
The Great Barrier Reef is home to an abundance of marine life and especially turtles. From November to March each year, thousands of female turtles return to the beautiful sandy stretches of beach to lay their eggs under the cover of night. Can you believe that 6 of the world’s 7 turtle species actually choose Australia as the place they return to, year in and year out, to lay their eggs? Pretty cool, huh? So, what makes it so awesome? I’m here to tell ya about it!!
I know that the Whitsunday’s are a looooooooong way from the West Indies, but since they are still “islands”, and we are very open-minded lil island girls, I thought I would take you for a quick beach stroll through Australia’s most popular island destination…
Introducing the “Caribbean Down Under” 😉
One of the 7 wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. With 3000 reefs , and over 900 islands/coral cays, this is home to some of the world’s best dive and snorkel sights, with a myriad of marine life that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Love the underwater world? A trip to the Great Barrier Reef most definitely needs to be on your bucket list!! Rather stay afloat and hang out on some of Earth’s most stunning beaches? You, too, won’t be disappointed!
Turtle season is on NOW, beginning in November and going through February. The weather is a picture perfect low of 72 and high of 90. The humidity is really getting up there too, so prepare for some sweaty moments… How do we prepare, island girls? Yup, I know you can already read my mind! Wear. Cotton. 🤔hmmm maybe I should put that on a t-shirt? 😜
WHERE TO STAY:
Heron Island eco-lodge is world-renowned as an extraordinary, unique destination that allows guests to truly experience being a guest of nature! A lot has changed since my family and I anchored off this spectacular Island and took our tiny dinghy ashore for some turtle love, but here’s 5 reasons that make it a great spot to holiday today:
- Heron Island is a natural coral cay, which is both part of the Great Barrier Reef and surrounded by it. Making it one of the few locations on the planet where you can walk from your room to the beach and dive into one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
- Home to the Great Barrier Reef’s living icons, The Great Eight: Clownfish, Giant Clams, Manta Rays, Maori Wrasse, potato cod, sharks, turtles, and whales.
- The Heron Reef is home to 72% of the more than 450 species of hard coral that is found on the Great Barrier Reef. Can you say Holy Scuba!!
Green and Loggerhead Turtles nest right there on the island from October to December, with hatchlings emerging from January until May.
- During their northern migration, which begins in June, Humpback Whales are visible off the jetty at Heron Island. They are frequently seen playing and breaching in the channel between Heron Reef and Wistari Reef.
WHAT TO DO:
The Great Barrier Reef is obviously an absolute playground for all water enthusiasts! Whether you love to scuba or prefer to stay at the surface with a snorkel, this incredible island destination is sure to be a trip of a lifetime! On the days when you prefer not to get salty, there is still loads to do: there is a semi-submersed I-Spy tour, where you head underwater in comfort and often see turtles, sharks, and manta rays!! There is hiking, bird watching, stunning beaches to relax on, and of course, I would HIGHLY recommend ending your day with a cruise…. There’s nothing like watching the sun set over The Great Barrier Reef with your favorite people, and your favorite cocktail in hand!
WHAT TO PACK:
I have long had an affinity toward turtles and my first-ever turtle print was back in 2016… Woah! Where did that 7 years go? 😅 Here it is, in all her original turtle glory:
I’ve continued to design turtle prints over the years, and they have always been so well-received by boutiques across the globe and, of course, our incredible VIP island girl community! This year, I have a stunning new turtle print that I am SO EXCITED to launch this week, in a brand new dress, skirt, and matching beaded tank top! You are going to love these, island girl...
I can’t wait to chat with you all on Thursday about my own Great Barrier Reef adventures, and walk you through my brand-new turtle designs… Oh, and don’t forget to TUNE IN to hear who was the lucky winner of last week’s freebie: Could it be YOU who gets to choose a free Atoll dress, top or skort of your choice?
Until then, my sweet friends… Keep on dreaming those island dreams!