The Ningaloo Coast is recognised as one of the most important nesting grounds in the world for green and loggerhead turtles. Mature female turtles make their arduous journey from the sea and up the beaches to lay their clutches of eggs from roughly November to March. Six weeks after laying (roughly January to March), the hatchlings emerge and make their dash for the relative safety of the sea.
Visitors to the Ningaloo at this time of year are welcome to view these poignant natural events, however, it is imperative neither nesting females nor hatchlings are disturbed or interfered with. Non-invasive turtle viewing requires a detailed understanding of the nesting process and appropriate interaction behaviour, therefore, visitors are asked to follow a strict code of conduct for self-guided turtle viewing, or join a Department of Parks & Wildlife led, guided turtle viewing tour.
A copy of the Ningaloo Turtle Watchers' Code of Conduct can be obtained from the Ningaloo Visitor Centre or Exmouth Department of Parks & Wildlife office on Nimitz Street, Exmouth. This should be viewed as essential reading for anyone viewing nesting turtles, and the code of conduct followed to the letter.
Visitors can also find further information on the marine turtles of the Ningaloo coast at the Jurabi Turtle Centre. Located on Yardie Creek Road, around 20kms from Exmouth, the Jurabi Turtle Centre is an interpretive educational facility adjacent to a regular turtle nesting beach. The centre was constructed in recognition of the urgent need to minimise the impact of human disturbance on nesting turtles along the Ningaloo coast. The centre provides a wealth of information on marine turtles and marine turtle conservation, and is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.