I was snorkeling at Julian Rocks off Byron Bay, when something special happened- something that I will never forget. We always hoped we would see them but there is never any guarantee when you go looking for animals in nature.

swimming with turtles in Julian Rocks - Byron Bay

swimming with turtles in Julian Rocks – Byron Bay

There were 7 of us in the water and as we were cruising along happily when a turtle swam past. Then a few more appeared…

They floated by, slowly moving their flippers through the current as the sunlight filtered down to provide a mystical backdrop to their efficient strokes. After a while, they make their approach slowly to the surface for a breath.

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Turtles’ heads remind me of an old lady’s wrinkled face which completely contrasts with  the youthful  ease they appear to move through the water. The biggest turtle was probably 1 meter long. At this size they usually weigh around 150 kg.

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This was a great ending to what we started 2 years ago. We saw the big mama turtles laying their eggs in Mon Repos beach rookery. We returned later on to see the babies hatching from their eggs and marching to the ocean for a long swim before completing the cycle at some later date…

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We needed to remind ourselves that the turtles are wild animals in their natural environment and disturbing them can cause disruption to their feeding patterns and a lot of stress. It is hard to do when you see them but so important as their numbers have fallen from the development along coastlines all around the world

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