What Are The Different Types of Turtle in the Great Barrier Reef?

What Are The Different Types of Turtle in the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/18/2018

Reading time: 2 mins

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most densely populated spots for marine life. Boasting a whole host of underwater creatures, from sharks and whales to vibrant fish and ancient turtles.

In fact, the region is home to six of the seven marine turtle species in the world. Keep your eyes open for the small, omnivorous Hawksbill and the rare Loggerhead.

Turtles live, hunt, and breed in the Great Barrier Reef throughout the year. Most of their activity takes place in the warmer summer months as they gear up for breeding season. For the most part, turtle nesting areas can be found to the south and north of the Great Barrier Reef.

During the mating season, turtles that are ready to breed give up eating to focus on other activities. As females begin to nest, males go back to their usual feeding grounds.

The Turtles of the Great Barrier Reef

  • The Flatback

    The flatback turtle is native to Australia. You can see them in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef during the summer months. These lovely turtles nest along the tropical coastlines, thriving in the warm waters.

  • The Green Turtle

    The common green turtle is one of the most populated species in the Great Barrier Reef. They can mostly be found in coral reefs that are thick with seaweed or in seagrass pastures. These pastures are typical for this area of Australia, allowing green turtles to thrive.

  • The Hawksbill

    The small, omnivorous Hawksbill turtle lives in sub-tidal coral reefs and rocky habitats throughout the Great Barrier Reef. Their main feeding area sprawls out along the east coast of Australia, encompassing the Great Barrier Reef and its surroundings.

  • The Leatherback

    Found in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef, the leatherback turtle is carnivorous, feeding predominantly on tropical jellyfish and other soft-bodied marine creatures than can be found in the area.

  • The Loggerhead

    Though the increasingly rare loggerhead turtle can be found in various different tropical locations around the world, in Australia they tend to gravitate towards coral reefs, bays, and estuaries in tropical parts, particularly in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

  • The Olive Ridley

    This humorously named turtle species lives in soft-bottomed regions of the Great Barrier Reef.  They live in protected areas on the reef, safe from predators and away from cool waters.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.