Marine turtles

Six out of the seven species of marine turtles found in the world are found in Northern Territory (NT) waters, including all of the following: 

  • green
  • olive ridley
  • hawksbill
  • leatherback
  • flatback
  • loggerhead.

These are all listed as threatened species.

Flatback turtle nesting program

Darwin is lucky to have flatback turtles nesting on city beaches, a community awareness program working to protect marine turtles in the Darwin region and improve nesting success.

The program includes Casuarina, Wagait and Dundee Beaches. 

The program has released hatchlings from more than 100 nests in the last 20 years. Roughly 4,000 turtles have been collected and released. 

Data on nest location, size and success rate of the nest are recorded.

Marine turtles nest on beaches and nests are relocated if needed. 

Survival of eggs in relocated nests are much higher than in natural conditions. 

Counts on relocated nests show around an 85% hatching success.

Once eggs have hatched, hatchlings are released after a short talk on marine turtle nesting and conservation. 

Contact Parks and Wildlife for more information on the turtle nesting program and to register your interest in attending the turtle talk and participating in the hatchling release after the talk.

Marine turtle watching community guidelines

There are guidelines to promote appropriate behaviour for commercial and non-commercial beach users to help preserve marine turtles and their habitat.  The guidelines have been developed by the Parks and Wildlife Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and members of the NT Tourism Industry.

Read the turtle watching guidelines.

Marine Turtle Watching Community Guidelines (174.8 kb)
Marine Turtle Watching Community Guidelines (1.9 mb)

Last updated: 20 July 2017