It’s turtle nesting season on Walmanyjun (Cable Beach), Broome!

10 October 2022 3
It’s turtle nesting season on Walmanyjun (Cable Beach), Broome!


Update: 1st February 2023

The temporary closure of Cable Beach north of the rocks to vehicles to protect turtle hatchlings officially ends on February 1. However, as was the case this time last year, the vehicle-access ramp will remain closed due to storm-related beach erosion that presents a significant risk to vehicles attempting to cross the rocks. It is currently unclear when the ramp will reopen - ongoing assessments will be undertaken to ensure access is reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so. Some Shire and emergency vehicles, and vehicles with permits, may be seen north of rocks during this period. But if you see any vehicles you believe are not permitted, please contact the Shire Rangers on 9191 3456. The Shire would like to thank the community for abiding by the closure in December and January to protect turtle hatchlings.

Photo: Shire of Broome

Every year sea turtles nest on Walmanyjun (Cable Beach) from October- March with hatching occurring approximately 7 weeks after the eggs are laid. The most common species to nest on Walmanyjun is the flatback turtle. Flatback turtles are endemic to Northern Australia and many important nesting sites are in the Kimberley region.

The Walmanyjun (Cable Beach) access ramp is closed from 8pm-6am daily from 1 October, for two hours either side of high tides of 9m or more and full closure to vehicles from December 1 to January 31. This assists in the protection of nesting and hatching turtles. Please observe all signage as infringements may apply.

You can help protect turtles by:

• Avoiding driving on the beach. If you are please stay below the high-water mark, away from sandy areas and turtle nests which are marked with yellow signage
• Following the ‘Turtle Watching Code of Conduct’ if you see a turtle
• Refraining from touching or interacting with turtle hatchlings
• Dogs should be kept away from turtle nesting beaches.

Cable Beach turtle hatchlings to receive additional protection with two‐month vehicle ban

The Shire of Broome Council has resolved to prohibit vehicles from driving north of the rocks on Cable Beach from December 1 to January 31 to protect flatback turtle hatchlings. Turtle nesting season is from October until March each year, with the Shire already having imposed restrictions to vehicle access to the beach at certain times during these months (AS ABOVE). The unanimous decision to close the northern section of Cable Beach in December and January to vehicles altogether was influenced by consultation between the Shire and the Broome community.

Members of the public wishing to drive on to Cable Beach during December and January will still be able to do so at the southern end, near Gantheaume Point. Emergency vehicles and those used for essential Council and Ranger services, and relevant licenced businesses will be permitted to operate on the beach when necessary.

Flatback turtles are native to Broome and special to the Yawuru people. They are also a threatened and vulnerable species and are therefore legally protected.

Turtle Nesting Season Vehicle Access Closures - from the Shire of Broome

To limit the impact of vehicles on nesting turtles in Broome, the Cable Beach north vehicle access ramp (adjacent to the Cable Beach Amphitheatre) will be closed at night to vehicles throughout the turtle nesting season from 8pm to 6am, 1 October 2022 to 1 March 2023. Cable Beach will also close to vehicles two hours either side of the high tide when it is 9m or greater.

The gate installed at the Cable Beach Amphitheatre will be locked closed during the closures.

Penalties may apply for anyone disregarding the beach closures under Shire of Broome Local Laws. The Shire of Broome appreciates the community's co-operation in assisting to protect marine turtles on Cable Beach.

More information from the Shire here.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Parks and Wildlife Service encourage everyone to follow the code of conduct.

Download the Turtle Watching Code of Conduct PDF

View the Shire of Broome Turtle Nesting Daylight Ramp Closure dates and times 2022-2023

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