New Turtle Centre at Mon Repos near Bundaberg

New Turtle Centre built by local builders.

The challenge to transform Mon Repos Turtle Centre from complex plans to grand reality may have thwarted lesser builders.

But the $11 million contract went to Bundaberg’s own Murchie Constructions, a dynamic family company with more than 50 years in the industry, and winner of numerous Queensland Master Builders Awards.

Owner Director Andrew Murchie said the sophisticated primary structure was built from locally-grown certified Spotted Gum timber and utilised an impressive framework of diagonal timber beams, known as a diagrid.

“This is the largest diagrid in Australia and was designed by Richard Kirk Architect,” Andrew said.

Nestled behind scenic sand dunes, the turtle centre uses natural products that will age over time to blend with the environment – the building’s exterior sports timber and copper cladding that will eventually oxidise and turn green.

The entrance features a triangular ceiling featuring eye-catching panels made of Tallowwood timber battens while, inside, about 884 perforated triangular ply ceiling panels have been integrated between the glue-laminated spotted gum primary structure framework to create an impressive canopy over polished concrete floors.

Eye-catching specialised joinery counters, interpretive displays and a retail area fit out complement the architecture. Natural ventilation is facilitated by four skylights fitted with two layers of louvre windows, featuring both clear glass and black louvres to minimise light spill at night, and automatically operated and adjusted by light, temperature and rain sensors.

Timber framed glazing above timber feature panels separates the offices from the public arena while allowing natural light to infiltrate the complex.

The building of this magnificent centre created 45-plus full-time jobs and utilised 22 sub-contractors, of whom 15 were local.

“It was an extensive boost to the local economy, with 325 workers, including 22 apprentices, inducted onto the site,” Andrew said.

From modest beginnings in 1966, Murchie Constructions has become a leader in their field.

Andrew is a second-generation Bundaberg builder who graduated from QUT in 1991 with a Degree in Construction Management.

“Murchie Constructions is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism,” Andrew said.

We’re large enough to deliver professionalism but small enough to provide personalised, reliable service.”

Bookings for Turtle Encounters are essential. For ticket prices and visiting times, go to very eye-catching inside the Turtle Centre


Among the first visitors to the centre were Carl Wildman, Samantha Wildman and Savannah Shigrov of the Gold Coast.


It's very eye catching inside the new Turtle Centre