Local Government Partner :: ACT GovernmentSupported by :: Australian Native Plants Society (ANPS) Canberra Region :: Gearys Gap/Wamboin Landcare Group
Home Reptiles and Frogs Turtles [ field guide | sightings ]



Australia is home to about 23 species of freshwater turtle. All but one of these species belong to the family Chelidae, which is found only in Australasia and South America. These long-, snake-, or side-necked turtles retract their head and neck beneath their shell by folding it to one side, rather than drawing their head backwards as most of the world’s species of turtles and tortoises do.

The Canberra region contains one long-neck and the only short-necked turtle, Macquarie Turtle.

Australia also has six species of marine turtles but lacks the truly land-based tortoises that occur on all other continents except Antarctica.

North American species of freshwater turtles have also been found in the Sydney region, probably as a result of people releasing imported pets into local waterways.

No species currently exist here.

Conservation Level



Want to become a moderator for Turtles?

Apply now

Follow Turtles

Receive alerts when new sightings are reported

1245960 sightings of 6883 species in 1012 locations from 4180 members
Proudly Australian made, owned and hosted CCA 3.0 | privacy