Whether it's to watch mothers nest and hatchlings dash to the ocean, to swim beside the prehistoric creatures or to volunteer to help them, our fascination never wanes.
So with turtle nesting season getting underway, we take a look at five top places in Australia to interact with them.
MON REPOS CONSERVATION PARK - QLD
Mon Repos attracts hundreds of turtle fanatics every season, from toddlers to grey nomads, and is the perfect place to head as a family to watch nesting and hatchling turtles.
Located at Bargara in Queensland, the park is 15 minutes east of Bundaberg and about 4.5 hour's drive north of Brisbane. It is easily accessible by car and close to caravan and camping sites, making it a great stop for a night tour.
A well-built information centre links to Mon Repos beach via timber boardwalks and features educational displays, a souvenir shop and flushing toilets. It also has wheelchair access.
According to the park, Mon Repos supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and is the most important loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific region.
The ranger-guided turtle-watching tours operate between November and late March, running every night from 7pm. Be prepared to wait at the centre for hours until your tour group is called onto the beach.
The centre is extremely popular so you must book. To find out more visit www.bundabergregion.org and www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.
HERON ISLAND - QLD
Green and loggerhead turtles nest on Heron Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef, located north-east of Gladstone.
There is an information centre where you can talk turtles with the island nature guides, who will also be on the beach during nesting and hatching season to help tourists locate turtles and treat them with respect.
You can choose to go on a guided tour or explore by yourself. If you opt for the latter, simply grab a torch and walk Heron Beach one to two hours after the evening high tide.
There are strict guidelines visitors must follow so not to disturb the turtles and these include no flash photography and the limited use of light. Island management has also partnered with the non-profit organisation Sea Turtle Foundation and holds regular information sessions.
As with Mon Repos, the nesting season on Heron is between November and March, while the hatchlings can be seen breaking through the sand from January to May. To learn more check out www.heronisland.com.
CAIRNS TURTLE REHABILITATION CENTRE - QLD
If you are after a more hands-on experience, consider volunteering.
The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in far north Queensland is run by volunteers whose responsibilities include caring for the turtles, maintaining the centre and raising funds for maintenance and ongoing operations.
The centre is dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles, most of which are found in the Cairns area. By volunteering you will also learn more about the range of natural and human-induced threats to these magnificent creatures.
To become a volunteer email the centre at email@example.com. To find out more visit www.cairnsturtlerehab.org.
MORETON BAY MARINE PARK - QLD
For those who don't like venturing too far from a city, Moreton Bay Marine Park near Brisbane is a good place to head.
The seagrass beds in the park are a vital feeding area for marine turtles and, according to the Queensland Government, green, loggerhead, Pacific ridley, flatback and hawksbill turtles call the park home.
Although it is a popular feeding site, it is not the place to go if you want to watch turtles nesting. Just a small number of loggerheads nest on Moreton and nearby islands.
Unfortunately the popularity of the marine park as a whole has been detrimental to turtles. They become victims of boat strikes, pollution, disease and entanglement with fishing equipment and rubbish.
Visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au for more information.
NINGALOO MARINE PARK - WA
On the opposite side of the country, head to Ningaloo Marine Park, off the Northwest Cape of Western Australia. The park stretches for 290km along the coast, and green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles nest on the mainland beaches.
Visitors to the region can take part in the Ningaloo Turtle Program, a community volunteer conservation project that helps collect information on turtle species, nests, tracks, disturbances and predators.
Volunteers are needed to monitor nesting beaches between December and January. Part of the Ningaloo Turtle Program is the Jurabi Turtle Centre, near Exmouth.
At the centre visitors are educated about the need to manage interaction between turtles and tourists and minimise disturbance on those nesting. Here you can also learn about turtle biology and behaviour, threats and conservation strategies. The turtle nesting season is the same on the west and east coasts.
For more go to www.ningalooturtles.org.au or call the Department of Environment and Conservation's Exmouth District office on (08) 9947 8000.
By Jennifer Ennion, AAP Travel Writer