Sunday 19th December

Friday ended up being a driving day- we made our way from Yeppoon, through Rockhampton all the way to Bundaberg, going the long way round so that we could stop at Agnes Water. A very pretty beach and near where Captain Cook first stopped in Queensland.

The next day we got up and headed to Bundaberg, hopeful of doing some shopping only to find that the town is pretty dead. But we went to the tourist information and booked on to a turtle watching tour for the evening. Then headed to the nearest beach town of Bargara. It was a nice beach although was covered in large black rocks. We bought a portion of chips to share whilst sitting in the park and reading. I bought Chocalat at the book exchange in Bundaberg. I really liked the film so thought the book is probably going to be even better. So far I am finding it hard to put down! In the afternoon we then headed to Mon Repos Beach where we would be doing the turtle watching later. We had a bit more of a read and then Ryan taught me a beach game involving moving your feet to wherever the other person throws a stone to, within a square. I ended up absolutely covered in sand! Whilst we were playing Ryan suddenly shouted that he could see a turtle. So we rushed up the beach to watch her going back into the sea. Strangely we saw 2 girls digging up the nest so worried that something was wrong we went to see what they were doing. It turned out that they were doing Turtle Conservation Work and were moving the nest further up the beach to somewhere where it won’t get flooded and will be safe from cyclones. They passed us one of the eggs to feel –it was soft and about the size and shape of a ping pong ball. Not at all like a chicken’s egg. They’re designed to drop from a distance into the nest without breaking so have more of a leathery shell. I then got to help putting all the eggs into a bucket to move them to the hole further up the beach. It was all very exciting and pretty unusual for a turtle to be laying her eggs in the daytime.

Then later in the evening we came back to go on the tour. We were put into groups of 60 to go and see the turtles. Not quite the same experience as earlier! We were in group 2 so got to see the second turtle that came up the beach. We all had to slowly walk onto the dune behind her where she can’t see us whilst she was digging the nest. The turtle couldn’t actually hear us as they hear at a lower frequency so do not hear our voices. Once she had begun to lay her eggs we were allowed to move around her as she now wouldn’t be disturbed. We watched her lay her eggs and then fill the hole back in with her flippers. This was quite amusing as she often ended up hitting herself in the face with her flippers as they rebounded! She moved around as she filled her nest in so if it had not been marked we would not have been able to find it! She then made her way back to the sea and as she had laid her eggs to low again we moved them to a nest further up the sandbank. It was amazing to see turtles nesting in the wild but oddly strange to see how oblivious she was to our presence. Apparently everything they do is on instinct so once they have started laying their eggs they will not stop for anything.

So we have now seen loads of wildlife! Kangaroo, Emus, Platypus, Wallabies, Cockatoos and Turtles! Koala is next on my list

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