Exploring turtle-tastic tourism at Mon Repos
WITH weeks of school holidays still ahead, now is the time to pull out the Hawaiian shirt, whip out the Polaroid camera and explore some of the best attractions that await in your very own backyard.
The two-week Tourist in Your Town series launches today, and will involve the NewsMail's news director Liz Carson and her family - partner Lee Nielsen and daughters Brooke, Kayla, Amy and Renee - road testing some of the tourist hot-spots of the Bundaberg region.
The first stop for the family was getting up close and personal with the Mon Repos turtles, which began nesting in November.
Mr Nielsen said the family was lucky to have made it into the first viewing group on Wednesday night, where the Gladstone refugees finally got to see exactly what the fuss was all about.
"We saw a loggerhead turtle nesting," Mr Nielsen said.
Despite seeing the remarkable animal life cycle unfold in front of his very eyes, Mr Nielsen said it was his kids who were captivated by the marine creatures.
"They were thoroughly caught up and intrigued by the whole thing," he said.
Mr Nielsen said he thought the whole experience at the rookery had been very informative.
"The information they gave us about how they are endangered was very informative and enlightening," he said.
"It's a chance for the kids to appreciate the things around them a little bit more.
"I grew up in an area where we didn't appreciate nature as much."
Mr Nielsen said his inquisitive children, and others at the viewing session, asked the ranger 99% of the questions about the turtles, including one that had the parents cringing - how the turtles make their eggs.
"That was a delicate question but the ranger handled it very well," Mr Nielsen said with a laugh.
He said he recommended the experience to all families.
"This sort of thing you can't get out of a book," he said.
- The turtle research program at Mon Repos started in 1968
- The first telecommunications cable that connected Australia to the rest of the world is half-way along the southern beach at Mon Repos
- Loggerhead turtle eggs are the size of a ping pong ball
- The most turtles viewed in one night in the past five years has been 55