One thing I really wanted to do while in Australia is see the turtles laying and hatching eggs. I am not really sure why I thought this would be neat, but I was not disappointed at all. It was amazing. We went to the Bundaberg area for a weekend, and got to experience this miracle.
Short Version Video- The video they showed us on the bus heading to the beach. They have a service called The Turtle Express, (Click for link), that picked us up at our hotel. It took us straight to the special beach while showing us the video posted above. If you are planning on going there, The Turtle Express is a must. If you arrive on the express, you automatically go to group one.
Longer Version Video- The video they show you at night while you wait for the turtles to come ashore. They tell you to prepare to wait for hours. I actually had sugar cookies and icing, that I had found on clearance for $0.20, to help take up time. We had planned on eating out of the food truck, and Josh had bought cards. They say the average waiting time is around three hours.
We got there at 6:45, the time they say to arrive, and were ready to wait. As soon as you get there they divide you into 5 groups according to your reservation. Whatever group you are in determines the turtle "event" you get to see. Which event you see is just the luck of the draw, you get to see whatever is happening when your group is called.
The first turtle had other thoughts though, we didn't wait at all. We walked off the bus and pretty much went straight to the beach. We got to see a turtle laying eggs, and then got to walk her back to the water. After talking to people, a turtle coming ashore this quick was really rare.
When we went on the beach we had to sneak up behind the turtle. We had to wait until she had laid ten - twenty eggs. They said after she had laid that many, she had fully committed to the area and we would not scare her off. We all stayed behind the turtle until this point. After she had committed we could walk around, talk, they measured her shell, and checked her tag. When she had finished laying her eggs, and was covering up her hole we got to take pictures. We could not take pictures at all until this point, this is why I have videos and very few pictures.
The ranger said that after a turtle is born it has a magnetic imprint to the area, and usually goes back to the place of their birth to lay their eggs. The first 15 years of their life they swim all the way to South America area. The second 15 years of their life they to go an area and feed. They say turtles do not reach reproduction age until around age 30. This turtle had only started laying eggs this year. She had only laid eggs here once before, two weeks ago.
Let's be honest, the video you think of when you think turtles. Now that you know some facts, I hope you enjoy this clip of Finding Nemo even more.
I would totally agree with this sign. We did have a chance to witness an amazing journey. Who am I kidding, we are all on an amazing journey. I love getting to experience so many different things on my journey and make memories with the people I love.