Special memories were made last month by three girls from the Cooloola Coast Girl Guides as they travelled up to Mon Repos to see almost a hundred baby turtles hatching!
Sophia, Chloe and Indiana made lovely new friends as they camped with 80 fellow Girl Guides from throughout the Sunshine Coast and Gympie region, with whom they happily shared the exciting news of our own Rainbow Beach turtle nests.
The days were filled with activities such as turtle craft, hunts and swaps, plus super fun Save the Turtle challenges and singing sessions! They learnt many facts but of course the highlight was walking along the beach at night time with the Mon Repos rangers, and being lucky enough to be right by a nest’s side as it hatched.
The girls were very brave as no torches were allowed. This is because hatchlings emerging from their nests are disorientated by lights. Sea turtles are phototactic, which means as the babies emerge from their nest they instinctively head towards the brightest light, which is the moonlight on the ocean’s horizon.
The girls said it was magical to watch the cute little baby turtles pop out of their nest, all marching to the sea. After two nights away, they were up early on Sunday to pack up camp and head off to ride a train at the Botanical Gardens and visit the Bundaberg Soft Drink Factory.
On the long trip home the girls treasured their camp hats filled with new badges and crafts, and dreamt about whether the baby turtles will head back in 20 years time to have babies on their own. What a wonderful adventure it was, for girls and turtles alike!