nature Tag

lady elliot island, queensland, australia, diving, birds, wildlife, underwater
  |   Articles, UNESCO   |   31 Comments

Swimming with turtles

Lady Elliot Island, Queensland, Australia It’s one thing to see turtles hatching and laying their eggs, as I did at the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery on the Queensland coast near Bundaberg. It’s a completely different experience to actually swim with them. Imagine snorkelling along and then suddenly finding yourself surrounded by at least a dozen of the animals, just floating and chilling and enjoying the water like you. That’s pretty much what happened. Let’s go back a step, though, and set the scene. I am basically in the middle of nowhere – on a small crop of land called Lady Elliot Island. It is the southernmost point of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and is only 40 hectares large – about the size of the land the country’s Parliament House is on in Canberra. And it’s not even an island in the traditional sense. It’s actually a collection of bird poo and other...

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13 February
mon repos turtle rookery, bundaberg, queensland, australia
  |   Articles   |   12 Comments

Hatch and release

Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, Queensland, Australia The sun is setting and the beach is empty – it officially closes at 6 o’clock in the evening this time of year. The sand stretches out with no interruptions, just the small waves crashing against it on the shore. The sky is changing from a bright blue into soothing spectrum of purples and oranges. Everything is set. I’m at the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, on the Queensland coast near Bundaberg. It’s the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific Ocean. And tonight I am on patrol with the rangers who are going to make sure it all runs smoothly. From the beginning of the season in November, turtles begin arriving on the beach from the ocean to lay their eggs. They swim to the shore after dark, drag themselves up...

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11 February
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia, hiking, world heritage site
  |   Articles, UNESCO   |   17 Comments

A home among the gumtrees

I've been around the world A couple of times or maybe more I've seen the sights, I've had delights On every foreign shore But when my mates all ask me The place that I adore I tell them right away Give me a home among the gumtrees With lots of plum trees A sheep or two, a k-kangaroo A clothesline out the back Verandah out the front And an old rocking chair …Give Me a Home Among the Gumtrees, 1974 The Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia Can you believe it’s almost three years since I started this travel blog and, in that whole time, I have never written about any travel within my own country of Australia? Perhaps it’s always the way… you know, you think you can do it when you’re older and that now is the time to see the world while you’re active and adventurous. It’s a silly attitude for two reasons. Firstly, you may remember my story about the world’s oldest backpacker. John...

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04 February