Friday, December 2, 2011

The Travelling Classroom

There are a few reasons why we decided to make this trip a priority for the last 4 1/2 years and our recent experience of driving down the east coast of Australia is definitely one of them.  It exemplifies our desire to travel with as few set plans as possible and with a 'go with the flow' attitude so that we could adjust plans as opportunities arose.  It is also a fantastic demonstration of the travelling classroom at work!!
5:15 am in the Red Rooster parking lot - clean bathrooms and free wifi!!

Before renting our econo backpacker van for our trip down the east coast of Australia Paul had mapped out an itinerary so that we had a good idea of where we would go and about how long we would take.   Two days into our trip and we were off the planned route, deciding to spend 2 nights on Magnetic Island where Chloe had a biology lesson as she learned more about the deadly jelly fish we needed to avoid. (no, she did not get stung; she did spend quite a bit of time reading about them on the large warning signs located in Horseshoe Bay Beach and then reporting back to us)
swimming in the netted area in Horseshoe Bay- although
some of the smaller jelly fish might still get through

We then headed down to Airlie Beach and after spending 3 days on the water where Chloe worked on her jet skiing and snorkelling skills (both pretty active P.E. classes),

We took a detour into the outback based on a recommendation from a tour guide we met.  Social Studies class that day was focussed on map reading skills!

We were back on the coast and in Bundaberg late the next morning with the intention of having a quick lunch and moving on to Hervey Bay when we recalled that someone along our travels had mentioned that there was a turtle rookery somewhere in the area.  Off to the "i" we went and sure enough, the Mon Repos Conservation Park was a short drive away and it is currently nesting season.  Changing plans once again we organized tickets in hopes of seeing a loggerhead turtle lay her eggs, hung around town for the day and made it to the turtle rookery by evening.

Science class was in session!
We met kids from England travelling RTW with their family and
we all enjoyed an intimate class at the rookery.

Female loggerhead turtle scooping out her nest before
laying 136 eggs (yup, we counted them).

The scientists take measurements and check for damage while
she lays her eggs (once the egg laying process starts the lights
are turned on and the turtle appears not to be bothered by it)

Due to recent cyclone activity the turtle had laid her eggs too
close to the shore and we were asked to help move them to higher ground.


  1. What a fantastic journey you are all having. I read a book about turtles and was always fascinated by their ritual.I follow your blog regularly - its great. Merry Christmas to all .. Julie

  2. Unbelievable experience you are having. I'm sure every minute of every day is a mobile educational experience. Enjoying the blog with my family. Thanks for sharing. Michelle