Day 81- Sat 29th
We checked out of Dingo's but still had a few hours to kill before the greyhound bus came. I went on the net, wrote some of my journal and had lunch. We said our goodbyes to people and got on the bus heading to Bundaberg. I was expecting a small town with only a few shops but it was surprisingly big and had a high street with lots of shops, banks, cafes etc. We got dropped off at the bus station and waited for the shuttle bus to take us to the hostel. We were staying at Cellblock Hostel which used to be an old jail house, hence the name. It's a bit plain and simple but the rooms are clean and the people working there seem friendly. We are in a 6 bed 'cell'; the beds are quite big considering they are bunk beds. We only arrived at 5pm so we didn't do much before going out for dinner. We found a cheap curry place round the corner. We came back to sit in the hostel bar which was really lively, there was a loud rugby team who were on tour staying at the hostel. The bar had Bundaberg rum and coke on tap which was cool.
Day 82- Sun 30th
We had a bit of a lie-in and then had a wander around town but most of the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. We found a supermarket to buy lunch and food for the next day. We spent the afternoon chilling by the pool and then it was time to go on our nightly turtle tour. It was the last day of the season to do this so we were really lucky. We got picked up from the hostel and taken to the Mon Repos Centre that was right in the nature reserve. The tour guide gave us a bit of a talk about what would happen; apparently we could have been waiting till 9-10pm to see turtles. We waited around for a bit but luckily the people who worked at the centre said they had found a nest and took the whole group of about 60 people down the beach. It was really exciting and we had to make a circle around the nest. We saw the baby turtles push their way up through the sand and the volunteers guided them with torches to the cage where they would keep them in until they released them into the ocean. The turtles were so small and they were clambering over each other to make it out of the nest. There were 45 altogether. The volunteers let us touch one of them; their legs were kicking as they wanted to get moving to get to the ocean! We made a path down to the beach and children were allowed to hold torches to help guide the turtles down to the sea. Normally they would just follow the moon's light. They were pretty speedy and they all made it down to the water and the waves carried them away. One of the guides went through the nest and counted how many eggs hadn't hatched. There were 126 eggs altogether and only 45 made it. This was apparently a poor average. The turtle that had made that nest was called K1809. The tour finished about 10pm and we got a lift back to the hostel.
Day 84- Mon 31st
We checked out of the hostel but kept our stuff in storage as we weren't leaving till later that night. We got the bus to the Bundaberg rum factory and we paid for the Gold Pass tour. We got to learn about how they make the rum, we also tasted the molasses that is used and stored there. We were shown the huge barrels that the rum is stored in; there were thousands of litres of it. After seeing where it gets bottled we went to the bar and had two free drinks. I tried the Bundaberg liquor and the rum and ginger drink. Both were really nice. We had a look in the shop and couldn't resist buying a bottle. We did the interactive tour before going back into town. We hung around the hostel for the rest of the afternoon, watched a DVD and had dinner. It wasn't long before we got the shuttle to the bus stop. We were getting the overnight bus all the way up to Airlie Beach.