Rare chance to pat a turtle at Quoin Island's turtle tour
GAPDL had wanted to organise a community tour to Quoin Island Retreat for some time and you can bet they're glad they did.
The first community day was a massive success with 150 people packing out the Curtis ferry for the half hour trip to the island on Saturday.
Another 200 people were forced to sit on the waiting list for the next, yet-to-be organised tour, which includes a visit to the island's turtle rehabilitation centre.
Families had great fun, with perfect blue sky weather - children swam in the pool and played on the beach.
Guests were offered lunch and afternoon tea and took turns to tour the centre's turtle rehabilitation facility established about six years ago.
Darryl Branthwaite, CEO of Gladstone Area Promotion and Development, said it had been "a wonderful day".
"We're amazed, we knew there was in interest out there but we didn't realise it was that much," he said.
There's not many people who get the opportunity to get up close and personal with turtles.
"It's those sorts of experiences that no one ever gets to, even some of the locals."
Seven-year-old Mia McPherson, and her twin brother Blake had never seen turtles before.
Mia said she was surprised to find out "they can get hurt so easily" but that it was "cool" to see them breathing and to feel their shells and pat them".
Mia's mother, Farrah works in Gladstone
"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to jump on board for a reasonable price and to check out the island," she said.
"It's beautiful, it was pretty special to be able to get a ticket."
At the end of the tour, Darryl presented a cheque to Quoin Island centre manager Richard Gilmour for $1262.15, the profits raised from the tour.
"This will go a long way to getting another turtle back in the wild," Richard said.
For those who missed out on the weekend's tour, keep an eye out for an upcoming tour in the coming months.