I was inspired to write Turtle Trackers by two separate events. The first was a newspaper article about foxes destroying turtle nests on Stradbroke Island in SE Queensland. The destruction led to members of a local wildlife group taking turns to sleep on the beach to keep the foxes away; a dedicated move indeed. The second part of my inspiration came when my mum and dad convinced me to catch the Tilt Train from Brisbane up to Bundaberg with my eight year old niece to join them on their caravanning holiday. Mum mentioned she’d booked us on a turtle tour, but I didn’t really think too much about it. When we arrived at the caravan park, it was quite run down, a long way from the turtle centre, and very very windy! But Mum and Dad were so thrilled we had joined them, so I muddled in, and we set up camp. The beach was a bit too windy and choppy for swimming, but when we wandered down late that afternoon, we saw a big green turtle waddling up the beach! My dad went nuts with the camera, and we kept our distance, but the turtle didn’t seem to mind that we were there. What really struck me was how wide and distinctive her tracks were – so specific to a turtle rather than any other creature that may have ventured on to the beach. And then of course there was the actual turtle tour! Seeing my niece’s face as we crept along in the dark, hearing her whisper in excitement, and having her small hand cling tightly to mine: it was wonderful. Not to mention the privilege of seeing wild turtle hatchlings poke their heads up out of the sand to discover our world for the very first time!