This an excerpt from the Australia Virtual Tour.
See Archives September 2009 for the entire tour.
Day 14: The Bat Cave
Traveling in the opposite direction, south and inland from Cairns, we cross the Atherton Tablelands, past extinct volcanic craters and vast plains where you can see agricultural plains with cattle stations and tropical savannah woodlands with abundant wildlife. These highlands contain national parks, rainforests, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. You can enjoy bush walking, bird watching, fishing and even hot air ballooning over the area.
Once you arrive in Undara, you are in the Outback region of Queensland. Overnight stays can be arranged at the unusual Undara Lava Lodge where converted turn-of-the-century railway cars serve as your accommodations and dining cars.
A wildlife tour at sunset with an experienced savannah guide reveals local native animals: kangaroos, wallabies, lizards, birds and . . . bats. Later in the evening , our guide walks visitors over to the mouth of Barker’s Cave to await the nightly exodus of thousands of tiny, furry, microbats into the night sky. Also lying in wait are the brown tree snakes or “night tigers” who strike out and try to capture their small prey as they fly past. It’s quite the nightly drama during the summer months.
We return the next morning, this time in broad daylight, to descend down into the fascinating geological phenomenon of the Undara lava tubes for a closer inspection. This requires a moderate level of fitness due to the uneven terrain and the climbing down and up over rocks at either end. And the bats have returned to their home on the cave ceiling after feeding on insects last night. Don’t worry, they’re not the least bit interested in you.
For more information, go to: