Things to do
Have a picnic and explore the stories of Mount Etna Caves National Park at Cammoo picnic area. An information shelter and self-guided walking trail will help you discover more about the park's unique bats, conflict-filled past and remnant dry rainforest.
Camping is not permitted at Mount Etna Caves National Park.
There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Rockhampton, The Caves township and the Capricorn Coast. For more information see the tourism information links.
Cammoo Circuit (Grade: easy)
Distance: 600m circuit
Time: allow 45mins
Details: Located in the Cammoo section of the national park, wander along a 600m self-guided walk through remnant dry rainforest clinging to limestone karst and uncover the secrets this fragile ecosystem holds. Read about the bitter battle between limestone miners and conservationists and how the dispute was finally resolved.
Distance: 2.4km return
Time: allow 1hr
Details: Located in the Mount Etna section of the national park, expansive views of Limestone Ridge, the historic Pilkington Quarry and old mine workings feature strongly on this walk. Experience limestone landscapes before and after mining from Bench 9. The 1.2km track uphill to Bat Cleft is quite strenuous with many steps. Only relatively fit people should attempt this walk or join the Bat Cleft tour. Walk in the cooler months or early morning to avoid the heat. The track is closed to independent visitors during the bats’ breeding season from 1 November to the end of February. During this time, it is accessible only on a ranger-led guided tour (operating from early December to mid February).
The Mount Etna trail is not suitable for strollers or prams.
Experience the rush of thousands of tiny bats flashing past you at dusk during the ranger-guided tours. Little bent-wing bats fly out from their roost in Bat Cleft to feed, providing a spectacular natural show.
The Bat Cleft tour takes you up Mount Etna, through remnant dry rainforest and limestone formations to the top of a disused mine. The track then descends across ancient limestone karst to Bat Cleft. Your guide will provide insight into the significance of the emergence flights and the Mount Etna area.
Tours run for about three hours in the evening under torchlight along the Mount Etna trail (2.4km return). The track is steep and the walk strenuous and suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness. Sections of the track have many steps. Children under 15 are welcome but must be under adult supervision. The track is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Please note: there is a commercial operator at The Caves who runs daily caves tours on their private estate – visit Capricorn Caves for more information or bookings.
QPWS operate Bat Cleft tours every summer from December to mid-February on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Download the Bat Cleft guided tour brochure to help plan your adventure.
Contact QPWS Rockhampton to book your tour. Payment is accepted by credit or debit card at the start of each tour.
Minimum booking numbers apply. Book your place early as tours are restricted to 8 people to ensure everyone has good views of the bats.
Bat Cleft ranger-guided tour bookings
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
61 Yeppoon Road, Parkhurst QLD 4702
(07) 4936 0570 (work hours)
0429 630 923 (after hours)
|Family (2 adults and 2 more children)||$38.25|
What to bring
- one good torch per person—this is essential
- one litre of drinking water per person
- sturdy walking shoes (no thongs)
- wear shorts or long pants
- insect repellent
- any personal medication.
The Cammoo picnic area is a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic. Electric barbecues, picnic tables and toilets are provided.
- Go wildlife watching. Keep a look out for brush-tailed rock-wallabies, brushtail possums, bandicoots and echidnas.
- Enjoy birdwatching—more than 75 bird species have been seen in the park.
Generate a species list for the park.
Mount Etna Caves National Park is one of the few places in Queensland where you can go caving. Temperatures inside the caves are fairly constant and cool, so caving is a great way to escape the summer heat.
Please be aware caving can be a dangerous activity and you must be responsible for your own safety. Access to some caves is restricted or prohibited to protect the bats, which are very easily disturbed. Caves are a very special environment and easily damaged. Help protect them by not touching the limestone while caving.
If you choose to go caving, always go in groups of at least three people, including an experienced caver, and make sure there are at least three torches within your group.
If you have minimal caving experience, consider taking one of several types of cave tours offered by local commercial operators, Capricorn Caves.