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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: 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: 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. This 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 walk 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 walk (2.4km return). The track is steep and the walk may be strenuous for unfit people. 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.
Tours operate every summer from December to February on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Contact QPWS Rockhampton to book your tour. Payment is required when you book, as your receipt is your admission ticket.
Minimum booking numbers apply. Book your place early as tours are restricted to 10 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)
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 for a picnic. An electric barbecue, picnic tables and toilets are provided.
- Go wildlife watching. Look for brush-tailed rock-wallabies, brushtail possums, bandicoots and echidnas.
- Go 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.