Mount Etna Caves National Park Capricorn

Catch an expansive view of the limestone landscape on the Mount Etna trail. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Things to do

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping is not permitted at Mount Etna Caves National Park.

    Other accommodation

    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.

    Dry rainforest recovering from the 2019 wildfire

    Time will heal. The dry rainforest at Commoo is slowly recovering from a devastating wildfire in 2018.

    Photo credit: Linda Thompson © Queensland Government


    Cammoo Circuit

    Grade 2

    Distance: 600m circuit
    Time: allow 45mins
    Details: Located in the Cammoo section of the national park, wander along a 600m walk through remnant dry rainforest clinging to limestone karst and uncover the secrets this fragile ecosystem holds.

    Mount Etna trail

    Grade 3

    Distance: 2.4km return
    Time: allow 1hr
    Details: Located in the Mount Etna section of the national park this walk features expansive views of Limestone Ridge and the historic Pilkington Quarry from a viewing boardwalk. Experience stunning limestone landscapes before and after mining from Bench 9. The 1.2km uphill walk to Mount Etna and down to Bat Cleft is quite strenuous with steep hill sections and many steps. Only people with a reasonable level of fitness should attempt this trail. Walk in the cooler months or early morning to avoid the heat.

    Seasonal access

    Access along the viewing boardwalk and down to Bat Cleft is seasonally open from late February to late November. During the Little bent-wing bat breeding season (generally early December to early February each year), access is only available at dusk on a ranger led Bat Cleft guided tour (see tour details below).

    Picnic and day use areas

    Enjoy a picnic at Cammoo picnic area, electric barbecues, picnic tables and toilets are provided. At the information shelter learn about the park’s unique bats, conflict-filled past and the remnant dry rainforest. Then stretch your legs on the Cammoo circuit walk.

    Bat Cleft tours

    Female bats leave their roost at dusk to feed.

    Female bats leave their roost at dusk to feed.

    Photo credit: John Augusteyn © Queensland Government

    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 with many steps and becomes slippery when wet. The walk is strenuous and suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness. Children under 15 are welcome but must be under adult supervision. The track is not suitable for pushchairs or strollers.

    Please note: on private estate near The Caves township a commercial operator runs daily cave tours. Visit Capricorn Caves for more information.


    QPWS operate Bat Cleft tours on a Friday and Saturday evening from December to late January. Download the Bat Cleft guided tour brochure (PDF, 513.5KB) 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 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 (9am-4pm), or
    0429 630 923 (after hours, text message preferred)

    Entry typeFee
    Adult $13.15
    Child (5-15) $6.35
    Pensioner $8.55
    Family (2 adults and 2 more children) $39.55

    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.

    Viewing wildlife

    • 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.

    Other things to do

    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.