Snakes, bats and a dark cave. Not your typical combination of holiday attractions, right? Chris Cipollone begs to differ.
It all takes place in the famous Undara Lava Tubes in north Queensland from December to March each year.
Taking visitors through, Undara Experience tour guide Marcus regularly gets to witness and share with others “a wild animal hunting for it’s prey, totally oblivious to you.”
The snakes will leave you alone as well. They only have eyes for the bats, and there are plenty of them to go around.
The wild animal he’s talking about is the brown tree snake, known locally as the “night tiger”, which hangs from the roof of Barkers Cave.
Their prey are micro bats, thousands of them coming out at dusk in search of food. The bats hunt for insects. The snakes hunt for bats. You get the picture.
So you’re asking yourself, “Why would I want to go anywhere near this?” To hear Marcus tell it, it’s a case of why wouldn’t you?
In his words, you’ll see a “spaghetti necktie of snakes” and “feel the breeze from the movement of thousands of bats.” It’s a truly unique experience, and for that reason alone it’s worth setting your fears aside. “You can get right to the entrance of the cave,” adds Marcus.
“Right amongst the movement of the bats.” But just in case you can’t go through with it, there is another option: “Those that are nervous have the opportunity to stay away from the main action.”
And if you’re still worried, Marcus says bats have the ability to change direction within a body length. “So it’s very rare that anybody will actually be hit by one.”
The snakes will leave you alone as well. They only have eyes for the bats, and there are plenty of them to go around. Re-coiling after their feed, the night tigers lie in wait until the next evening’s batty banquet. That’s the beauty of the whole thing; you’ll witness an unadulterated natural experience, close up. So . . . snakes, bats and a dark cave? No worries.
DETAILS // Undara Experience
Undara Volcanic Park, Savannah Way, near Mt Surprise, Qld.
Did you know? //
Snake-lover alert! There are 24 varieties (spotted thus far) of blind-, python-, tree- and front-fanged snakes in the area. Knock yourself out!
(07) 4097 1900