You’ve got to love the Aussies for their love of all animals big and small, right down to bats! At Tolga Bat Hospital — which is not actually in Tolga, though it is also in Atherton — you can sign up to pledge your allegiance to the bats as a volunteer and care for bats in permanent care that are too injured (mostly from getting snared in barbed wire) to return to the wild.
Volunteers help with daily operations, such as preparing food and milk, taking care of bat orphans, cleaning the cages, helping to search for or release bats in rainforests, keeping weeds away… and even assisting on research projects. The hospital also has a visitor centre that is open all year round every day during the bats’ 3-6 pm feeding time (bookings are essential from October to June).
Here, you can see the bats — spot all four species of Australian flying foxes, plus tube-nosed bats and microbats! — swoop down six metres from their roost to eye level. That does it, we’re headed to Queensland next.