Mount Etna Caves National Park
Just a short drive from Rockhampton is where you’ll come across Mount Etna Caves National Park, an area once submerged by a shallow sea. Limestone from ancient coral reefs formed the rugged landscape seen at Mount Eta National Park today, which boasts a terrain of rocky sinkholes and caves. If you’re a fan of little winged creatures, then the bat caves of Mount Etna are for you. The caves at Mount Etna are the roosting site for more than 80 percent of Australia’s population of little bent-wing bats. The park is also one of the few places in Australia supporting a colony of ghost bats – a carnivorous bat that preys on larger species such as birds, reptiles and other mammals (but not humans, don’t worry). Outside of breeding season from December to February, park rangers can lead you into the caves as part of a guided tour.
Tropical North Queensland’s hidden waterfall gem is found tucked away in the dense rainforest near popular Cairns waterhole Crystal Cascades. Fairy Falls is as magical as its name suggests, capturing the attention of locals and tourists alike. To find this secret picturesque waterfall, start walking the track just to the left of Crystal Cascades carpark and follow the path along for approximately 15 minutes. When the track forks, be sure to stick to the creek and don’t head uphill. To access the secluded plunge pool, you must first venture into the forest and climb over a few rock faces (so make sure you bring some slip-proof shoes, thongs aren’t exactly the best option). Then have a quick dip, a go on the rope swing and take some pics – this swimming hole is an Instagram hotspot. Just make sure you keep a look out for stinging plants that are found along the track, there are a few warning signs in place to help identify these bad boys.
Image One: Tourism and Events Queensland
Image Two: Tourism and Events Queensland
Image Three: Tourism and Events Queensland
Image Four: Tourism and Events Queensland
Image Five: Sean Scott/Tourism and Events Queensland