The Best Places Around the World to See Bats (by the Millions)

Bat tourism might sound creepy, but it may be the best way to help bat conservation around the world

Mexican free-tailed bats near Bracken Cave, Texas. (© Aerie Nature Series, Inc./CORBIS)

Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Cairns, a city in Australia's second-largest state, Queensland, is home to a huge population of spectacled flying foxes—one of the largest species of bats in the world. Because of its geographic location, acting as a gateway to tropical rainforests of the north (which the bats use as their primary hunting grounds), Cairns is an appealing place for the bats to roost, which they've been doing in huge numbers for years, despite attempts by the Cairns City Council to get them to move on.

Cairns is also home to the Tolga Bat Hospital, which helps promote rehabilitation and conservation of Australian bats. The hospital is open to visitors, who can come learn about bat behavior and conservation while observing several species of bats native to Australia (including the flying fox). 


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