Info about our 2010 season, 2012 season


"Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless." (Sherry Anderson)

"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in." (Author Unknown)

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." (Elizabeth Andrew)



Christine Shepherd and Julianne Preston, USA veterinary students 2013

Volunteering at Tolga Bat Hospital during the winter season was a fantastic way to experience the daily operations of a wildlife sanctuary. While there were not hundreds of babies to be reared, the permanent resident adult bats offered plenty of opportunity to work with flying foxes. The daily cleaning, feeding and care for the bats provided more than enough hands on experience. During our 3 week stay, we were lucky enough to have three baby little reds to help raise. The hospital is open for tours during this time as well, which gave us the opportunity to connect with people and educate them about bats. It was very rewarding to share our enthusiasm with the public and watch their own interest develop in response. Volunteering at the bat hospital was a once in a lifetime experience to work with flying foxes and learn about wildlife rehabilitation and rescue!

Photo: Julianne feeding some water to one of the Little Red flying fox babies

Emma Castle-Smith, Scotland January 2010

I have a degree in Zoology from Glasgow University and a keen interest in conservation, so I was very fortunate to come to the Bat Hospital and gain some very valuable experience. I studied microbats at university but there was never any mention of megabats, especially flying foxes. I have visited the hospital 3 times to volunteer in the 2 years that I have been in Australia and every time I learn something new. Things change here everyday, new rescues arrive, new volunteers and new medical cases. I have broadened my understanding of these amazing mammals and learned a lot about their special care. When I go back to Scotland I plan to go back to University to study Conservation in more depth. So that one day I can run my own wildlife sanctuary and conserve endangered species.

More info about our 2010 season


Bat Hospital kelpies

Kauri Maclean (right)
Jarrah Maclean (below)
Guirri Maclean (left)
Milla Maclean (above)

Kauri and Jarrah were volunteers for 14 years, but Milla and Guirri are the new team.

Tolga Bat Hospital - Kauri

Kira Hughes, USA. December 2005

Though my time at the bat hospital was short it was an incredibly valuable experience. I didn't want to travel overseas as a typical tourist and volunteering with the bats gave me the opportunity make a beneficial impact, see a country from a unique perspective and meet local people who want to make a difference in their own backyard. Most rewarding for me was the ability to work hands on with the bats, learn about their individual personalities, and about what ecological issues are of most concern to their survival. I'm glad to know that rescue organizations like the Tolga Bat Hospital are working hard to rehabilitate native species and I am lucky to have been a part of that effort!


Tolga Bat Hospital - Ashleigh

Volunteers Ashleigh Johnson and Jarrah Maclean

Elena Bridgens, Australia. December 2005.
Leaving the steaming hot touristy Cairns for Atherton was like arriving at
alittle peice of paradise, especially as a bat lover! It felt as though not
a metre of Jens property was batless, whether it be manmade or bat made.
Nearly everywhere you went you could hear a little flap, cherp, see a
little twinkle of an eye belonging to one of the most remarkable, spendid,
loveable creatures nature has created and sadly one that faces more than its fair
share of problems in their purposeful existance. I was to learn this
during my three week volunteering stay at TBH. I was also to learn how to string
some apples pretty darn fast!
I arrived just after christmas, when the bubs were coming to terms with
'leaving the nest' in this case an existence nothing short of royalty. As
the days went on, I got more and more attached to the lil guys.They gained their independance and were put into the bigger 'houses' to prepare them for their release into the scrub. I honestly think I felt more pride with the release than taking my own child (if I had one) for their first day at school.
As for staying at Jens, we volunteers were right up there with the royal
standards too. Never short of some of the best food I have ever tasted!
Comfy beds, our own quarters, lovely surroundings, and living amongst some
of the most inspirational dedicated people in Australia!
The work the TBH does can never be aprecciated enough, I would highly
recommend being a volunteer!


Antony Mould and Abie Meddings, England. November 2004

'In November 2004 we spent three weeks at the Tolga Bat Hospital as part of an eight month round-the-world trip. Within five minutes of arriving at the hospital we were handling and feeding our first orphaned spectacled fruit bat pups (known affectionately as 'bubs') - if it's interaction with wildlife you're after, Tolga Bat Hospital is the place to go!

The next three weeks were a haze of preparing food, cleaning, handling, fussing and feeding - it's hard work (often 16 hr days), but then again you're working with and helping to save fruit bats! We also got to go out on rescue trips and conduct some colony surveys (the evening skies filled with thousands of spectacled and little red fruit bats heading off in search of food).

The spectacled fruit bats on the Atherton Tablelands are in a precarious position, and the work of Jenny Mclean and the bat hospital volunteers is playing a crucial role in their continued survival. We feel proud to have been able to make a small contribution to this cause.'




Markus Nolf, Austria. November 2005
My stay at the Tolga Bat Hospital was rather short-notice.
However, it was one of the best times I had in Australia - working with the babies, preparing the food for the adults, and helping around the cages... and all of that in a very familial environment. Lots of work, but lots of fun as well!
I can only recommend going there and contributing to the cause - it's a fixed point on my next trip to Australia.

Marcus returned in early 2103 for a short visit. He made sure we got listed with trip Advisor and we rapidly were No. 1 for Atherton