The bat hospital is 7kms from Atherton. Although a relatively small town, it has all the necessary infrastructure for banking, health care etc It is about an 80 minute drive from Cairns, the nearest international and domestic airport.
Once you get to Cairns in far north Queensland, there are 2 ways to get here. The easiest is with Tablelands Tours and Transfers, a private bus that will bring you door to door. This is especially useful and good value when you are arriving. For $120 (more if between 6pm and 6am), you will be picked up at the airport and brought straight to the bat hospital. The waiting times depends on your arrival time and other bookings. Please contact Darrin through his website, any problems let me know and I’ll contact him. We highly recommend this service, especially for those arriving on long flights from overseas.
The other way to get here is to catch Transnorth Buses ($25) from Cairns Central to Atherton. You need to allow 1.5 hours to get from the airport to Cairns Central by airport shuttle bus ($15). It is only a 5 km trip but the bus might take 15 minutes to leave, and it drops people off at their accommodation on the way. Ask the Airport Shuttle to drop you under the Cairns Central Shopping Centre, platform 1 where the Transnorth bus leaves from. We will meet you off the bus in Atherton.
Transnorth Buses can deliver you back to Cairns for $25 or to the airport for $30. They are allowed to drop people off at the airport but not pick up. They are a cheaper but still convenient way to leave. Analyse all this bus information if you have some control over your flight times and you will avoid long wait times for transfers to and from Atherton.
What to bring: This depends on the time of year. Atherton is known as the cool tropics as we are at an altitude of 800 metres. October to December is a warm dry season. For work in the colony, you need light clothing with long sleeves, long pants and closed boots. Around the hospital, wear shorts, tshirts and sandals. For looking after baby bats wear old long tshirts that can be pinned up to create a hammock for them to sleep in. Do not wear singlets for working or shirts with low necklines. Looking for a mother substitute, young pups want to be on you and sucking something, so you need to be well-covered with a minimum of bare skin. We provide all bed linen and towels, and have a lot of tshirts. Make sure you bring a headtorch, personal medications, hat etc