Heading south via Mackay, we set up camp at the Capricorn Caves just north of Rockhampton. These unique caves are set above ground, in a dry rainforest, and are built up of limestone rock. There are four different species of bats that roost in the caves, mainly in the warm, wet weather. The caves were first discovered in 1882 by the Norwegian explorer John Olsen, who came across an entrance to the caves after chasing a kangaroo in that direction. He waded waist-deep in bat poo, with no light except for a single flame he carried in one hand. Winding our way through some of the steep, narrow passages in the caves, we could only imagine how claustrophobic Olsen’s journey must have been.
We were lucky enough to have the whole camp site to ourselves, apart from a bush turkey who visited us on a number of occasions. In the evening, Tom lit a roaring fire, which we warmed ourselves around with a glass of red wine. With no street lighting, the only illumination came from the crackling fire and the mass of stars which twinkled above.