Join Wildlife Queensland on a bat-tastic Brisbane River cruise! Watch the bats fly over the Brisbane River at sunset, interact with orphaned baby bats on-board and listen to live commentary about Brisbane, the flying-fox species and other amazing wildlife.

About Batty Boat Cruises

Meet orphaned bats on-board.
Image © Wildlife Queensland

Batty Boat Cruises is one of Wildlife Queensland’s most successful public education initiatives. Since 1984, Batty Boat Cruises have introduced hundreds of people every summer to the fascinating world of the flying-fox, or fruit bat.

Each cruise on the MV Neptune takes a maximum of 85 passengers up the Brisbane River for a fascinating wildlife experience.

On the hour-long trip upriver, passengers can listen to expert commentary about the Brisbane river, flying-fox habits and other fascinating wildlife facts. Watch the landmarks slide past as you cruise at a leisurely pace through the ever-changing riverscape.

The boat pauses just before sunset at Indooroopilly Island, historically the summer home to breeding black, grey-headed and sometimes little red flying-foxes. However, our environment is ever-changing – bat numbers are decreasing, food availability alters, vegetation changes – and bats move to roosts that better suit their needs. Some still prefer their Indooroopilly home, but numbers are unpredictable.

As the sun sinks, silhouetted flying-foxes swirl into the darkening sky, snatching sips of river water before scattering to find food for themselves and their young in the flowering trees of Brisbane suburbs.

Batty Boat Cruise Frequently Asked Questions

Who runs Batty Boat Cruises?

Batty Boat Cruises is a fundraising and education initiative run by Wildlife Queensland’s Brisbane Branch (ABN 98 822 357 323 – GST is not charged on Batty Boat tickets).

When are the cruise dates and times?
  • Stay tuned for 2019/20 dates. Cruises generally run between October and March.
  • Cruises depart late afternoon whatever the weather. Please note: tickets are non-refundable.
  • Each cruise lasts 3.5 to 4 hours.
How much are tickets?
  • $32.00 adult
  • $24.00 concession
  • $16.00 child (3-15 years)
  • $85 family (2 adults, 2 children)

Email or phone +61 (7) 3844 0129 for more information. Gift certificates are available.

Where does the cruise go?

The boat leaves from Mowbray Park East Brisbane and travels to Indooroopilly Island (about 22km up the Brisbane river) in time to watch the sunset. This is also the time when any roosting flying-foxes will depart.

What can I do on a cruise?

See and do

  • Learn about the Brisbane River, its history and landmarks.
  • Listen to expert commentary about flying-foxes and wildlife along the Brisbane River.
  • Meet on-board orphaned bats and their carers.
  • Visit the Indooroopilly flying-fox camp at sunset and watch the flying-foxes leave on their nightly foraging expedition (flying-fox numbers vary and numbers cannot be guaranteed).
  • Buy souvenirs of your trip and wildlife books and gifts.

Eat and drink

Hot snacks can be purchased on-board. Tea and coffee, soft drinks and bar service available. (Please, no BYO alcohol or eskies.)

Find out more about the flying-fox species.

Pictures from the February 2019 Batty Boat Cruise

We got to meet a 3-week-old orphaned baby bat

Brisbane River

Cruising along the Brisbane River

Bats over the Brisbane River

Bats flying over the Brisbane River at sunset

Sunset on Batty Boat Cruise

Sun’s going down on the Brisbane River

Top deck of Batty Boat Cruise

Views from the top deck of MV Neptune

Brisbane City

Looking back towards Brisbane city







Written by Wildlifeqld