“Actually I didn’t even know there’d been an issue with flying foxes here and I believe they’ve gone,” the Sydneysider said.
“This is our second visit to the Kewarra Beach resort. We like the ambience and the layout, and the staff are so friendly.”
The resort’s mysterious bat infestation mysteriously disappeared, literally overnight.
“I just came in one Saturday and it was eerily quiet and I realised I could hear the birds because all the birds have come back,” reception manager Jane Crank said.
“It was incredible, I couldn’t believe it. It’s just been so blissfully quiet here; it’s amazing.”
About 400 flying foxes infiltrated paperbark forests around the resort late last year, about the same time Cairns Regional Council began excessive pruning of Moreton Bay figs in the CBD.
The resort consulted academics, biologists and scientists to fix the problem.
Rather than blaming council, they tried expensive environmentally friendly techniques to move the bats on, such as “smoking”, and had been approved to use drones.
The noise and mess were a nightmare for management with the animals turning guests away.
“Since then we’ve done a major clean-up and now the bats are gone and everything’s looking fabulous,” Mrs Crank said. “They used to be extremely noisy in the mornings around 5am, returning from their night time feeding but now everything’s tranquil again.”
In January, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection approved the resort to use drones to disperse bats.
It was a Queensland-first approval that didn’t have to be used in the end.
“But we were looking at an overview of if they weren’t to leave too soon, the way that we could minimise numbers,” resort general manager Mark Carrette said. “We’ve always worked with the bats on property.”
The resort has had a long-term, smaller colony of flying foxes living near a creek, well away from guests.