Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
At the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, get an up-close look at the caterpillar breeding nursery. Here, you can see newly born butterflies before they’re released into the aviary and learn about the stages of development that lead to the birth of these colorful creatures. The sanctuary’s laboratory showcases efforts to keep the aviary well stocked. While just 2% of eggs survive in the wild, more than 80% mature here thanks to the on-site experts. In the museum, browse displays with different species from around the world.
Things to know before you go
- Guided tours are included in the admission fee but you are allowed to explore on your own.
- The butterflies are attracted to bright colors so wear bright-colored clothing to increase the chances of one landing on you.
- Food and sugary drinks are not allowed in the aviary as they can attract ants and other critters that may harm the butterflies.
- Save money with a ticket package that includes admission for up to four Cairns parks.
How to get there
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is located in the center of Kuranda at 8 Rob Veivers Drive, about a half-hour drive from Cairns. (Stop at the Henry Ross Lookout for a scenic view of Cairns and the coast on your way to the sanctuary.) There’s also a free shuttle that operates from the Kuranda Skyrail Terminal and the Kuranda Scenic Railway Station to the sanctuary.
When to get there
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is open daily from morning until late afternoon; it is closed on Christmas Day. It can get very warm during the summer in Cairns (December to February), so remember to bring water if you’re visiting then. April to September is considered the best time to visit the area.
What to See in Kuranda
A popular day trip from Cairns, the mountain town of Kuranda offers outdoor markets filled with handicrafts, as well as plenty of parks and nature preserves to explore. In addition to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, visitors can stop at the Kuranda Koala Gardens, the Reforestation Nature Park, and Birdworld Kuranda.
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