Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda

Must see · Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
Wear bright colors to entice butterflies to land on you at Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, situated in the heart of the city. This popular aviary is home to more than 1,500 tropical butterflies indigenous to Australia. Its impressive collection has it earned a spot in the Guinness Book of Records as the country's largest butterfly exhibit. The sanctuary rears only butterflies native to Australia, and the adjoining lab breeds about 30,000 caterpillars each year. Many visitors use a local trick of smearing honey on their hands to attract butterflies and then quickly snap photos before they take flight again. You can do that, or simply take a long walk along the sanctuary's many walkways, surrounded by flowers, trees, and hundreds of colorful insects. For travelers who use our world travel planner, Kuranda holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Australian Butterfly Sanctuary reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,341 reviews
  • How lovely having the butterflies fly around you. They are accustomed to people so they don’t fly away when you’re close  more »
  • Beautiful butterflies, enjoyed taking photos, need to take it slowly & enjoy the butterflies otherwise you could walk through the whole place in 5 minutes. We were given a 10% discount voucher at...  more »
  • What a gorgeous place! Lots of butterflies in the aviary for you to admire. On average a butterfly only lives one month, so their beauty is fleeting. Great education about life cycle from caterpillar....  more »
  • Excellent site to visit. Large array of butterflies and an active breeding program. Could have spent hours there as it was a beautiful and lovely setting. Kids loved it as well. Do yourself a favour and buy a combined ticket to enter Bird World just next door as they are both terrific venues. World class effort.
  • Australian Butterfly Sanctuary has been part of coming to Cairns and Kuranda for many years. It is a very simple, perfect way to show our native butterflies so well. It’s not fancy, over done, rather, it is a perfect environment for humans to interact with butterflies. The effort and manner they go to ensuring we can enjoy nature is the best. No visit to the area of Cairns is complete without going to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.
  • Brilliant!! The best part of Kuranda - kids loved it and VERY informative. Some of the butterflies are as big as dinner plates, and make sure you check out the caterpillar house, they’re monsters! The gift shop is reasonably priced and all the staff are friendly and helpful. Definitely worth the walk up there and a ‘must visit’ next time you’re there...!
  • Was one of the highlights of visiting Kuranda, spent about 2 hours just wandering around the sanctuary. Made me feel like a kid again and was a lovely experience. We followed one of the guided tours for a bit and it was informative and well presented with funny stories and facts. Would definitely recommend it, make sure to allocate some time to visit the lab there and after leaving the main sanctuary area there is a large butterfly collection that is worth a look.
  • A breathtaking collection of beautiful butterflies of many varieties, sizes and colours. The information plaques were helpful and interesting. The tour guide was informative and the lab section kept clean and thorough care for the butterflies and their life cycles. The display case section towards the end was a nice touch to give an upfront look at all different kinds of butterflies. Well recommended as part of your tourist travels through Kuranda.

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