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Brisbane’s Butterfly Sanctuaries A Guide for Tourists

Brisbane’s Butterfly Sanctuaries: A Guide for Tourists 

Did you know that there are more than 160 species of butterflies in the Brisbane area? 

This is no surprise since the city’s biodiversity is one of the best in Australia, making it the perfect place for butterflies to grow and flourish.

So, if you’re visiting Brisbane, make sure to stop by one of these beautiful butterfly sanctuaries to experience a close encounter with these colorful creatures.

An Introduction to Butterflies in Brisbane

Brisbane is a city where butterflies aflutter, thanks to its rich natural landscapes and good weather for most of the year.

In the summer months, you’ll see hundreds of butterflies migrating to the city and flying around public spaces like parks, wetlands and nature parks.

Some of the most popular butterfly species include the beautiful yellow Lemon Migrant, the stunning Caper White and the striking Blue Tiger.

Several organizations in the city also work on preserving the natural habitats of these butterflies, which makes Brisbane especially attractive for these beautiful species.

The Best Butterfly Sanctuaries in Brisbane


Address: 206B First Avenue – Bongaree – Queensland 4507 – Australia

Contact details: +61 459 104 174

Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Sunday and Wednesday only)


  • Adults – AUD 12
  • Students and seniors – AUD 10
  • Children 4-15 years old – AUD 7
  • Family Package – AUD 34

A one-hour drive to the northern part of Brisbane will take you to Bribie Island Butterfly House in Moreton Bay.

This beautiful butterfly sanctuary and breeding facility was opened in 2017 as part of the effort to preserve the different species of butterflies in Brisbane.

The site of the sanctuary was donated by the Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Bribie Butterfly Volunteers Inc. transformed it into the facility that it is today.

Bribie Island Butterfly House is now home to more than 1,000 butterflies that fly freely and safely in the facility’s outdoor sanctuary. 

It also has a breedling lab where butterflies breed, lay eggs and go through their life cycle. Here, you can see volunteers working in the viewing area to get a better understanding of what they do. 

One of the highlights of your visit to the Bribie Island Butterfly House is the beautiful tunnel where you can watch a video showing the life of a Monarch butterfly.

What makes this experience special is that once you emerge through the tunnel, you’ll be welcomed to the beautiful sanctuary where you get to be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies.

Pro tip: The sanctuary can get busy in the morning. So, if you want to visit at a quieter time, do it early in the afternoon when the site is less crowded.

Wear a colorful shirt and hat to attract the butterflies inside the sanctuary.


Address: 28 Petrie Creek Road – Rosemount – Queensland – Australia  

Contact details: 0402 690 447

Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Wednesday to Sunday)


  • Adults – AUD 8.50
  • Children 3-15 years old – AUD 5.50
  • Children under 3 are FREE

Located in Nambour, Butterfly Hill is a hidden gem on a residential street! But despite its rather obscure location, it’s definitely worth a visit! 

This sanctuary has been in the area since 1967. It’s a privately owned business that lets you get up close and personal with different species of butterflies.

Being in Butterfly Hill is truly a personal experience because the owners themselves will show you around the facility.

The butterfly house has a nursery where you’ll see butterflies breeding and laying eggs. From here, you’ll see the caterpillars go through metamorphosis.

You even get the chance to meet species of butterflies so tiny that they’ll sure to give you a challenge! Because of their small size and ability to camouflage their surroundings, it can be hard to spot them!

Pro tip: Butterfly Hill only has limited parking, so make sure to go early. You may also park across the road if there’s no parking available anymore.

Make sure to stop by the small gift shop where you can buy souvenirs like cards, clothes, wall art and jewelry inspired by butterflies.


Address: Market Street – Carrara – Queensland 4211 – Australia

Contact details: +61 424 647 102

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Saturday and Sunday only)


  • Adults – AUD 9
  • Children – AUD 7
  • Family – AUD 25

A small but special sanctuary that will surely make you fall in love with butterflies and plants, Gold Coast Butterflies is located in Carrara Markets.

Owned and run by conservationist Josephine Romeo, this sanctuary was created to offer a place for people to learn more about butterflies and their role in our environment. 

Stepping inside the butterfly house, you’ll see a wide array of plants and flowers that provide the right habitat for the beautiful butterflies to grow.

You’ll find that the butterflies in this sanctuary are quite shy at first. But once they warm up to you, they’ll surely start flying and showcasing their beauty right before your eyes. 

In fact, a lot of these butterflies land on visitors for a few seconds, so you get the chance to really see them up close and even take a photo. Look out for the Monarch, Varied Eggfly and Cruiser butterfly species for their big wings and stunning colors. 

The best part about visiting Gold Coast Butterflies is that all of its proceeeds will go towards butterfly conservation and research projects. This means that you’re not just having fun with the family but also helping to preserve these beautiful winged creatures.

You can also purchase plants to take home, especially if you also want to attract butterflies into your property.

Pro tip:If you want to make the experience more special, you can do a private booking with Gold Coast Butterflies, especially for events and special occasions.


Address: 5 Strouds Road – Bonville NSW 2450 – Australia

Contact details: +61 2 6653 4766

Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Daily except Monday)


  • Adult – AUD 25
  • Concession – AUD 22
  • Children 3-16 years old –  AUD 12.50
  • Family – AUD 65
  • Extra child – AUD 7

Coffs Harbour Butterfly House is one of the area’s most popular attractions. Here, you get to enjoy being close with Australian butterflies in a beautiful rainforest setting.

This beautiful sanctuary is unique because of its beautiful glass house that’s decorated with fairies. There’s also a dinosaur forest with an outdoor maze where you get to “meet” baby dinosaurs.

Coffs Harbour Butterfly House is a great place for the kids to learn all about butterflies, dinosaurs and other animals in a safe and relaxing setting.

And if you ever get hungry, stop by the sanctuary’s cafe where you can indulge in comfort food classics for snacks, lunch or afternoon tea.

Of course, a visit to the gift shop is a must, so you can shop for souvenirs to bring back home to family and friends. 

You’ll surely want to share your great experience at the Coffs Butterfly House with them, right?

Pro tip:This sanctuary is especially designed for kids, so prepare the little ones for a lot of exploring by dressing them comfortably and bringing water to keep them hydrated.

Go to the sanctuary as soon as they open, so you can get front row seats at the daily dinosaur show.

The Queensland Museum – Butterfly Collection 


Address: Grey Street and Melbourne Street – South Brisbane – Queensland 4101 – Australia

Contact details: +61 7 3153 3000

Operating hours: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Daily)


  • Free

The Queensland Museum is one of Brisbane’s most popular places for culture and history. Located in South Bank, the museum has been the home of many exhibitions that highlight the different aspects of Australian culture.

One of its latest exhibits is “The Butterfly Man of Kuranda: The Dodd Collection.”

This impressive exhibit features one of the most extraordinary displays of insects, especially butterflies, that you’ll find anywhere in the country. 

For a limited time, this collection that’s curated and preserved by the Dodd family will be showcased in the museum. The Butterfly Man of Kuranda: The Dodd Collection” features butterflies and insects from the early 1900s until the 1960s.

When visiting the museum, you can browse through 42 beautiful showcases collected and handpicked by the great F.P. and A.P. Dodd with their passion for these insects.

This collection will be displayed in three rotations with each exhibition featuring nine display cases at a time.

The Butterfly Man of Kuranda: The Dodd Collection has been running since 28 July 2023 and will be in the museum until 14 April 2024. 

The museum also has an online exhibition featuring the same collection if you can’t visit the museum. 

Pro tip:
The museum doesn’t allow any backpacks or luggage, food and drinks inside the premises to help preserve its collection.

Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden

Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden

Image source: Eva Blue on Unsplash

If visiting these butterfly sanctuaries inspired you to learn more about butterflies and have them often in your garden, we got you covered with these simple tips:

  • Learn about the butterflies in your area

Different areas have different varieties of butterflies. When you know which species are local in your area, it’s easier to find ways to attract them and take care of them.

  • Leave food around

One of the easiest ways to attract butterflies is with food. Adult butterflies are easily attracted to nectar, which they usually find in flowers.

So, if your garden still doesn’t have a lot of flowers, choose nectar-rich varieties like Zinnia, Butterfly Weed, Lavender and Butterfly Bush. Planting these during the summer and spring will surely bring more butterflies into your garden.

If you have fruit trees in your backyard, you can leave the fallen fruits on the ground. The sweet smell of rotting apples, berries and pears are irresistible to butterflies, so leaving them out will surely make them come to your garden.

Some homeowners even buy fruit and leave them out to rot just to attract butterflies to stay in their property.

  • Create a warm environment

Butterflies love to stay in warm places so be strategic with where you put your plants and flowers. Choose areas in your garden where the sun hits the most and create flower beds where you can place your nectar-rich flowers.

By doing this, you can encourage butterflies to stay in your garden even when the weather gets cooler since they can thrive because they have access to food.

Make sure that your plants and flowers are well hydrated and maintained, so that butterflies have a consistent supply of food that they need for energy and survival.

  • Keep things organic

You might be tempted to use pesticide to get rid of insects and pests in your garden, but that can also deter butterflies. It’s best to avoid pesticides and use natural ways to get rid of pests and harmful insects from your garden.

  • Let the weeds grow

Caterpillars are important in the life cycle of butterflies and moths, and we already know these creatures love weeds.

So, while you have to maintain your garden to attract butterflies, you can let some of your grass grow on the edges to support the growth of caterpillars.

  • Use window boxes if you have limited space

Of course, if you don’t have a large backyard or garden, you can still attract butterflies to your property by making use of window boxes.

A lot of homeowners plant nectar-rich flowers in window boxes and plant boxes that they place on the deck, so they can invite butterflies to visit their property.

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