The Bribie Island Butterfly House
No insect in this world is more loved by humans, especially kids, than butterflies. We are so enamoured of these colourful and delicate creatures that some people go out of their way to create sanctuaries to protect and breed them. One such destination, the Bribie Island Butterfly House, has recently opened after a 10-year journey by founders, Ray and Delphine Archer.
A labour of love and run entirely by volunteers with all profits going to charity, the Butterfly House has taken many different forms before landing at its current location on Bribie Island. First established in 2013, it has undergone a stunning transformation and is now looking to become a tourist destination for locals and visitors to the Moreton Bay region.
The Bribie Island Butterfly House Tour – A Review
When we arrived at the Bribie Island Butterfly House, we were warmly welcomed by Mr Ray and given a guided tour of the faciity, including the breeding lab. We were told the land where the butterfly house stood was donated by the local council, and, with more and more people visiting the butterfly house, it was expected to become a tourist attraction for the Bribie Island area.
Inside the butterfly house, there were so many butterflies flying and flowers blooming, even in winter, that the whole place felt like straight out of the pages of the fairy tale book. My son was excited to be surrounded by so many beautiful butterflies, which even in the warmer months in Brisbane he would rarely experience. The Bribie Island Butterfly House is not only home to native butterflies but also hosts many non-native species. We saw Birdwing and Orange Lacewing butterflies that were native to north Queensland on our visit. For our Brisbane Kids, those butterflies were normally only ever seen on TV or in a museum, and having live ones flying in front of them is quite a unique experience.
All butterflies at the Bribie Island Butterfly House are captive bred, so they are so used to people around them that we had to be very careful not to step on them when they were lazily sunbathing on the pathway. If your kids act very gently and slowly, it is almost guaranteed butterflies will land on their heads, shoulders or fingers, creating opportunities for great photos, so be prepared for such moments. It is also important to let your kids know that the butterfly house is not a playground to run around in, and to educate them to respect all forms of life, big and small.
Outside the butterfly house, there was a picnic area for visitors to rest and enjoy a quick bite. I didn’t find any shops near the butterfly house where you could buy food so I recommend that you prepare enough food for a whole day outing to avoid spending time searching for food on the island, especially if you are not familiar with the place.
It was a great experience visiting the butterfly house and we enjoyed every minute of it. To me, the highlight of this visit was something that I completely didn’t expect and caught me off guard, which I would like to share with you… The life span of a butterfly is only a few weeks. My son found a number of dead butterflies lying on the ground, which made him pretty sad. He just turned 5 at the time, and couldn’t really understand why such beautiful creatures had to die. I thought it was an opportunity to explain the concept of life and death to him. I did my best trying to let him know that death is an inescapable eventuality of every living thing on earth, including humans, and we should treat it respectfully and peacefully. I wasn’t sure how much he would understand, but at least it was a good start.
The visit to the Bribie Island Butterfly House was well worth the 1.5 hours drive from Brisbane and if you are a big fan of insects like me, you will definitely revisit it later because in different seasons different species of butterflies will be present.
Planning your day at the Bribie Island Butterfly House – what to expect
The friendly butterfly house ‘flight attendants’ will take you on a tour of the facility and explain the life cycle of a butterfly and share other interesting facts. You will even get to see the breeding laboratory. The butterflies live in a 24-metre-long tunnel house covered in shade cloth. Visitors are welcome to look around and enjoy the fluttering butterflies after their tour.
The Butterfly House welcomes new volunteers and offers a Butterfly Breeding Workshop so you can work in their breeding laboratory. In the wild, butterflies can lay up to 100 eggs. Of these eggs, there may only be two that grow to a mature butterfly. At the Butterfly House, their breeding success rate is close to 85 per cent.
You can also purchase plants at The Butterfly House to attract butterflies to your garden at home. The Bribie Island Butterfly House website gives you heaps of instructions on how to care for your butterfly-attracting plant.
- Butterflies are insects
- A butterfly’s life cycle is made up of four parts: egg (ova), caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), and butterfly (adult)
- Butterflies attach their eggs to leaves with special glue
- They mostly fly during the day
- A butterfly’s wings are made up of tiny scales
Bribie Island Butterfly House Visitor Information
The Bribie Island Butterfly House is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10am – 4pm.
Entry fees are as follows –
- Adults – $12
- Pens/Conc – $10
- Child (4-15) – $7
- Family (2A+2C) – $34
The Butterfly House is located at 208 First Avenue, Bongaree, on Bribie Island. Bribie Island is located 70km (approx. 1-hour drive) from Brisbane CBD. Take the Caboolture exit and follow the signs to Bribie Island. Once you’re on the island, turn right on Goodwin Drive which leads to First Avenue. Look out for the Butterfly House signs. https://www.bribieislandbutterflyhouse.org/