Julie Jones is the brains behind Have Wheelchair Will Travel, a family travel blog which features tips and tricks on accessible travel. Julie and her family stayed as guests of Reflections Holiday Parks Urunga.
Coffs Harbour Butterfly House was the first stop on our tour of the Coffs Harbour area. Although the Butterfly House is the main attraction, I knew our kids would especially love the maze.
The Butterfly House offers visitors the opportunity to stroll amongst hundreds of live Australian butterflies in an indoor subtropical rainforest setting.
Kids will love spotting the beautiful butterflies and if they’re lucky like BJ, they may have one or two land on them.
Naturally it’s warm in the rainforest area so you can come and go as need be and I suggest you wear layers in winter so you don’t overheat.
Although the kids will enjoy chasing the butterflies there’s an educational opportunity here. Shhhh! Don’t tell them and they’ll be so fascinated they won’t even realise.
Staff are friendly and helpful, happily explaining the life cycle of a butterfly and answering any curly questions the kids come up with. It was great to see the various stages of the cycle, including some butterflies who had just emerged that morning. Their wings still so wet they were unable to fly.
Vases of flowers and nectar trays are at a good height for little kids and wheelchair users. These attract the butterflies to locations around the walkway for easy viewing
The yes/no quiz at the end of the trail is another way of getting the kids involved and helping them learn more about the butterflies.
Armed with a question sheet and pencil we headed to the maze to test our butterfly knowledge while finding our way to the centre of the maze.
Kids could be heard excitedly making their way around the maze and parents like me could be heard groaning as I came across yet another dead end. As much as I love the concept of a maze, I’m pretty hopeless at finding my way to the end.
Lucky for me I was with a few maze experts and we made it to the centre where yet another puzzle needed to be unraveled.
Kids return their completed quiz to the shop for marking. A lollipop is the reward for correct answers.
The path within the maze is crushed compact gravel. I’m always dubious about gravel but this was fine and didn’t cause the wheelchair any problems.
We found this an easy activity to do with BJ’s wheelchair with a level concrete pathway leading us around the compact butterfly enclosure. Everything is at a good height to see.
The door width to the butterfly house was ample for BJ’s manual wheelchair but may not suit all chairs. There’s an alternate wider doorway for any large power chairs or wheelchairs which won’t fit through the main entrance.
It was a beautiful sunny day when we visited so I was keen to sit outside at the café. It was a bit tricky on the grass with the wheelchair but there’s plenty of indoor seating with good access inside. BJ gives the scones a big thumbs up and he is a scone connoisseur who has taste tested many a scone in his time.
A stand-alone unisex accessible bathroom is available.
The butterflies are at their most active on a sunny day between 10-2pm.
It’s a bit of a push uphill from the maze back to the entrance if you’ve parked close to the top. If this is a problem it may be wise to check out the butterfly house, gift shop and café and then move your car closer to the maze entrance.
You can read more about Coffs Harbour Butterfly House here.
We were guests of Coffs Harbour Butterfly House but as always our opinions are our own. We had a lovely time eating scones, spotting butterflies and learning lots about butterflies.