Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

CaPTA stands for Cairns and Port Trips and Attractions (or more affectionately known as Charlie and Pip’s Trips and Attractions) and employs over 200 staff across the group. The group consists of Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Cairns Koalas & Creatures, Jungle Tours & Trekking, Tropic Wings Cairns Tours & Charters, Rainforestation Nature Park, Wildlife Habitat, Careers Training Centre and ABC Sales & Maintenance. While CaPTA’s business focus is centred around tourism products, the group has expanded into tourism and indigenous training through the Careers Training Centre and more recently into Yutong coach sales, maintenance, service and parts through ABC Sales & Maintenance.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Our People

One of the key values of the CaPTA Group and Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is to cultivate a strong importance in delivering excellent customer service. Our staff are the pivotal contact with guests and the most important ingredient in making their experience special. Our focus on customer service and staff training through our CaPTAV8 program, supports every staff member in consistently delivering excellent customer service and educating them in the importance of having the right attitude and finding unique and creative ways to delight the guest. From the laboratory team to the tour guides, our staff have an important role to play in the success of our business which is why they are our most valuable asset.

Vision & Mission Statement


Trailblazers in nature based experiences.


A connection to, and pride in, people and place.


We develop and champion passionate people, innovation and the love of nature to deliver transformational moments.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Our History

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is part of the Woodward Family CaPTA Group, which was founded by Charles and Pip Woodward.

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary was established by Paul and Sue Wright and opened its doors in 1987.

In April 2004 the CaPTA Group purchased a 50% share of the business and in 2005 the laboratory was opened to the public. In July 2007, CaPTA acquired full ownership and today the attraction continues to be a much loved attraction to visitors locally, domestically and internationally.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Opens

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary was created by Paul and Sue Wright.

Guinness World Record

The park wins a Guinness World Record for the largest butterfly farm in the world.

The Woodwards Buy In

Charles and Pip Woodward purchased 50% ownership with Paul and Sue.

Breeding Laboratory Opened to Public

Providing the opportunity to view first hand through special viewing windows.

The CaPTA Group Acquires the Sanctuary

The CaPTA Group purchases the other 50% of the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and now have full ownership.

Butterfly Lovers Bridge and Gazebo Open

Creating iconic photographs.

New Fairy Garden & Food Plant Walk

New Fairy Garden opens and new Food Plant Walk established.

Gift Shop Renovation
Gift Shop Renovation

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Gift Shop receives a re-design.

New Wheelchair Ramp
New Wheelchair Ramp

A new ramp was installed to improve accessibility for wheelchair users. 

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Community Support

Both Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the CaPTA Group are committed to supporting local community and charity initiatives. The CaPTA Group holds the local community at its core and is proactive in sponsoring various sporting and community groups, as well as schools and the arts. We regularly participate in local community fundraising events, such as Carols by Candlelight and the Salvation Army Read Shied Appeal. We also frequently contribute prizes to local community fundraisers. Our staff are always encouraged to participate in community events to make Cairns and the Far North a better place.


Cairns Organisation United for Cancer Health (COUCH) was established by the founders of the CaPTA Group, Charles and Pip Woodward, in 2006. The charity has one core mission: to improve health care services for those in Cairns and Far North Queensland who have been diagnosed with cancer. COUCH’s initial fundraising and rallying resulted in the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre, which provides oncology services in Cairns. After this success, Charles and Pip realised their vision for a cancer wellness centre. Impressively, the COUCH Wellness Centre opened in 2019 on land donated by the Woodward family. You can donate to COUCH during your visit to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary by tossing a coin in the wishing well in our aviary stream. Don’t forget to make a wish! To find out more about COUCH and their mission, visit the website.