The Bali Butterfly Park is not one of Bali’s well known tourist attractions, but if you have kids that would be interested in that sort of thing, like we do, it’s a worthwhile trip to do.
It was our first long drive away from Ubud, and with Clare driving and Rob navigating, we made it without too much hassle. We arrived after taking only one wrong turn – right at the entrance to the park. The huge entrance sign indicated a left turn down a well-formed road, but as we were driving along this road and then through a village, we became concerned that there was no other sign of an entrance! We stopped to ask a local who advised us with a smirk that we had turned down the wrong road. On returning to the entrance sign we realised the road to take was the dodgy gravel road running parallel to the first one we took. An easy mistake to make.
The entrance to the park was clean and well maintained, a newish building with a large carpark. The entrance fee was not too bad – adults $8.50, children $4, under 5 free.
The butterflies are situated in a large enclosed area of paths criss-crossing lovely established gardens with bridges and ponds, and lots of butterflies fluttering around under the netting. They claim to be the biggest butterfly park in Asia, though we have been to similar sized ones in Malaysia.
There were plenty of butterflies around. We had been told to arrive in the morning when the newly hatched butterflies take to the sky.
The main path lead us directly into the hatching chamber, where there were rows and rows of cocoons all pegged up waiting to be hatched. There were also lots of ‘baby’ butterflies that the host would place on your clothing or body to experience. (Baby seems a weird term for something that only lives for maximum 2 weeks).
Olive was right in there begging for the biggest one to be placed upon her, she loved it. We all had a turn, except Casper who was a bit too scared of them. When they crawl on your skin it feels very ‘creepy’, especially the really large one, as its legs are as big as a large spider and felt very tickly on the skin. Olive went back several times to have more turns.
Our next stop was the insect platform. This park is not just about butterflies, they also have displays of insects such as beetles, leaf insects, stick insects, scorpions and spiders. These were also extremely large specimens! Olive again was first in , with Jetson reluctantly saying yes. Casper still a resounding NO!
Olive was very courageous and was happy to have insects put on her. The leaf insect was not quite in disguise on her dotty dress. She also had a large stick insect placed on her, something her mum would never do after her experience of the Canberra stick insect plague of 2001.
We wandered around the gardens some more, going through the cave of nocturnal creatures – which was only half full , watching the butterflies mate (this can take 8 hours – that’s about a 20th of their life, that’s like a human mating for 3 and a half years!) so there are many in this position.
As you leave there is a museum to go through, which has the obligatory display of insects. Nice to see, but not amazing. And of course a shop selling butterfly and insect jewellery!
There is a very average warung at the very end, so if you want lunch, I would suggest bringing your own, or trying somewhere else. We went back to the main town of Tanbanan, but there were limited options there anyway.
All in all it was rather a fun and memorable outing for the kids, as well as the adults. It’s not every day you get to have a giant beetle sit on your head!
How to get there:
Address: Jalan Batukaru, Banjar Sandan lebah, Wanasari village, Tabanan
Most visitors to Bali would get a driver or go on a tour to take them to the Butterfly park, so you don’t need directions. If you are driving yourself, don’t rely on Googlemaps, as it locates the park in the wrong place. It is best to locate Wanasari village on the map, which is 5 km north of Tabanan town centre on the road to Mount Batukaru. There is a big sign at the entrance to the park at the northern end of the village.