If you are coming for the butterflies, you’ve also come to the right place. The Greenhoose has been used as a base by many professional and amateur butterfly researchers to explore the adjacent Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park. Australian endemic butterflies, such as the Purple Swift, the Cape York Pearl-white and the Pale Cerulean, all call the Greenhoose home and if you are very lucky you may even encounter the endemic White-margined Moonbeam, the fast flying Blue-flash Skipper along with the elusive Harlequin Metalmark amongst others.
Butterfly observation is an opportunistic past time with butterfly diversity varying throughout the year and butterfly numbers being impacted by the previous season’s environmental conditions such as rainfall and temperature. If you’re looking for a specific butterfly species then it’s best to research what time of year is best to encounter them. Cape York experiences distinct weather seasons that are referred to as dry (May to November) and wet (December to April). Typically, just after the wet season, when road access into Lockhart River becomes passable, is the prime time for most butterfly enthusiasts, but be prepared for late afternoon storms that will put a dampener (pardon the pun) on butterfly observation activities. Air travel allows more cashed up butterfly enthusiasts to fly into Lockhart River during the wet season, the principle time of the year when certain butterfly species, like the Pied Blue, are more likely to be encountered.
Our regular butterfly researchers, Cliff Meyer, Stephen Brown and Richard Weir, have compiled a comprehensive checklist of butterflies recorded from the Lockhart region, including Iron Range, and also what has been recorded here at the Greenhoose. The lists are available here.