Vancouver Island: Victoria’s Inner Harbour Pacific Undersea Garden

Parks & Gardens Sight Seeing

There are numerous attractions filling Victoria’s Inner Harbour; museums, gardens, shops. I love this attraction because it has some of it all. It’s a museum and it’s a garden, and it has a gift shop.  It’s also underwater to boot: the Pacific Undersea Gardens: an interactive museum of marine animal life, which exists 15 feet under the surface of the Harbour. Located at the south west entrance of the Inner Harbour you board the vessel and find the Pacific Undersea Garden and marine animals swimming and playing in their natural environment.

There are numerous exhibits that are part of  Vancouver island’s Undersea Gardens, which showcases more than 5,000 different species of the marine life of British Columbia, which include Sea stars, Sea Anemones, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers, various beautifully colored and shaped fish and crustaceans, as well as showing the life cycle of the salmon (complete with laying eggs and giving birth to their young). Wolf Eels and the largest Giant Pacific Octopus in the world, named Armstrong are also an important part of the undersea festivities, and I understand Armstrong is quite the star.

The sea animals live safely in aquariums which are attached to the Pacific Underwater Garden  vessel and are observed through large viewing windows.  I like to think they know we’re there and that they enjoy putting on a show for us. Speaking of which, there is an underwater theatre stage where a marine dive show runs all day with each of the kinds of sea creatures being featured, some by the human divers.

The underwater dive show runs about 20 minuutes.  You can tour the facility enjoying the views and the interactive areas as long as you like. There is a sea pool area, which is similar to a “petting zoo” for marine life and there’s also a seal pup rehabilitation tank.  One could rush through this exhibit in short order, but I think you might be shortchanging yourself and the exhibit.  On average, it takes about 60-90 minutes to really see and enjoy this attraction and to get to know the critters. Rescuing and rehabilitating seal pups is a project that the Pacific Undersea Gardens is deeply committed to and at first glance into the eyes of one of these sweet little creatures , one can understand why.

Clearly this is a great place to bring the whole family and after you go through the exhibits, you can hit the The Treasure Cove Gift Shop and pick up marine-related toys and souvenirs for the folks back home.
Anyone for petting a seal pup?

For more information on Pacific Undersea Gardens

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Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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