The Tofino Botanical Gardens is a Nature Lover’s Delight

Parks & Gardens

One of the marvels of the West Coast of Vancouver Island is the Tofino Botanical Gardens. This 12 acre garden is more that just flowers – it is gardens  set in a temperate rainforest plus art work – all attractively integrated.
As you can wander down the paths and boardwalks watch for the edible gardens, botanical plans, ponds and a restaurant.

The gardens run from the their Pacific Rim Highway entrance to the Tofino Inlet mudflats. You will experience all that the Pacific Rim is famous for – magnificent forest, beautiful gardens and amazing waterfront.

The Gardens abut over 60 acres of forested reserve and the shoreline is next to 5,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat including an important shorebird section.

Tofino Botanical Gardens

The Tofino Botanical Gardens, a rainforest and shoreline garden, are the gateway to the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

There are approximately 1km (two-thirds of a  mile) of boardwalks and paths along the waterfront on the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area. It is short walk from there to the sandy beaches of the open Pacific Ocean.

Visitors can enjoy the great scenery as well as get an appreciation of the conservation goals and history of the Gardens as well as Clayoquot Sound. The art is interesting and counterpoints the gardens and forests.

The Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation, a registered charity, operates educational programs and provides information about conservation of the temperate rainforest.

Clayoquot Sound

Clayoquot Sound is a magnificent wilderness area on West Coast of Vancouver Island encompassing both land and water.  Just the land portion is 265,000 hectares (1,000 square miles) and represents about 8% of all of Vancouver Island.

Most of the Sound is forest wilderness and ocean which attracts some one million tourists each year.  In 2000, Clayoquot Sound was designated as a United Nations Biosphere Reserve recognizing the Sound’s unique ecosystem and our relationship to it.

Clayoquot” — pronounced KLAK-wot — the name of one of the First Nations tribes who inhabit the area.

Darwin’s Café

Darwin’s Cafe is open daily and is licensed. You can utilize the cafe for events, meetings and weddings.

Children’s Garden

Following the boardwalks and paths you will encounter:

  • The Café and Gift shop
  • Flower and medicinal herb gardens
  • Kitchen garden on the south side to get maximum sunlight
  • A duck pond
  • The frog pond
  • The Children’s Garden – great fun for the youngsters. Adults are allowed if they are accompanied by a child.
  • Pocket gardens in a cleared forest area

Wooden Salmon Troller

As part of the Gardens, there is the Evian, a dry-docked 37’ wooden salmon troller typical of the boats plying the waters of the west coast.  You also get a great view from its decks.

Old Growth Tree Area

The boardwalk takes you through an old growth tree area. Amongst the towering forest are three Western Red Cedars,  affectingly known as the “Three Elders”.

Directions to Tofino Botanical Gardens

Just a mile from the town of Tofino.

Flying from Vancouver: 1 Hour

Tofino Air has daily service to and from the Tofino Harbour and Vancouver (YVR). Orca Air has daily service to and from the Tofino Airport (YAZ) and Vancouver (YVR).

Driving from Nanaimo: 2.5 hours

Drive north from Nanaimo, which is a major BC Ferry destination, on Highway 19 for about 30 minutes to the Qualicum Beach exit, exit west onto Highway 4 . Once in Port Alberni, follow the signs to Tofino. Stay on the highway to Tofino. Once you pass Beaches Grocery and Live to Surf Shop on the right, watch for the sign on a gazebo to your right.

Contact Info:

Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation
1084 Pacific Rim Highway,  (Mail to PO Box 886), Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 Canada
Telephone: (250) 725 1220  Fax: (250) 725 2435  Email:

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Image Credit:

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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