Venture into a coastal rainforest, stroll along waterside trails and study native and foreign plants at these beautiful botanical gardens.
Walk among the trees of a temperate rainforest, explore gardens filled with native plants and spot wildlife by the pond when you visit Tofino Botanical Gardens. The 12-acre (5-hectare) site is tucked away on the western coast of Vancouver Island. Its collections include plants from Chile and Japan and art installations.
A series of stone paths and boardwalks lead through the attractive grounds. Stop by the large cedar tree that's believed to be the oldest in the gardens. The tree serves as a host to numerous plant species which can be seen growing on its branches. Enjoy the scents in the herb garden and the bright colors of the flower garden.
As you make your way through the gardens, you will come across a number of wooden sculptures situated among the trees and shrubs. The highlights include the abstract Determined Woman and Cycladic Dancer.
Be sure to stop off at the pond where you may see ducks and frogs. Next to this small body of water is a wooden gazebo by local artist Jan Janzen. The lower part of the beautiful wooden structure was put together without using pegs, screws or nails.
Look at the plants brought over from forests in southern Chile. They closely resemble those on Vancouver Island but are from different plant families. The reason for the similarities is that the environmental conditions in both these places are the same.
From the center of the garden make your way to the expansive mud flats of Clayoquot Sound. Gaze out over the dark mud and water toward the tree-covered islands, including Meares Island.
Tofino Botanical Gardens is a 5-minute drive south of central Tofino and is open every day.
There is a small admission fee. Children under the age of 12 get in for free. On-site facilities include a café. For details and prices, visit the official website of the gardens.