The Pacific Undersea Gardens is located at the Inner Harbour in the heart of downtown Victoria. The Gardens is owned and operated by the Oak Bay Marine Group.
The Pacific Undersea Gardens is a 150-foot vessel that was built on the waters of the Inner Harbour. People visiting the site have to walk down the stairs and descend to 15 feet beneath the ocean to look through the many viewing windows of the aquariums that surround the vessel and see the various marine life of coastal British Columbia
, in their natural and protected environment.
The Gardens also have a tidal pond full of Sea Stars
and Sea Anemones
, which is intended to be a fun and educational experience where visitors are allowed to gently touch the animals.
Located at the end of the 150-foot vessel of the Undersea Gardens is the Undersea Theatre. In the theatre, seating is provided where visitors can sit down and watch the show from the viewing windows of the aquarium. In the actual show, a guide will welcome you and narrate the show to explain the different wildlife in the aquarium.
A diver is also in the show with an equipped full-face communication mask in the water to guide you, as well, and handle the different animals that are in the theatre aquarium such as Crabs, Sea Urchins, Sea Stars, Sea Anemones, Cabezon, Lingcod. However, the two main attractions of the theatre are the Wolf Eels and a Giant Pacific Octopus named "Armstrong". The Undersea Theatre runs throughout the day and are 20 minutes long, making the daily total tour time to be around 45 to 60 minutes.
Marine Life and Exhibits
The Pacific Undersea Gardens houses more than 5,000 different species of British Columbia's marine life. The different marine life at the Gardens include different types of fish
, Crabs, Sea Stars, Sea Anemones, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers, Scallops, Wolf Eels and the Giant Pacific Octopus.
In one exhibit, fish, such as the Red Snapper, Rock Fish, Cabezon, Lingcod, Greenlings, Sculpins, Perch and Halibut, swim through the kelp forest, as they are surrounded by different Sea Stars, Anemones and Crabs.
In another exhibit, there is a school of about a thousand Pacific Salmon as they swim along the ruins of a sunken ship. In this exhibit the actual life cycle of the salmon takes place as they lay eggs and give birth to young.
In addition, there is another exhibit that is surrounded by a ghostly gardens of white and crimson Anemones. Amongst the surrounding anemones, there is the ferocious looking Wolf Eel as it lurks around the ocean and gliding through the reef is the Giant Pacific Octopus, which is the largest octopus in the world.
Every year, the Pacific Undersea Gardens and their volunteers get organized to start their annual Clean-Up of Victoria's Inner Harbour. The volunteers include the Pacific Navy Fleet
Diving Unit, the Coast Guard Auxiliary
35 Unit and the area's local divers. This operation takes months to organize, but is usually done within two hours. During the diving expedition to clean up the harbour, divers once removed about a hundred pounds of garbage. Some of the garbage has included suitcases
, bicycles, tires
, boat batteries, cell-phones
and a toilet