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Royal BC Museum

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Royal BC Museum Victoria BC



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Natural History Gallery

Located on the second floor of the Royal BC Museum, the Natural History Gallery is a captivating exhibition taking visitors on a journey through the remarkable landscapes and ecosystems of British Columbia. Life size displays are sure to impress as you lear about BC’s breathtaking forest and marine life.

Ice Age

The Green House-Ice House gallery at the Royal BC Museum takes visitors on a captivating journey through time, showcasing the contrasting climates and diverse life forms that once existed in British Columbia. The gallery provides a vivid glimpse into the region’s history, from the subtropical past of Vancouver Island with palm and ammonite fossils to the chilling Ice Age landscape complete with a life-size mammoth. Fossil displays and murals depict the rise and fall of global temperatures, the presence of mega-fauna during the Pleistocene Era, and the glacial landscapes of Victoria’s alpine meadows. This immersive experience allows visitors to touch life-size replicas of fossils and gain a deeper understanding of the Earth’s dynamic past.

Coastal Forests

Walk through the domed room surrounded by towering Sitka spruces, Douglas firs, and western redcedars, the exhibit showcases the remarkable biodiversity sustained by heavy rain and proximity to the mild ocean waters. From the warm, dry hills of Vancouver Island to the misty, cool northlands of Haida Gwaii, the display captures the region’s unique ecosystems. Efforts are underway to restore and protect endangered species found exclusively in these forests, highlighting the importance of preserving these magnificent landscapes.

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In the next room, visit marine life found along British Columbia’s rugged seashores. Visitors can peer into tidepools and witness various creatures, from colourful anemones and snails to urchins and sea stars, as they compete for food and shelter while avoiding predators. The exhibit continues along the outer coast, highlighting the unique adaptations of plants and animals to the harsh and rapidly changing wind and temperature conditions. One notable species featured is the awe-inspiring Northern sea lion, the largest of the “eared” seals, with males reaching lengths of up to four metres and weight exceeding 1,000 kg.

Fraser River Delta

Stroll along the boardwalk at the Fraser River Delta, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of this extraordinary ecosystem. As the largest estuary on North America’s Pacific coast, the delta offers a rare and diverse habitat for a wide array of plant and animal species. The region is teeming with biodiversity, attracting millions of migrating birds and fish annually.

Explore this unique area’s geography, geology, and ecology, and enhance your bird-watching skills with field guides and binoculars. Learn about the delta’s ever-changing landscape, shaped by geological forces and impacted by agriculture, industry, and urban development. The Fraser River Delta promises a captivating experience highlighting the delicate balance between nature and human activity in this remarkable ecosystem.

Ocean Station

Embark on an extraordinary journey into the underwater world off British Columbia’s coast as you step into a Victorian-era submarine exhibit. From the control room, marvel at the underwater sea cliff that stretches from floor to ceiling or use the portholes to witness the vibrant energy of a kelp bed.

Engage in your own marine biology research by exploring cabinets filled with meticulously preserved museum specimens, including corals, crabs, shells, and sea stars. Observe animals like barnacles, hermit crabs, sea squirts, and fish thriving in the 360-litre aquarium. Before resurfacing, don’t forget to peer through the periscope for a chance to spot any mythical sea monsters lurking in the depths.

Traveling Exhibits

Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia

June 2, 2023 – January 14, 2024

Angkor Cambodia Royal BC museumFeaturing 120 breathtaking artworks and original artifacts from ancient Angkor, making their first-ever appearance in Canada. Delve into the wonders of this historic site as you witness the groundbreaking research conducted by Cambodian scientists using modern technology, continuously expanding our understanding of this remarkable civilization.

Learn about the ancient world of Angkor, a bustling community teeming with skilled craftsmen, influential rulers, and a specialized priesthood. With a remarkable collection of original objects from the UNESCO site and engaging interactive displays, audio clips, and films, this exhibition brings to life the grandeur and complexity of this vast metropolis.

Dinosaurs of BC

April 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Uncover the prehistoric wonders of British Columbia as you delve into a fascinating exhibition showcasing the dinosaurs that once roamed the province’s highest peaks, dense forests, and remote river basins. Led by the research efforts of the Royal BC Museum’s palaeontology team, this exhibit reveals the abundance of ancient creatures that once inhabited these lands. Follow in the footsteps of mighty tyrannosaurs and armoured Ankylosaurs, and meet Buster, the Iron Lizard of the Sustut River, who proudly represents the BC-born and bred dinosaurs. Despite its compact size of approximately 900 sq. ft., this exhibition packs a powerful punch, immersing visitors in the captivating world of prehistoric British Columbia.

SUE: The T. rex Experience

June 16, 2023 – January 7, 2024

SUE the T rex Royal BC museumISUE, is the most complete and exceptionally preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. Embark on a journey through Hell Creek, South Dakota, a meticulously documented ecosystem from the age of dinosaurs. Discover the remarkable story of how SUE defied the challenges and perils of their world, living to old age against all odds. Walk alongside a larger-than-life mural depicting SUE’s ancient habitat. Engage your senses as you feel their textured skin, catch a whiff of their breath, and witness the epic face-off between SUE and their formidable nemesis, the Triceratops. Prepare to be amazed by the unmatched uniqueness of SUE, leaving you with a deep appreciation for its remarkable existence.

Old Town at Royal BC Museum

Take a journey through time as you stroll down the streets of BC’s towns and cities. From the wooden block roads to the magnificent hotel modelled after Nanaimo’s Royal Hotel in 1890, you can experience the history firsthand. Port Moody’s train station and the offices of coal and lumber tycoons offer a glimpse into the past.

Old Town has a new approach that represents an exciting shift towards a more inclusive and diverse approach to storytelling. With a commitment to accuracy, respect, and collaboration, this revitalised space invites visitors to explore BC’s communities’ rich history and experiences.


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Shoreline at Parkinson Beach
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Parkinson Beach

Tide pools like Botanical Beach but without the crowds, Parkinsons Creek Trail leads to a shoreline that’s an excellent alternative.
The View from the Loss Creek Suspension bridge high in the air looking out at the Juan de Fuca Strait
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Loss Creek Suspe...

Access to the Loss Creek Suspension Bridge taking you down through the forest along the Juan de Fuca Trail
Looking down at French Beach from the point at Priest Cabin Park
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Priest Cabin Par...

A spectacular view looking over French Beach and the ruins of a cabin built by a Jesuit Priest

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Original Author:

Modified: September 23, 2023
Last Visit: August 11, 2023
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Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey!
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We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

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