If you're in the neighborhood of Butchart Gardens and you have some time and enjoy Butterfly's, Gardens and Birds, you may as well stop at Victoria Butterfly Gardens. It's undoubtable that this place sprung up because of the popularity of the famed Butchart Gardens but in it's own right it has value to warrant a visit.
Be advised that this place is not extraordinarily huge but it does have enough to keep you occupied for an hour or more if you enjoy taking in the what this place has to offer. The main attraction is the butterflies and they are plentiful. Not as many as I have seen at another Butterfly Conservatory at Niagara Falls, ON but certainly more butterflies than you'd ever see on your own in nature. The true draw and value for the money is if you come on the weekends in the morning, that's where this place offers something you probably won't see anywhere else and that's the hatching of the butterflies from their cocoons.
Every week they bring in hundreds upon hundreds of cocoons of different types to be hatched and they centralize them all in one area behind glass so you can enjoy the miracles of butterfly birth. Be advised that it's not a guarantee that you will witness these miracles but come in when it opens in the morning on Saturday or Sunday and you will certainly increase your chances. To say the least, it's pretty darn cool!
Outside of the butterflies there are the gardens themselves which are nice, a little overgrown in some areas which is disappointing since this is part of the attraction but very nice otherwise. They have a sort of river/pond as well which is home to a couple flamingos, a plethora of koi fish, ducks and turtles. The pond is very nice and there's always some activity to keep you occupied with multiple view points of it.
You also can find a couple of huge turtles, the species of which I do not recall but one is very large and the second is just a tad smaller than the first. There are also parrot type birds perched/flying around which adds to the atmosphere.
For the most part, we love it. We even bought season passes which are good for a year from purchase which was worth it for us because they cost the same as 2 one day passes. My only gripe, and it's a small one, is the smell of the fruit they leave hanging on plates for the butterfly. It more often than not reeks in the area the fruit is hanging. A few feet away the smell isn't noticeable and it's not like there's rotten fruit hanging every square foot but it's enough for me always to make a face when I happen to be in the area. It's a small gripe but worth mentioning.
Apart from that we thoroughly enjoy this attraction and anyone who enjoys butterfly's, gardens, birds and/or reptiles would enjoy making this stop while visiting Victoria, BC.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 18, 2012
I love reading this type of review. What makes it stand out for me is that while you enjoyed your stay you have made some great comments that we can act on to make the Jungle an even better experience. I noticed you visited in December during a time of the year when we opened longer hours to create an evening lights display as well. We are now cleaning the fruit tray (feeding stations for some of the butterflies) more frequently but we have to be careful as the fermenting fruit is the favorite meals of some the butterflies.
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As well, this was the first year for us to be open year round and we are eager to learn what we did right and what we needs to be improved. We are in the midst of pruning the jungle and getting ready for March Morpho Madness. Hope you are able to visit and see the spectacular display of up to 1000 Blue Morphos.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.