Butchart Gardens 2019

You always hear how beautiful this place is and how many people who have been there recommend it. Well, I need to reinforce that! I never really cared about going because I wasn’t into seeing flowers when I was younger, so I didn’t appreciate this place.

Obviously when I matured, I realized I missed out on seeing a Canadian National treasure, if not an American (North America) gem that was in my backyard (when I lived in Seattle).

My wife has been planning to see this and we wanted to do it as a whole family (with her sister and brother). After planning a weekend trip, we went there via BC Ferries (the only way I think).

Summer in the Butchart Gardens is probably the best time. But they do have some months in autumn too.

Parking was plentiful (at least when we arrived) and there were umbrellas available (if it was raining) to use.

We walked to the entrance and paid the fees:

  • Adult – $33.80
  • Children 5 – 12 yrs old -$3.00 (which is our kids)

The Sunken Garden was my favorite. Just the history in it and the layout.

The Japanese garden was pretty cool because there were Torii Gates around and within a ton of trees, so it kept the area cool and shaded. Small bridges and stone walkways on water.

I can’t recommended this place enough. If you are in Victoria, this is the main attraction.

BC Ferries experience

So we were planning to go to Victoria, BC. I’ve never been to Victoria BC, but I do know you have to take a ferry.

I kept hearing it takes 3-4 hours one way and that is not true. It is almost 2 hours ONE WAY.

In all honesty, it goes by fast.

We booked online the times and days were going to Victoria and leaving.


The terminal we were using was TSAWWASSEN – SWARTZ BAY

Fares were :

  • 1 standard size vehicle – $57.50
  • 12 years and older – $17.50
  • 5 – 11 years – $8.50
  • 4 and under – free

We crammed into two vehicles and headed out.

We drove from Burnaby to Tsawwassen Ferry terminal.

The drive from Burnaby to Tsawwassen was maybe 30 minutes. I have to admit, I never been out this way and it was quite peaceful.

We got to the terminal and since we were early, they staff asked if we wanted to get on the 7am instead o the 8am ferry, we said yes.

Again, I’ve never been on this ferry, so didn’t know what to expect. But we pulled it, parked and everyone was told to go up to the higher decks.

The ferry took off. Again, in all honesty, I couldn’t believe how smooth and quick the ferry moved. It was pretty nimble.

This would take us to Swartz Bay.

Upon docking, there was announcement telling people that they will be docking in 10 minutes, so this gave people to get down to their cars and wait. It seems liked a few minutes extra just waiting to get out and finally we were let out!

Quick notes:

  • People start finding seats on the inside fast.
  • There is covered seating in the outside/top deck
  • Line for the cafe!
  • Vending machines available, but need coins
  • Windows don’t have covers, can be beaming with sunlight.