Thunderbird Park
Thunderbird Park
4

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Neighbourhood: James Bay
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles253 reviews
Excellent
91
Very good
126
Average
32
Poor
4
Terrible
0

PookyCake
Victoria, Canada14,274 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
Established in 1941, Thunderbird Park is adjacent to the Royal BC Museum. It’s a small space, but has become synonymous with Victoria thanks to its authentic (but replica) totem poles and “big house.” While I wouldn’t go as far as Roadstories.ca and declare Thunderbird Park to be “one of the most serene and beautiful places in Canada,” it is nevertheless worth a stroll and visit.

The “big house,” also lovingly called “Mungo Martin House” after its architect and builder, is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the park. It, along with the Kwakwaka’walw Heraldic Pole that sits in front of it, tells of a history, culture and tradition that goes back to time immemorial. The surrounding poles, likewise, tell a similar tale and help us better understand the Indigenous traditions of BC’s First Nations. I just wish there was more in the way of information boards to better help people understand the poles and the stories they tell via the figures carved into them.

Beyond the totems and “big house,” Thunderbird Park is also home to Helmcken House (built 1851), which is the historic home of Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken – recognized as Victoria’s first physician. The home is now a small museum and sits adjacent to St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, which was built in 1844 and may be the oldest building still standing in the city.

I enjoyed my brief stroll around Thunderbird Park and, given the structures on site and the histories they tell, fully understand why it has become emblematic of Victoria; however, from a touristy perspective, I probably wouldn’t venture here just to see the park. Instead, make it part of a larger itinerary that includes the Royal BC Museum (where you can see some of the original poles that once stood in the park).
Written 21 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katie S
Denver, CO254 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
It is so interesting to see the various totems. They are of different ages, and the designs and colors are just amazing. The park is not large but we'll worth the time.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rockiroads
Oshawa, Canada1,312 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Really Big and lots of poles. This was a beautiful park with a lot of Totem poles. Some were absolutely huge! The tops of some like I have never seen before,..huge wide wingspans. Beautiful and artistic, definitely a great find as we walked by on our walkin g tour..
Written 12 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raymond D
Lacey10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Nice, clean park in downtown Victoria. Not large but some cool totems to look at. Nice walk thru when seeing the city at large.
Written 24 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Usia2014
Calgary, Canada1,817 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
It’s a small park with a few totems which are artistically carved and painted. Unfortunately when we were there, the building was closed and no one was around to answer any questions. But, it’s worth a look if you are in the area.
Written 11 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mindy b
10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
I expected a large walk-thru park, home to multiple totem poles. There were 5-6 in my recollection. The black painted one was an unusual carving I had not seen before in my travel around Washington state and San Juan Islands. Don't pencil this into your itenarary. It literally abutts the BC Museum on the Douglas St. corner and is a tiny corner of land.
Written 16 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Merrowmum
Guildford, UK1,298 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This small park is well worth a visit due to its stunning totem poles and long house (which I’m guessing is not normally open to visitors). Next door is the original school house for St Ann’s academy and you can also see some older totem poles and other statues, taken in the 1950s, in a display in the museum which is completely visible from the path next to the park. It is very good to note that two of these items have now been returned to the descendents of their original owners,
Written 2 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria F
Toronto, Canada28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We loved looking at all the Totem Poles in this small park. Unfortunately, there was no description for each totem pole to enhance our understanding.
Written 13 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter R
Maroochydore, Australia2,378 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We weren't able to get into the long house but we looked at all the totem poles around the park which were amazing. It is worth a visit.
Written 10 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SGG2013
Tiny, Canada51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
We enjoyed our walk through this park, admiring the view of the water and the amazing totems. We passed through here on our way to the aquarium.
Written 29 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Thunderbird Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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