Thunderbird Park, Victoria

4.1
#9 of 15 in Parks in Victoria
Thunderbird Park is a park in Victoria, British Columbia next to the Royal British Columbia Museum. The park is home to many totem poles (mostly Gitxsan, Haida, and Kwakwaka'wakw) and other First Nation monuments. The park takes its name from the mythological Thunderbird of Indigenous North American cultures which is depicted on many totem poles.Also in the park are St. Anne's Schoolhouse (built 1844), Helmcken House (built in 1852 by Dr. John Helmcken), and Mungo Martin House (Wawadit'la), a traditional Kwakwaka'wakw "big house" built in 1953 by Kwakwaka'wakw Chief Mungo Martin. The park is part of the Royal BC Museum Cultural Precinct, an area around the museum that contains a number of historical sites and monuments.HistoryTotem poles were first erected on the site in 1940 as part of a conservation effort to preserve some of the region's rapidly deteriorating Aboriginal art. The site was opened as Thunderbird Park in 1941. By 1951, many of the poles had greatly decayed, and in 1952 the Royal BC Museum began a restoration program with Chief Martin as its head carver. Martin died in 1962 and was succeeded by renowned carver Henry Hunt. Other artists who have worked as part of the program include Henry Hunt's sons Richard Hunt and Tony Hunt, Tim Paul, Lawrence Bell, David Gladstone, David Martin, and Bill Reid. All of the original poles were replaced with new versions by 1992, and some of the originals are now preserved within the museum.
Take a look at our Victoria driving holiday planning tool to schedule your visit to Thunderbird Park and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Source
Create an itinerary including Thunderbird Park
map
Thunderbird Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
190 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Check out the totem poles in the park and the colourful painted wall of native art. Worth visiting if you are in the area  more »
  • A small area but full of great and interesting Totem Poles which are well worth seeing. Also has one of the oldest houses in Victoria - a great piece of history preserved for future generations.  more »
  • I was expecting a bit more. Many great totem poles and a huge mural. A must visit if you are in the inner harbour area.  more »
Google
  • It's a nice little park. I wish they had some more educational matter regarding the totem poles, their significance, and origin.
  • Most beautiful authentic fist nations buildings drumming very friendly!
  • Great place to chill and collect thoughts. Nice gardens, trees and historic buildings
  • Very nice small park, worth a visit if you're nearby.
  • Great spot to see Mile 0 and the Terry Fox monument!

Plan your trip to Victoria

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Victoria

The curling waterfront Wharf Street, which becomes Store Street, offers the best selection of lodgings in the city center, although you can expect to pay extra for the trademark views. Many travelers opt to stay in the neighborhood of James Bay, where Belleville Street and surrounds provide comfortable and even luxurious options. For something more relaxed and closer to nature, look south to the expansive Beacon Hill Park.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Victoria by other users

15 days in Canada BY A USER FROM SPAIN July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Canada BY A USER FROM AFGHANISTAN April, teens, popular PREFERENCES: April, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Vancouver Island BY A USER FROM CANADA May, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Vancouver Island BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 7 days in Vancouver & Victoria BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in British Columbia BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Canada, United States, Africa & Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Vancouver Island BY A USER FROM CANADA March, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Seattle, Olympic National Park & Victoria BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Canada BY A USER FROM INDIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in Canada, Seattle & Anchorage BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in British Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans