Thanks to the warming currents of the Pacific Ocean and the protection of the Coast Mountains, the Vancouver Island region has the mildest climate in Canada, making any time of year an ideal time to visit. It has one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems: Rainforests, marshes, meadows, beaches, mountains, oceans, rivers and lakes create habitats for multitudes of wildlife species. In fact, the region is one of the world’s premier locations for whale watching, birding, as well as salmon and trout fishing. Much of the island is protected parkland. It contains many pockets of old-growth fir and cedar forests, as well as rare, naturally occurring groves of Garry oak.