The grounds of the Dias Museum Complex are filled with a collection of fynbos and other plants that occur naturally in the Mossel Bay area. Most of these plants were used for shelter, food and for medicinal purposes by the European settlers and indigenous people alike. The museum keeps samples of these flowers from their botanical gardens in vases at the entrance of the complex so that visitors can study the plant samples while they read about them in the exhibit.
There is also a Braille trail that makes the gardens accessible to visually-impaired people so that they can read about, feel and smell the wonderful collection of plantlife.
The Dias Complex also includes a shell museum with a small aquarium, which Shelly and Sandy were very excited to explore. There are a number of fish tanks with various sea creatures inside the museum, as well as large shell exhibits. Shelly was particularly fond of this little fellow who hid behind his rock every time we tried to snap a photo of him.
But she was a little unsettled to stand in front of the lobster tank!
Everybody loved the little Octopus on display and we enjoyed watching him eat his lunch.
Then we found these bright little spiky starfish. Aren't they pretty!?
The shell museum has lots of beautiful shells of all shapes and sizes on display. The children enjoyed looking through all of the lovely displays and we all loved picking our own favorites in each display.
Shelly decided that her favorite display was the shell house diorama. She promptly decided that she wants to live in a shell house just like it one day.
In the center of the shell display, we found the biggest clam shell ever!
On the top floor of the shell museum, there is a whale and dolphin information section with information and identification charts and dolphin models.
As you leave the museum, you are greeted by these friendly fellows! It took some coaching and pleading to get all of the kids back down the stairs to the exit, but we thought that these guys were an awesome ending to our tour of the Dias Museum Complex.