• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Vancouver Island

This self drive itinerary takes you around stunning Vancouver Island.  Combine a shortened version with Western Canada.

Summary

Vancouver Island

Day 1: Vancouver

Day 3: Campbell River

Day 4: Great Bear Lodge

Day 7: Port Hardy

Day 8: Telegraph Cove

Day 10: Tofino

Day 13: Victoria

Day 14: Vancouver

Day 15: Fly Home

Description

Description

This itinerary works very nicely as a holiday in it’s own right exploring all that Vancouver Island has to offer, or as a shortened version taking in the highlights and added as an extension to the Western Canada Self Drive itinerary.

Day 1 Vancouver

Arrive in Vancouver today.  Spend time here exploring this delightful city with shopping on Robson Street, markets on Granville Island and views from Vancouver Lookout Tower.  Take a hop on hop off trolley tour around the city, and if time allows make your way across to the north shore and walk high above the trees at the Capilano Suspension Bridge and to explore Grouse Mountain.

2 nights Vancouver 

Day 3 Campbell River

Hire a car today and head out of the city, taking the ferry to Vancouver Island.  The drive today takes you north along the island and to Campbell River for an overnight stay. 

1 night Campbell River

Day 4 Great Bear Rain Forest

Your drive continues along this northern part of the island, heading for Port Hardy at the very tip of the island– the starting point for your bear viewing experience.  Leaving your car at Port Hardy, you will head into the Great Bear Rainforest by seaplane.  Your accommodation with Great Bear Nature Tours is at the remote 8 room floating lodge from which you will explore the area over the coming days in search of Grizzly bears and other wildlife, guided by a wildlife Biologist.

3 nights Great Bear Lodge

Day 7 Port Hardy

Today, you’ll arrive back into Port hardy by sea plane.  Due to wilderness weather often affecting the small plane schedules, it is recommended that you spend the night at Port Hardy.

1 night Port hardy

Day 8 Telegraph Cove

Drive south today, heading back down this part of the island a short distance to Telegraph Cove.  This tiny community has a rich and colourful history and the cosy cabin and cottage accommodation along the boardwalk make a great stay.  This is a wonderful place from which to take a whale watching trip.

2 nights Telegraph Cove

Day 10 Tofino

Continue south before driving the width of the island to Tofino.  Tofino has fabulous beaches, with waters for surfers, and streets scattered with restaurants and galleries.  Beach front accommodation here allows you a little rest and relaxation after your long drive here.  The waters of the Clayoquot Sound are great for whale watching, searching for Black Bear along the coasts, and heading to Hot Springs Cove.   

3 nights Tofino

Day 13 Victoria

Back across the island today, you’ll head into the capital city of British Columbia, Victoria.  For a very British feel, enjoy afternoon tea and stroll the Inner harbour.  Drive along to the famous Butchart Gardens for a visit. 

1 night Victoria

Day 14 Vancouver

Return on the ferry to Vancouver today, dropping off the car and spending the night back in the city, or at an airport hotel.

1 night Vancouver

Day 15 Fly Home

Return to the airport for the onward or homeward flight.

Things to remember… the very best times for taking a grizzly bear watching package in this part of Canada is very late summer into Autumn as the Salmon begins spawning and the bears start to feed by the rivers.  Lodges are open through the majority of the summer, but often have a specific start date and number of nights.

Little Gems

Little Gems

A beach front room in beautiful Long Beach Lodge, Tofino.

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