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Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

New Canaan, CT
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Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

Is this drive worth the time and effort? From my rough calculations, it seems to be around 282 miles or at least a 4-1/2 hour drive. If we had to choose only one of these two locations, which one would you pick? Wanted to spend 3 days in Tofino, and 2 in Port McNeill out of a 2 week+ vacation in BC.

West Grey, Ontario
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1. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

Hi;

The roads from Tofino to Port McNeil are winding roads at slower than Interstate speed limits. You should plan on a trip closer to 6 hours, (non-stop) or longer if you plan to see the sights, and enjoy the ride.

Best Regards

Owen Sound, Canada
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2. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

If you are going from mid-July through mid -September and want to see killer whales it is most certainly worth the trip.

Vancouver BC
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3. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

Bet it is closer to an 8 hoour drive. Tofino has much better accomodation and amenities than Port McNeill. Tofino would easily be my pick.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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4. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

<<The roads from Tofino to Port McNeil are winding roads at slower than Interstate speed limits>>

<<Bet it is closer to an 8 hour drive>>

That is in no way accurate, Tripadvisor is a funny place, people love to enforce the status quo (go where people are don't think outsie the box) and will post some outright nonsense to do so.

The road from Port Alberni to WCVI has some windy spots true, from Port Alberni is a fast 2 lane road-one hour to Parksville and from there north to Campbell River is a 4 lane highway, from Campbell River to Port McNeil is a relatively new well maintained 2 lane road that is a joy to drive.

The East Coast of the Island-especially the northern part-is a gorgeous place to be on the water with all kinds of sea life (as I mentioned on another post).

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

Not much to see in Port McNeill or north of Campbell River for that matter (Pt. Hardy. Pt Alice, Gold River, etc). The road is slow go, and I figure from Tofino probably 6-8 hour drive easy. If I were choosing Tofino v. the Port....Tofino hands down.

Vancouver BC
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6. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

The 288.8 mile drive is estimated to take 5 hours and 18 minutes by Streets & Trips. However it is a popular tourist route and much is two lanes which makes overtaking campers and trailers time consuming. If you are travelling in summer tourist season you won't average 50 mph. That takes you to 6 hours, add a meal stop or bad traffic and you'll easily add an hour and maybe two. In fairness to the writer who wrote it is a windy road. The Tofino/Port Alberni 78 miles is windy and the Alberni/Parksville road is windy. It's about 2-1/2 hours to travel the 105 miles between Tofino and Parkesville without traffic.

Owen Sound, Canada
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7. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

"Not much to see in Port McNeill or north of Campbell River for that matter....."

LOL..... Really? People come to the Port McNeill area from literally all over the world to enjoy the marine mammals, birds and beautiful scenery.

cheers,

Jerry

Canada
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for Vancouver Island
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8. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

5 1/2 - 6 hrs is more accurate for a direct drive. It's about 2 hrs from Tofino to the intersection (near Parksville) at the Inland Hwy (2 lanes divided each way) It is precisely 1 hr from this intersection to Campbell River almost without fail! Then it's about 2 1/2 hrs from Campbell River to Port McNeill.

There is a lot to see along the way depending on what you're interests are and there is definitely a lot to see not just in Port Mcneill but in the surrounding area. Sointula has a well known Finnish history. Alert Bay has an impressive native history. And as reported, the wildlife viewing can be awesome.

It all depends what you are after in a holiday. The east coast of Vancouver Island has scenery, wildlife and vegetation that isn't necessarily the same as the west coast. And, Port McNeill isn't the tourist "trap" that Tofino is.

However, you will most likely want to make this a whole day trip so you can enjoy some of the sights along the way, as well as get out and stretch your legs!

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

"LOL..... Really? People come to the Port McNeill area from literally all over the world to enjoy the marine mammals, birds and beautiful scenery"

Yeah Jerry, maybe one day, two tops here. Bald eagles, seals, whales, yeah, they are all over the coast, so nothing too spectacular about going to Pt McNeill to see that. So my point was, beyond that, there is hardly much if anything to do in Pt. McNeill, Hardy or Gold River when compared to Tofino (e.g surfing). Lastly, can remember when I ever saw people from "all over the world" in Pt. McNeill.

Owen Sound, Canada
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10. Re: Driving from Tofino to Port McNeill

Check out either of the websites for the 2 whale watching providers [MacKay's and Stubb's Island]in the Port McNeill /Telegraph Cove area and see where the people are from...... Europe, Australia, Asia and all over North America. It is a wonderful area. We've brought people from various midwestern States, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Ontario and all have been greatly impressed by the wildlife in this part of the Island.

I agree that for surfing the Long Beach area is excellent and the coastal rainforests and beaches of Pacific Rim are superb.

You folks are lucky to have such diversity.

cheers

Jerry