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First trip to Vancouver!!!

Manchester, UK
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First trip to Vancouver!!!

Myself and my parents are visiting Vancouver in September this year, mainly for whale watching. So far we plan to stay in downtown Vancouver for 3 nights, then over to Victoria for 3 nights, then up to Telegraph Cove and that area for 3 nights staying at Hidden Cove. We have 3 nights booked back in downtown Vancouver for the last 3 days of our trip (14 days in total) where we would like to a trip to the Rockies, day trip if possible. Is there anyone that can think of anything or anywhere of interest that has enough to occupy our minds considering we arent hiking or museum people for the trip up to Telegraph Cove or before our trip back to Downtown Vancouver,and if there is a different way to drive back to Victoria from Telegraph Cove.

Also any info on the Rockies trips would be useful

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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1. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

<<We have 3 nights booked back in downtown Vancouver for the last 3 days of our trip (14 days in total) where we would like to a trip to the Rockies, day trip if possible>>

It's a full days drive east to the Rockies, plan a trip to Whistler instead.

Manchester, UK
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2. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

ok is whistler part of the rockies?? i know that sounds very VERY naive n stupid but better to ask than get it wrong!! Have no idea!! lol

Manchester, UK
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3. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

Lol its ok looks like we have sorted it and will be visiting Whistler thank you. Where on Vancouver Island on the way or way back to Telegraph Cove is worth a visit?

Victoria, BC Canada
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4. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

Whitsler is a part of the Coastal Mountain range and the Rockies are almost 1000 km away. It is a trip in itself. Whistler from Vancouver for a day is an option, but the Rockies are not.

As for Vancouver Island, there is one main road north so really not an alternate route back to Victoria.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

At the risk of harping on the point: we have many mountain ranges in BC. There is a mountain range down the centre of Vancouver Island (and I have no idea what those mountains are called - anyone?), the Coastal Range, which ring Vancouver, then as you go inland there are the Cascades, the Purcells, the Kootenays, etc (Wikipedia lists 64 mountain ranges for BC). The Rockies are the easternmost range and perch on the edge of the great Canadian Prairie that stretches for thousands of miles to the east. The Rockies are by far the most distinctive and impressive mountain range, especially when approached from the east. The Coast range, where you find Vancouver and Whistler are very scenic and impressive, but the Rockies are even better.

Ok, to your trip:

for things to do in and around Vancouver, click on my name and see my Inside Pages for ideas.

When you are finished at Telegraph Cove, you only need to drive as far as Nanaimo, then return to Vancouver by ferry from there.

If you aren't hiking or museum people, what on earth do you do on vacation? Sorry, but I just don't know what's left. Shopping I guess. Not much of that in Telegraph Cove. Tell us what you DO like, that will be more helpful. :>

Manchester, UK
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6. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

wildlife as previously stated which i am coming to see as i am studying animal behaviour in university.... which is why telegrapy cove is good... not there for shopping =)

Canada
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7. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

From Victoria to Parksville, there is only one highway. At Parksville, you can take Hwy 19 (a freeway) or Hwy 19A (also known as the Old Island Highway) as far as Campbell River. 19A is preferable as it goes through all the little communities and a lot of the highway is along the shore. Hwy19 is fine if you want to get A - B fast.

See www.hellobc.com for destination info. You could take Hwy 19 one way and Hwy 19A the other. You may enjoy stopping in Coombs, perhaps a slight diversion to Cathedral Grove (on the Port Alberni highway), and your last main stop before Telegraph Cove will be Campbell River.

www.drivebc.com has a distance calculator. Use Port McNeill as a rough guide for Telegraph Cove, as Telegraph isn't listed.

On your way back, you don't need to go all the way to Victoria. You can get a ferry www.bcferries.bc.ca in Nanaimo (Departure Bay) which will take you to Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver). You could head to Whistler from there and perhaps spend one of your last 3 nights slated for Vancouver at Whistler instead.

Port McNeill
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8. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

Well September is a great time to be on northern Vancouver Island for wildlife. I am assuming you have probably booked a whale watching tour and probably a grizzly bear tour.

September often has some of the most diverse wildlife as the grizzly bears are feeding on pink salmon on the mainland rivers, orcas are still in the area feeding on chum salmon, lots of humpback whales are hanging around to bulk up on food before heading south, the Steller sea lions are returning from their breeding rookeries to haul out on local islets and a lot of migratory sea birds are coming through.

Visiting the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove is a must - http://www.killerwhalecentre.org/ . The staff are great and if they know you have a keen interest they can go well beyond the superficial stuff and get into the nitty gritty scientific stuff if that is what you want (they would probably love it, something different than answering the same questions all day).

Looking at your itinerary and that you are not into shopping, hiking or museums I would suggest shortening you stay in the cities and spending more time at the north end of the island. You could very likely do a whale watching trip every day and see and learn something new each time. There are three main whale watching companies ( www.stubbs-island.com , www.whaletime.com , www.seaorca.com ) a smaller zodiac operator ( www.orcaadventures.com ) and two kayak companies that offer day trips ( www.kingfisher.ca , www.kayakbc.ca )

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

I specialized in animal behaviour too. :>

You'll get better wildlife viewing if you do a bit of hiking... (just a thought. ;>)

Otherwise, trips by boat are another great way to watch for wildlife. Some GREAT posts here (and I think the one by Kingfisherkayaking should be put into an Inside Page - terrific resources there), so you should be well on your way.

I'd agree that perhaps you might want to allow more time in wilderness areas and reduce your time in the cities, but perhaps your parents are the city people...?

It's a long trip from Victoria to Telegraph Cove, and then back to Vancouver from there also. You aren't planning any additional overnights along there, are you? In which case, you won't have much time to really stop, except perhaps at viewpoints and pull outs along the way. Potential stops along there would be Chemainus, Parksville, Campbell River. Good choices for places to eat and have a break from the driving. If you take the fast highway on your trip back south, then look at detouring out as far as Cathedral Grove and a stop in Coombs on the return journey.

Sounds like a terrific trip!

Manchester, UK
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10. Re: First trip to Vancouver!!!

Thanks for that will look at the links from the others which im sure will be very veryuseful. our itinerary is now :

day 1 : arrive downtown van

day 2 : explore

day 3 : Whistler train tour

day 4 : victoria

day 5 : ""

day 6 : ""

day 7 : drive to telegraph cove staying in hidden cove lodge

day 8 : ""

day 9 : ""

day 10 : back to victoria

day 11 : back to downtown

day 12 : aquarium n stanley park

day 13 : grouse mountain or general site seeing

day 14 : ""

day 15 home

will obviously be doing two or three whale watching trips within this. Does that sound do able??

also does anyone know a good car hire company with the possibility of a 21 year old driver (realise more each day to pay) for the trip to telegraph cove, so only for four to five days car hire.

Really appreciating all the help =)