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4 days in vancouver island

Sheffield
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4 posts
31 reviews
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4 days in vancouver island

Hi

we are visiting vancouver island for 4-5 days from 8 September. What are the best things to see ( we like nature more than cities/museums)? Do we need to prebook accomodation or will there be vacancies so that we can go a little more as we please?

Carol

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

Depending on where you are going, you can probably book as you go, but you will need to be prepared to take what you get. The nice places, the best values, will most likely be all booked up. If you go to Tofino and want something on the beach, then you'll need to book ahead. If you are content to stay in the run-down motel on the edge of town or the Presidential Suite at the top resort for $600/night, you will probably be fine.

The Pacific Rim area is probably the most obvious place to direct you - Tofino, Uclulet and Pacific Rim National Park which lies between the two towns on the far west coast. Beautiful area with lots to see and do (provided you like outdoor pursuits and walking trails) that you could easily spend your entire time there.

If you wanted to add a couple of nights somewhere else, I'm going to suggest an island on the eastern side. Depending on where you are going after VI, you could look at Quadra, Hornby or Saltspring.

Port Alberni, Canada
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2. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

This is when the biggest Salmon species, the Chinook are running at Stamp Falls in Stamp River Provincial Park. No trip to Vancouver Island at this time of year should be without a trip to this iconic spectacle. Tours of it and the surrounding area are available if you search the net.

Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

Strathcona Park is another destination for some serious and not so serious hiking. With your limited time though, I don't think you would be able to do Tofino as well as SP.

Let us know if you will have a rental car as you will need one to visit Tofino and Ucluelet area properly.

It will be a nice time to visit as the kids will be back in school. But it will still be busy as that is when the seniors and parents with young kids take to the roads.

Aside from Stamp Falls (on the way to Tofino), there is also Little Qualicum Falls

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/…

and the market in Coombs

http://www.oldcountrymarket.com/

Cathedral Grove to see BIG trees

http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/

McLean Mill outside of Port Alberni (can be combined with Stamp River)

http://www.alberniheritage.com/

And that is just on the drive to get there!

Lots in Nanaimo as well.

And of course there is Victoria... the OTHER city on the island ;o)

Sheffield
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4 posts
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4. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

Thanks to everyone who replied . we have booked 3 nights in Tofino, but wanted to see some of the east island as well if we have time in 1-2 nights. We are driving to jasper afterwards. Would it be a good idea to spend a night in Nanaimo - what is there to see there??

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

Nanaimo!!!

It isn't exactly a nature trail, but fun none the less... the Nanaimo Bar Trail!

nanaimo.ca/assets/…NanaimoBarTrail.pdf

Newcastle Island is the place to go for a day of hiking. Pack a lunch. Even better, rent a kayak and kayak around the island. One of you must be "certified" though, otherwise you would need to take a tour. Alberni Outpost rents kayaks and conducts tours.

http://www.newcastleisland.ca/

http://www.albernioutpost.com/

Gabriola Island is another wonderful day trip but it involves taking a car on the 20 minute ferry ride.

Do you like bungy jumping? That is south of town. There is also Wild Play in the same area.

For a fantastic hike, you can always climb Mount Benson. My kids have done it numerous times, but they take the steep way up. There is another way, but of course, it takes longer. Mount Benson offers fantastic views all the way to the mainland.

www.nanaimoinformation.com/mount-benson.php

Witchcraft Lake is the route my kids use.

Westwood Lake is another great destination for a hike. You can walk around the whole lake, in about an hour and fifteen. Longer if you like. Then go for a swim when you are done! Change rooms and toilets are there.

www.nanaimoinformation.com/westwood-lake.php

Parksville area is just 25 - 30 minutes north of Nanaimo and it has Rathtrevor Beach, a great place to spend an afternoon, especially when the tide is out. It is a government park. There are actually quite a few resorts in the area and you may want to stay there instead. Nanaimo is certainly more convenient for getting that ferry though!

Oh, and a 35 minute drive south of us is Chemainus, the "little town that could", worth a drive to see the murals and visit the cute shops!

Some great b&bs in Nanaimo, as well as different hotels, motels. The Ramada is the newest one, and close to the ferry, but not right downtown. Actually, nothing is very far in Nanaimo!

I forgot to mention that you can always just take the little ferry to Newcastle... no need to use a kayak at all. Protection Island is right beside Newcastle as well, and they have their own little ferry too, and it can take over to the Dingy Dock Pub... a floating restaurant!

Edited: 05 August 2012, 16:46
Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

If your up in Tofino take a small 20 drive to Ucluelet and just a drive through town and see the Litehouse and nice short walk along the ocean there and don't miss a great lunch or dinner at the Floathouse Patio and Grill in the basin. The food is Great and very west coast and awesome atmosphere and friendly folk and you will get a feel for the area! its right behind the West coast Motel and everyone in town knows where it is too! And the aguarium as well

7. Re: 4 days in vancouver island

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