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Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Derby
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Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Hi, I have been so impressed with the helpfulness of everyone on this forum,

My husband and I are coming to Vancouver Island next September and we hope to see as much wildlife, especially whales, as possible. I had thought of spending 2 or 3 nights in Victoria and then going to either Nanaimo or Parksville for a few days and then spending a week in Tofino to whale watch and walk part of the Pacific Rim Trail. Is it worth doing a whale watching trip from Victoria as well as Tofino to see different types of whales? We love seeing dolphins and bird life as well. We like walking on the beach and scenery, so Vancouver Island seems the most perfect vacation spot for us.

Many thanks for any itinerary help,

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Hi Derbylady ~

You might consider 4 nights Victoria to allow yourselves a day on the Pacific Marine Circle Trail. The whales off Victoria are Orcas.

http://pacificmarinecircleroute.com

You might also consider the north end of Vancouver for 3 nights where you can take a grizzly watching tour, whalewatching tour and/or kayak amongst wildlife.

So something like:

4 nights Victoria

4 nights Pacific Rim NP

1 night en route (Parksville or Courtenay or Campbell River) to Telegraph Creek

3 nights Telegraph Creek

1 night en route (same 3 above or Nanaimo) to Vancouver? For your flight out

...

Not sure what your starting point is for VI, if it's Vancouver you will need to allow travel time. If it's Victoria, you could drive down from TC in 7 hours or so.

Here is a good description of the whale "schedule" for West Coast VI: www.jamies.com/site/whale-watching.html

www.tiderip.com

http://www.stubbs-island.com

http://www.kingfisher-adventures.com

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Forgot to mention that you can take grizzly tours out of Campbell River.

http://www.aboriginaljourneys.com

http://www.adventurewhalewatching.com

Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

For the bird life, a stop at Errington would be worth while. It is very close to Parksville, on the way to Tofino.

http://www.niwra.org/

They do a lot of great work.

And if the salmon run is on, another side trip worth while would be Stamp River Falls Provincial park. The turn off for this park is just outside of Port Alberni, once you go through "town".

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/stamp_rv/

When in Parksville, make sure you stop in at Rathtrevor Beach, just south of Parksville. When the tide is out, it is an amazing place to walk on the beach.

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

For whale watch on a smaller, more intimate vessel from Victoria I recommend Seaking. Tour was fun and we felt safe and well looked after. Saw orcas, a humpback, California sea lions & harbour seals in September.

You are given floatation life suits to wear so it's nice and cozy even though you are on an open craft. Captain has many years of local knowledge in these waters.

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

I forgot the best part!!!!! If you do end up staying in Nanaimo, make sure you hit up some of the places on this brochure for a real treat.

nanaimo.ca/assets/…NanaimoBarTrail.pdf

Port McNeill
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6. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Just to make a corrections to Mufti's post, she mentioned Telegraph Creek. I believe she meant Telegraph Cove on northern Vancouver Island. You can base yourself either in Telegraph Cove or nearby Port McNeill and in September this is likely your best area for the most diverse wildlife viewing. Victoria and Tofino have a lot going for them but for strictly wildlife this is the place to be in September to see orcas, humpback whales, bears, and sea birds.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Cove, yes, thanks for that KK. We have a Telegraph Creek in BC and my iPad seems to like it better!

Derby
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8. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

Thanks so much to everyone for your replies, I have plenty of research and ideas! Do you need to book whale watching tours in advance or just turn up September might not be that busy but you never know!

Sally

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9. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

No you don't. Not in Victoria. You can walk up or phone the morning of. See what the weather is like. Ask them what their sightings have been recently before parting with your money.

Up Island, you would want to enquire. I think the ones at the north end book up in advance.

Edited: 29 September 2013, 11:24
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10. Re: Help with 2 week itinerary, coming from UK in September 2014

In fact Tide Rip shows which tours are confirmed and which are full on their website. You can check the other websites.

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