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Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Melbourne, Australia
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Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

We are looking at hiring a car to spend a couple of days travelling from Victoria to Port Hardy in Mid May.What are the road conditions like and is there likely to be snow or ice. Is it a busy road and is there lots of traffic

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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1. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

No snow, no ice either dry or wet depending.

Little traffic north of Campbell River.

Watch for wildlife if you're on the road early or late they might be too.

Canada
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for Vancouver Island
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2. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Victoria to Nanaimo is a very busy mostly 2 lane highway and the speed limit 50 KMH - 90 KMH. From Nanaimo to Campbell River is a busy 4 lane (2 each way) freeway (110 KMH) and then from Campbell River to Port Hardy is 2 lanes and not very busy.

I'd recommend from just North of Nanaimo - at Parksville - you take the Parksville exit and drive the "Old Island Highway" - Highway 19A - to Campbell River, as it is much more scenic. There are lots of little places to stop and a lot of the highway runs along the shore. Speed is between 50 KMH and 80 KMH. This route adds about 1/2 hour driving time, but you'll likely want to do some stopping on the way!

www.drivebc.com has a distance calculator that may help you decide where to stop.

Are you returning to Victoria or taking the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert?

As SamSalmon says, you won't find snow or ice, but there could very likely be rain!

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Thank you so much.

This is the only car hire part of the trip

We are taking the ferry to Prince Rupert and then the Skeena Train to Jasper.Then onwards to Banff and then to Vancouver over 14 days using buses and trains - as you do.

Thinking of doing a bear watching trip at P Rupert. Do you know anything about these trips as it is quite expensive.

We would hate to not see bears.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Taking ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and know its a long day - 15hrs.

Should we book a cabin or is a seat enough for this day for a [fit]50+ couple.

Would we miss much if we were in cabin having nana-nap?

Can you see well enough from cabin too?

Have great history of sea sickness but believe this is pretty smooth trip.

Correct?

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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5. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

By all means book a cabin I was much younger when I did the trip and the cabin was a godsend-remember you'll be up before 05:00 to catch the shuttle to the ferry.

The cabins are inside of the ship most don't have portholes but no matter there's a private toilet and a comfy place to lie down.

For the most part it's a boring trip you won't miss much by napping.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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6. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Pressed the Reply button too soon.

The only 'WHOOPSIE' part of the voyage is around Cape Caution right @ the beginning after that it's a walk in the park.

The Grizzly tour will show you much more than just Bears the area teems with wildlife on land and in the sea-not to be missed.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Thanks Sam, that clarifies things very well.

Will make sure we do bear trip and work itinery around the dates for that

Now that I have seen somewhere that a Queen of The North ferry sank in 06 I am not so worried about bears!!

What do you know about that.

Will driving out of Victoria be difficult for us on other side of road etc. Good signage and friendly drivers or impatient like here in melb?

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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8. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

<<Now that I have seen somewhere that a Queen of The North ferry sank in 06 I am not so worried about bears!!

What do you know about that.>>

The accident is still under investigation-that is to say the blame has yet to have been hung on anyone but you can bet your boots the Govt is looking to bury someone.

We know that untrained staff were on the bridge of the ship and that they had no idea where they were or that they were headed straight for an island.

<<Will driving out of Victoria be difficult for us on other side of road etc. Good signage and friendly drivers or impatient like here in melb?>>

Most Aussies report little problem if they keep the drivers side of the car oriented to the middle of the road.

Signage is a weakness here in BC poorly designed and poorly located for the most part-the Good News is that you're headed north and there's only one road.

Where the road is 4 lanes Please stick to the slow lane, once you're on a 2 lane road Please travel the speed limit no less-driving slow is *not* safe.

Canada
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9. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Agree with Sam about the cabin. My 26 yr old daughter recently travelled on the ferry to Prince Rupert and couldn't get a cabin as they were all booked already, and she really wished she'd had one. Not sure what time your particular ferry will travel (hers was from 9:00 PM to 7:30 PM the next day).

The only open water is from Port Hardy across to the mainland and the rest is all inside and very protected. There was a storm coming up when my daughter crossed, but she said it was fine. You can get an idea of the route if you go on the BC ferry website and to "Track this vessel".

THere are a lot of rumours about the sunk ferry from inexperienced crew to a male and a female crewmember who were getting "other" experience instead of monitoring the navigation equipment. It was tragic that two people lost their lives and some people had moving vans on board and lost everything they owned. However, sinking ferries are not the norm here!

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Road conditions Victoria BC to Port Hardy

Thanks Guys - very helpful and have now booked ferry - with cabin - and bear tour for next day.

Another Question - we will spend 2 days driving up Vancouver island to Port Hardy. Where would be a good place to stop overnight and is Tofino worth a detour?