Best of Vancouver Island – Limited Edition

Best of Vancouver Island – Limited Edition

From $ 4,160 AUD

Description

For lovers of the great outdoors, it doesn’t get much better than Canada’s southwest coast. Snow-capped mountains on the skyline, top-quality hiking and watersports, and fresh, crisp British Columbia air are in abundance – to say nothing of the grand old architecture and excellent cuisine. Cruise from Vancouver across the Strait of Georgia, explore a labyrinth of caves near Nanaimo, bask in hot springs and spot wildlife in the coastal paradise of Tofino, and visit one of the world’s finest show gardens near Victoria. This is west coast Canada done in style.

Trip Name
Best of Vancouver Island - Limited Edition
Last Updated
2018-05-13
Days
10
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Indulge in some of the freshest fish (with chips of course) at the base of an old lighthouse on Nanaimo's waterfront, accompanied by a prime view of the harbour
  • See amazing crystal formations and ancient fossils in the caves of Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park with a local guide
  • Your 3-night Feature stay in Tofino offers a unique beachfront cabin resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean
  • Take a guided tour in Tofino in search of whales, bears, otters and more before finishing with a soak in some natural, geothermic hot spring pools under a cascading waterfall
  • Explore the gardens and architecture of Victoria with a visit to the famous Butchart Gardens, and a guided history and architecture walk around the city
  • Finish your adventure back in Vancouver with a dinner of First Nations-inspired cuisine

Itinerary

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Vancouver
Welcome to Canada. Meet your Peregrine representative at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you arrive early, perhaps wander around the historic Gastown area downtown. If it's clear, take in vivid scenes of snow-dusted mountains on the horizon.
Day 2 - Nanaimo
Take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the harbour town of Nanaimo (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes). This is Vancouver's second largest city, next to Victoria. After exploring the waterfront boardwalk, enjoy some fresh fish and chips for lunch at the Lighthouse Bistro & Pub. In the evening, set sail on a sunset catamaran cruise around the beautiful harbour. Feel free to bring some refreshments along, as there's a refrigerator on board. 
Day 3 - Nanaimo
Head over to Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park to partake in some spelunking. Embark on the Riverbend Explorer tour (approximately 2 hours), an easy journey that leads you into Riverbend Cave without having to crawl or do any vertical clmibing. Along the way, witness amazing crystal formations and ancient fossils, and learn about the history and geology of the cave. There will also be a short 'lights out' period, allowing you to immerse yourself for a few moments in the ambience of the dark. Note that the tour does include one moderately strenuous uphill passage which lasts about 25 minutes. There will be some loose rocks along the way, so be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes. The route returns to the start via a steep downhill trail. Informative stops are made along the way.
Day 4 - Tofino
Drive across the centre of Vancouver Island to Tofino (approximately 2–3 hours, not including stops). Stop at Cathedral Grove for a walk in one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of these towering beauties, some of which are more than 800 years old. A lunch stop in Port Alberni will be made on the way to Tofino. Tofino was named the best surf town in North America in Outside Magazine's 2010 Editors' Choice awards, which gives an idea of its calibre as a coastal destination. It's also a great spot for storm watching and whale watching. Tonight's accommodation is right on the water, so enjoy a stroll along the beach before heading out for dinner.
Day 5 - Tofino
Set off on a day trip visiting Tofino's coastal hot springs. Once disembarking at the dock in Hot Springs Cove, you will follow the historic cedar boardwalk through lush rainforest (approximately 1.5 kilometres). At the end of this walk lies a succession of natural geothermal hot spring pools, a cascading waterfall and a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. There's an excellent chance to see much of the following wildlife along the way: whales, black bears, seals, sea lions, puffins, sea otters and bald eagles.
Day 6 - Tofino
Walk the Wild Pacific Trail with the local trail maverick Jim Martin, known affectionately as Oyster Jim. Join him in exploring tides, marine life, and the wild west coast temperate rainforest, taking in spectacular views along the way. Jim has sculpted this trail himself, and the new Ancient Cedars section is a fantastic example of the away Jim applies his intimate knowledge of the coastline and artisan’s eye. He surveys and shapes each section of this nature trail using green trail building practices.
Day 7 - Victoria
Make the drive to Victoria today (approximately 4 hours). On the way there, stop and visit Butchart Gardens. This is one of the world's finest floral show gardens, bursting with colour, and it's a little hard to fathom that it was built on top of an abadoned quarry. Spend some time exploring its various sections, ranging from Japenese to Mediterranean displays. Observe a diverse spread of flowers – rhododendrons, magnolias, tulips, blue poppies and more. Continue to Victoria and enjoy a free evening to stretch the legs and stroll around the inner harbour.
Day 8 - Victoria
Explore Victoria's stately architecture on a guided tour today. From the Empress Hotel and Parliament Buildings of the inner harbour, to some beautifully preserved Edwardian mansions, Victoria is heaven for lovers of grand old English aesthetics. This history-rich tour traces the evolution of Victoria through the eyes of its grand 19th century buildings, and each has its own story. In the evening, there is no shortage of quality dining options, as Victoria's relatively young food scene is a good one.
Day 9 - Vancouver
Return to Vancouver by ferry (approximately 2 hours). Make the most of a free afternoon – perhaps spend it strolling around Stanley Park, sipping craft beers at Brassneck microbrewery, or exploring the Vancouver Art Gallery. In the evening, head out for a farewell dinner with the rest of the group in a local restaurant that features First Nations-inspired cuisine.
Day 10 - Vancouver
The adventure comes to an end today.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
13-09-201822-09-2018AUD $ 4,160-

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights),Resort Feature Stay (3 nights)

Transport

Ferry,Private vehicle

Map