Discover the best top things to do in Vancouver Island, Canada including Stanley Park, North Island Kayak, Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching, Sea Wolf Adventures, Wild Pacific Trail, Farm Ventures, Chesterman Beach, Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co., Helliwell Provincial Park, East Sooke Regional Park.
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4.5 based on 23 reviews
North America's third-largest park draws eight million visitors per year, many of whom may skate or walk past you on the Seawall, a scenic, 5.5-mile path running along the water on the park's perimeter. It's just one of many trails among the park's 1,000 acres, which also house an aquarium, nature center and other recreational facilities.
One thousand acres of trees, miniature Railways, Aquariums, totem poles - the list is almost endless. While not all attractions are open in all seasons, more than enough, even in the winter season. Many of these sites have their own page on TripAdvisor, so be sure to check out ALL that Stanley Park has to offer before you go.
5 based on 601 reviews
Kayaking tours with the Orcas, Humpback Whales and other wildlife direct from Telegraph Cove. We offer the very best in all inclusive, guided kayak tours from 2 hours to 8 days with a focus on unobtrusive wildlife observation and fun kayaking for all. Separate family and adult adventures, great base camps and exceptional nomadic expeditions. Over 250 killer whales, an ever increasing number of Humpback Whales and a plethora of other animals are at home each summer in our backyard of Johnstone Strait, Robson Bight and the Broughton Archipelago. North Island Kayak is the only kayak tour or rental company located in Telegraph Cove. We have multiple tours on the water every day to serve you better. We are the local option with the local knowledge. Come experience the difference. We also provide kayak rentals for those with appropriate experience.
How describe the perfect day ever?
During our September trip to Canada we stay 2 nights in Telegraph Cove because we read on different websites that it was more possible to meet killer whales from this point. Unfortunately, we had also read that it was more possible to meet them during a weekly camp because chances to see them drop in September compared to July and August. Anyway, we booked the one-day tour with North Island Kayak with a lot of hopes but also very aware that it probably won't happen…
Kali was our guide for the day. She first explain how to handle the sea kayak (very different from the one we use for rivers and lakes in Belgium) and provide us the complete equipment. I was super afraid to take my camera with me because of the water but she provides us perfect waterproof bags and thanks to the protection we have attached between our body and the kayak, the camera (and I), never experience a drop of water (except, of course, when you have to enter in the kayak and that your feet go in the water for a few minutes). We start to paddle and discover a wonderful light because the fog did not ride yet and the progression of the kayaks on the sea in this fog was really beautiful and mystery.
Kali was really professional and advise us to stay in group and border the coast as soon as the fog was still there. Later in the morning, the sun appears and under a perfect blue sky, we start to discover a wonderful landscape and wildlife. We saw a bald eagle from very close and some other birds than we stop on a small island for lunch. During the lunch, we saw several dolphins and Kali inform us (thanks to her radio) that killer whales have been seen but really far from where we were.. At this moment I was almost entirely convinced that we have never seen them, but the trip was really great and I enjoy every minute. As we go back to the kayak for the afternoon, our guide asks us if we would like to cross and discover another island or if we prefer to continue to border the coast a little bit more. As we were a very small group, the decision was easy to take, everyone hoping secretly that maybe the killer whales would continue to come in our direction, faster than us with our little paddles..
After approximately one half hour, the radio starts to make some noise more and more frequently, and Kali informs us that the Killer Whales seem to come in our direction. We were so excited! Some minutes after, we start to so little water spout on the horizon.. One, then two, then fours..
At this moment, Kali advises us to keep our kayak in group and stay out of their way.. Then the orcas start to arrive and we discover an entire family of more than 10 killer whales…
Some other kayakers arrive in the area, and a see watching boat, but the orca doesn’t seem annoyed and stay with us at least 30 minutes. They hunt fishes, circle around the kayak, go under (and I scream and cry of happiness).. They were so close that my 100-400mm lens was too short and we almost could touch them…
After having this long moment in their company, we continue to paddle and see many sea lions. One of them was hunting and fight with a big fish in front of us. On the way back, we have been lucky again and the orca come back to us a second time. I have no words to describe my feelings during this trip, but if you planned to go to Telegraph Cove, you have no other options than book a trip with North Island Kayak and asked for Kali !
5 based on 900 reviews
Ocean EcoVentures' whale watching excursions depart daily from the seaside village of Cowichan Bay.Our Whale Watching tours focus on the Southern Resident Orca Whales, Transient Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales and Minke Whales. You will also encounter Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Harbour Seals, Dalls and Harbour Porpoise.A small, owner-operated family business, Ocean EcoVentures is committed to providing you with an intimate and informative whale watching tour.
I took two of our grand daughters out yesterday for a very special occassion to hopefully see a whale. Coming from Calgary they were excited, but after nearly an hour of motoring they were ready to return. They were expecting whales from the moment we left the dock, not that we had to go and find them!
Well did Simon ever deliver. When he slowed down because of the report of a minke nearby the girls suddenly looked up just in time to see it surface.
Five minutes later two Orcas were seen off the starboard bow and for the next 45 minutes we followed as they dove and surfaced, occassionly thrashing some kill which we fortunately couldn't see.
The stellar sea lions were a nice desert to the day.
When we returned home the girls were buzzing with excitement to call their parents and little sister with OMG you won't believe what we saw today.
Definitely worth the run out.
I highly reccommend this adventure for everyone.
5 based on 132 reviews
Sea Wolf Adventures offers First Nations cultural tours as well as connecting travellers to destinations in the Broughton Archipelago and surrounding areas for sightseeing, sea taxi services, freight and charters. Safe. True. Educational. Your guides are well trained in tradition and will give you a deeper experience into First Nations culture and heritage of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation.
We had to get up at 5 to be there in time. It was a long day of 11 hours! We had a guide Harry that knew everything there is to know about whales, sealions, humpback whales, the hystory of the island and the land. He spoke in a clear voice, found a solution for every challenge and really made it possible in a very relaxed way to take pictures or record movies, or just to look at all thing floating and flying by. He made the day feel like being in heaven. After looking at bears, mother and cubs and adult young males, he asked us if we wanted to see more bears or orka's. For fun we said orka's and so we got these too. Although it was a little bumpy on our way back, he managed to keep it a smooth ride, taking the waves the right way or a little d tour. That is a tour I advise everybody that wants to experience nature and being around wildlife, the only right way. Respect, love and leaving nothing but footsteps. Thank you very much. Looking forward to the next time.
5 based on 2 reviews
The Wild Pacific Trail is located in Ucluelet and is a seven phase trail system skirting the rugged cliffs and shoreline of the west coast of Vancouver Island. Overlooking Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands to the east and the open Pacific Ocean to the south and west, it offers spectacular shoreline panoramas and seaward vistas through ancient cedar and spruce-framed viewing platforms constructed on the best headlands along the route.
If you are looking for a way to connect with nature the Wild Pacific Trail is right up your alley. Easy to navigate, lush greenery and a truly mystical experience make it a great choice. We always enjoy our walk on the trail. Well worth...MoreGetting reviews like yours ranks among our favorite things! Thank you for your kind words and wonderful description of the Trail. Please do continue to hike the Trail when in the area.
5 based on 124 reviews
(by appointment) Text or email for a fun-filled educational activity, have the whole family go on a 1 1/4 hour farm adventure. Tour the farm, meet, feed, learn about 20 varieties of farm animals. Interact, pet and hold the small critters in the two petting pens. Feed from your animal goodie bag, collect your own chicken egg, say hello to the talking horse, sitting micro pig who makes funny faces, and walking goat. Add a 15 minute pony trail ride. A great day for all! Horse Trail Rides also available. By appointment email, text or call. Cash or cheque no credit cards.
We spent the New Years long weekend on the Sunshine Coast and were lucky enough to have Bette-lyn show us around the farm!
The tour exceeded our expectations, she was super knowledgeable and the animals were adorable.
Would definitely recommend to anyone, adults or children, you will have a ball!
5 based on 1 reviews
5 based on 108 reviews
Artisan Olive Oils, Balsamics and more..Come savour the delicious flavours while soaking up the ocean view. Try the European tradition of olive oil and balsamic tasting in an idyllic West Coast setting. Sample and explore the endless pairing combinations of gourmet oils and balsamic vinegars before you buy. Tastings are alwayscomplimentary.
A summer highlight is always a local greens salad simply tossed with good olive oil & vinegar. I really like the citrus (lemon, grapefruit) vinegar. And come Christmas time, the gift packs make wonderful stocking stuffers for the adults in your family (something they will actually love and use). Staff are very helpful & by sampling different combinations you will always be very happy with your purchases. They have great ideas for using the balsamics in cooking.
5 based on 105 reviews
Tranquil forest trails lead to windswept bluffs, quiet Beaches, and Islands that can be accessed by foot during low tide. While the hikes themselves are not strenuous, the pathways can be challenging due to exposed tree roots and roots. During our visits, we encountered both baby eagles and fawns.
5 based on 197 reviews
This park is spectacular! The seaside views are out of this world! Little Islands just offshore are filled with seabirds - always in motion - with excited gulls & energetic little flocks of the native west coast Black Oystercatchers. Giant boulder promontories above numerous pocket coves - at the edge of cliff-side Forests adorned with majestically branching Madrona trees & tall Douglas Fir evergreens - offer scenic spots to picnic, whale-watch, sunbathe, & dream!
Even in the rain, there are many people at this park! For the recent Hawk Watch event the end of September - a very rainy day - the parking lots were filled with cars; and toddlers in cute rain slickers blissfully ambled down the trails. A special raptor demo also attracted quite an audience that stood in the rain - mesmerized by a young girl flying a Gyrfalcon & a Harris’ Hawk - both birds performing breath-taking aerial feats!
Note that it’s a little tricky to get here as you travel west from Victoria, on East Sooke Road to the Aylard Farm entrance. You have to carefully watch for the turn-off - a sharp hairpin left onto Becher Bay Road - just past the East Sooke sign. When you pass the sign for the Smokin Tuna Café (a little waterfront restaurant), you are almost there. The potholed road narrows to one lane for a short ways, & ends at a spacious paved parking lot, with adjacent grassy area for overflow parking.
From the parking lot, a gravel path (about a 5-minute walk) leads straight ahead to a scenic, but small white-sand beach, & passes the only pit toilet restroom. From that beach, trails branch off both ways right along the spectacular waterfront. These trails can be somewhat difficult - since you have to climb over protruding rocks, roots, & some tight-place boulders! Bring a walking stick, or hike with a partner to help you!
Other trail options: grassy paths that have been mowed (which make for much easier walking) zigzag through open fields bordering an inland forest; these paths join the seaside trails at various points. Additionally an inland forest trail - flatter & more direct - leads from the parking lot, & will take you to the scenic bluff overlooks facing the water.
Be sure to bring something to drink & a snack! It’s heavenly to picnic on the boulders overlooking the water on a sparkly sunny day.
Bring your binoculars too! We were lucky to see up close the whiskered face of a snoozing sea lion. And what a thrill to also see spouting Humpback Whales swimming past the fishing boats!
We hiked to Petroglyph Point - about an hour leisurely walk, with frequent stops for photographs! It’s fun to meet other hikers along the way - both locals & tourists from across Canada & other countries! Don’t miss this park!
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