The Ultimate Guide to Discovering Vancouver Island.

I love my east coast island home PEI, but Vancouver Island has me falling for the west coast. I have been living the west coast lifestyle for five months now, and in four different towns across this rainy coast. After seeing all our adventures here, my family decided to make the flight out and let us (Insane Terrain Tours as my Dad calls us) show them this incredible place I call home.

I LOVE planning trips, I have like 10 planned at all times so I’m ready for anything! I told my Dad to book three nights in Victoria and four nights in Campbell River and let me handle the rest. Saturday October 21st they landed at YYJ Victoria International Airport. This was a huge step. My parents first time on a jet plane and my family’s first time on the west coast, actually their first time ever travelling west of Ontario!


1. Royal BC Museum

You will want to reserve about 4 hours to walk the whole museum. Tickets are $17.00 for adults, and $11.00 for children, seniors and students. Open weekdays 10am-8pm and Saturdays 1pm-5pm.



2. BC Parliament Building



3. Beacon Hill Park

Walk along the south coast sea wall and take in scenic views of Olympic National Park, then admire the World’s Tallest Totem Pole.


4. Gold Stream Provincial Park

Just outside of the city and at the start of the Malahat mountain pass highway, sits a quiet little park where you can watch salmon swim upstream.


5. Kinsol Trestle

One of the world’s largest wooden trestles, Kinsol Trestle was built by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway company in 1920.





6. Sugarloaf Mountain

Sit 340m about sea level on Sugarloaf Mountain, the prefect place to soak in some views of Nanaimo and Departure Bay.




7. Little Mountain

Take a drive up Little Mountain Road, to the top. Parksville occupies a flat stretch of land between alpine mountains and the Pacific ocean. In the middle of this flat stretch, Little Mountain stands alone and provides spectacular panoramic views of the mountains.



8. Cathedral Grove

Walk into Vancouver Island’s rare, and oldest Douglas Fir forest. Trees aged at over 800 years old and standing 75m tall, give a cathedral feel along the trails.


9. Elk Falls Provincial Park

A 27m plunge waterfall located just west of Campbell River along highway 28. You can hike the trails or walk over the river gorge on the suspension bridge.

10. Strathcona Provincial Park

The oldest Provincial Park in British Columbia and the largest on Vancouver Island. Strathcona Park provides one of the most rare mountain wilderness areas in North America. I recommend picking up a Backroads Mapbook, they have all the campgrounds and trails you would need to fully experience Strathcona.




11. Port Alice Waterfalls

Drive the famous BC 30/30/30 highway into Port Alice, and don’t stop once the pavement disappears. Hidden past the old mill, an unnamed waterfall flows down the side of the mountain into the ocean inlet. Ropes are available to aid you in climbing the mountain alongside the 300 metres of falls.

IMG_2784.JPG12. Port Hardy

The hub of the north island, Port Hardy is a small town at the end of highway 19. A town built on fishing and logging, it is a short drive away from some of the best hikes and rewarding expeditions on the island.



13. The World’s Largest Tree Burl

Port McNeill is home to a 6m tall and 6m wide, 30 ton tree burl. The largest in the world actually. While most large tree burls grow on Redwood trees, this one was from a Sitka Spruce tree.





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