Everything about Vancouver Island
Impressions from Vancouver island
There are two main ways to cross Vancouver Island, Canada’s largest Pacific Island. A seaplane ride form Vancouver takes you over the Lions Gate Bridge and across Georgia Strait giving you a firts full glimpse of this most verdant of lands. When reaching the island you fly over the sunshine coast resorts of Parksville and Qualicum, to the north the glaciers of Strathcona stand out, whilst to the south the mountains of Washington State appear magically close on a clear day. But above all the lush ancient forest, specked with the odd lake, feeds the eye. About halfway across, the Alberni Inlet guides the plane along to the Pacific Rim National Park with its long sandy beaches framed by rich temperate rain forest. Then finally you land in the heart of Tofino.
Since the locals will tell you that everything runs in the laid-black “Tofino Time”, it is perhaps better to arrive by road. There is a good bus service linking the main ferry terminal at Nanaimo to both Ucluelet and Tofino, but it affords little opportunity for stop-offs.; that said the views along the route are spectacular. Leaving Highway 1 from Nanaimo you turn onto Highway 4 and enter Cathedral Grove, an area of 800 -year-old majestic Douglas firs, some measuring 9 meters in circumference. After Port Alberni you come to Sproat Lake with an opportunity to stumble across the abundant wildlife in the area. In spring brown bears, waking from hibernation, come to eat the dandelion heads that grow near the road- don’t leave your vehicle but have your camera ready. Finally the road winds its way past Kennedy Lake and then onto the Pacific Rim highway that runs parallel to the golden sands of Long Beach.
Best highlights you can see across the Vancouver Island
For the first, you can see the Long Beach- a 16 kilometers long stretch of pristine Pacific sandy beach.
Tofino Botanical Gardens
The second place you can see is Tofino Botanical Gardens, a wonderfully unconventional garden with boardwalks and paths through sculptures and forests.
Rim Whale Festival
The beauty of Pacific Rim Whale Festival which you can see in early March. Here the people gather to watch the 20.ooo or so grey whales on their migration.
First Nations culture
First Nations culture- there are few places in Canada where the native people live and thrive alongside the settler population better than on the west coast of Vancouver Island.