Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is part of British Columbia, Canada. As well as the island itself, it is also a region which includes the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia. It is often referred to by the locals as simply 'The Island'. Vancouver Island is the largest island off the west coast of North America at about 450km long and up to about 90km wide. It has a population of over 700,000 people, with a little less than half of those living in the Greater Victoria area.

The development on the island primarily follows the north-south highway that goes along the east coast of the island from Victoria to Port Hardy.

Regions

Cities

Other destinations

Get in

By ferry

The most common way to get to Vancouver Island is by BC Ferries . There is regular ferry service from Tsawwassen (near Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (Near Victoria), Tsawwassen to Duke Point (near Nanaimo) and Horseshoe Bay (Near Vancouver) to Departure Bay (in Nanaimo). These ferries generally run about every two hours with more frequent service on some of the routes in the summer.

There is a ferry service that runs from Powell River to Comox, and Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.

By plane

The Victoria airport has flights from various locations in Canada. There are also flights from Vancouver to many of the towns and cities on the island. Floatplane facilities located both in the Victoria and Maple Bay.

Floatplanes operated by Harbour Air,Salt Spring Air fly frequently from-to downtown Vancouver, YVR and other destinations including the scenic Gulf Islands. Some of these float plane operators will also do tours of the city and nearby attractions starting at about $80-100 per person... a great way to see the island.

Direct flights to Comox on the east central coast of Vancouver Island are available from Calgary or Edmonton on Westjet. . There is also a connection to Comox from Vancouver on Pacific Coastal airline.

Get around

The easiest way to travel around Vancouver Island is to drive.

There is coach bus service to most of the major cities on the island, but it is generally a patchwork, and travelling around by bus often involves inconvenient waits to catch connecting buses.

See

In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach region , see the giant old growth forest at Cathedral Grove, funky "goats on the roof" market at Coombs, and watch the tide go out for more than a kilometer at Parksville and Rathtrevor Beaches.

Do

Go on a hiking or walking nature tour of ancient rainforests with their giant trees, visit alpine meadows and lakes or stroll along colourful sea side tide pools. Try bird watching or wildlife viewing in the area's diverse ecosystems. A mild climate means year round tour opportunities including winter surfing, storm watching, mountain skiing and fall salmon viewing into December. Journey on a whale watching or grizzly bear tour.

Out of Telegraph Cove on the North End of the island, kayak with the Orca. Half day to 7 day expeditions in Johnstone Strait & vicinity.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.