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Planning a Trip to Vancouver Island?

Updated on August 1, 2015

Vancouver Island - Not Just Tea and Crumpets

If someone mentions Vancouver Island to you, chances are good that your mind’s eye immediately brings up a picture of Victoria, capital city of British Columbia, complete with double-decker busses and flowers in January. A quick glance at a map of the island shows most of the population stretched out along the southern tip of Vancouver Island, curving up along the east coast all the way up to Campbell River. Looking more closely at the rest of the map show you immediately that there is a lot of empty space on Vancouver Island. For those of us who like to really get away from things the opportunities for first class recreation exist less than an hour’s drive from even the most populated parts of the Island.

Sea Cave near Fort Rupert BC

Inside looking northeast towards mainland BC
Inside looking northeast towards mainland BC | Source

Ten Amazing Outdoor Activities Easily Accessible on Vancouver Island

  1. Hiking
  2. Mountain Biking
  3. Fishing
  4. Kayaking
  5. Surfing
  6. White water rafting
  7. Whale/bear/eagle/storm watching
  8. Caving
  9. Offroad 4x4ing
  10. Hot Springs

Be Prepared for Whatever Vancouver Island Has to Offer

In one day you can go from scuba diving in pristine waters (that also happen to be very, very cold) to hiking along the ocean side, scaling ladders and crossing creeks, watching the active marine life through gaps in the trees as you go; to mountain biking up an abandoned logging road in order to get a better view of the spectacular scenery that keeps appearing around every bend. Hang-gliding and whale watching can round out just one day and leave you wanting to see more tomorrow.

It is great to spend a day or two on the wild side of Vancouver Island, it is even better to come back exhilarated with stunning photos to show off your fabulous excursion. No matter how much advance planning you do as you prepare for your time outdoors, the more people venture off the beaten track to enjoy the beauty that is Vancouver Island, the more potential there is for accidents happening in places where you’d really rather they did not.

Five Less Than Amazing Outdoor Experiences on Vancouver Island

  1. Hunger
  2. Hypothermia
  3. Broke bone/sprained muscle
  4. Getting lost on a back road in your vehicle
  5. Getting REALLY lost on foot, anywhere on the Island

Lower end of Harris Canyon - between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew
Lower end of Harris Canyon - between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew | Source

Wander Bug

Vancouver Island offers something for everyone and is a fabulous recreation destination for travelers of all ages. Here are some sites that will wet your appetite for exploring near and far after your arrival.

  • Vancouver Island Adventures is a great site put together by a couple who is passionate about uncovering all the tremendous opportunities available for enjoying Vancouver Island to the full. If your tastes run to doing adventurous things like hiking the rugged West Coast Trail, stop by.
  • AdventureSmart - an excellent resource centre to remind you of things to keep in mind before you set foot outside your safe and secure home.
  • Backcountry Accidents and Searches offers some expert input on scenarios you'd probably really like to avoid being part of.

Enjoy and stay safe as you explore Vancouver Island, the 43rd largest island in Canada.


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    • Practical Paws profile image

      Debra Hine 5 years ago from Longueuil, Quebec

      When you start thinking about where do go on Vancouver Island, try it out in reverse. Come up to the farthest end of Vancouver Island and work you way down, there's so much undiscovered adventure up here that most visitors are very sorry that they have so little time left to explore it

    • ladeda profile image

      ladeda 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this! I love Vancouver Island, but I've really only been to Victoria and the nearby area. I definitely want to explore Vancouver Island more when I have the chance!