After our camper roadtrip through Western Canada, it was time to explore a part of Vancouver Island. We were tired of the many kilometers we had already traveled with the camper, but were still looking forward to this new and final chapter of our journey. Vancouver Island is full of nature. It has one of the highest populations of bears in the world.
When we arrived with the ferry in Nanaimo, we had the feeling that this would be more “our thing”. The coast reminded us of Mendocino and Carmel in California, where we used to live.
Our first destination on Vancouver Island was the wonderful Pacific Rim National Park. After a three-hour drive from Nanaimo, we arrived at dusk and were quickly installed. This allowed us to stretch our legs and explore the area. We took the small path that ran from our campsite through the rainforest towards a parallel road with the sea. From there you could easily go to the beach. The dense vegetation, the tall trees with the many large ferns beneath and the rustling of the sea made a fantastic first impression on us. The beach was still largely unspoilt and our mouths fell almost open when we saw so much nature. I could not have imagined it nicer.
Tofino is a 20-minute drive from Pacific Rim National Park. It’s a beautifully situated and sleepy-looking village. From there we went island hopping to Vargas Island and Meares Island. There are still wolves on Vargas Island and we took a walk from the east side to Ahous Bay, a beautiful unspoilt bay on the other side of the island. The fauna and flora there is enormously varied. We saw some tents on the beach. What would it be nice to go there at the weekend and camp on the beach with a tent.
When we were picked up again, we sailed to Meares Island. That island is known for its very old trees. A few forest giants are more than 1000 years old. We made a nice walk to the “Hanging Tree”, one of the oldest trees on Meares Island. After we were picked up by the water taxi we went for a drink in Tofino.
That evening we went on the beach again to enjoy the sunset. That evening, too, there was a magical fog that rose from the sea and gave the sun a milky view. After dinner and after we had talked about our day at the campfire, we went to sleep with the sound of the sea, tired but satisfied. What a magical place.
Also south of Pacific Rim National Park it is wonderfully beautiful. On the way to Ucluelet, various walks are worthwhile. Rainforest Trail A & B are the best known. What stayed with us the most is Lighthouse Loop Walk at Ucluelet. Wow, what a beautiful path they have built along the rugged coast! The walk is only 2.6 km long, but it took us four hours. Small fishing boats or pleasure boats sailed along the coast, but the small bays were deserted and peaceful. An osprey flew over our heads when we arrived at a picturesque bay. . My son had brought his landing net and his sister as a helper. They were tireless in their search for fish and crabs. I was happy to take photos and Jessica stared in the distance looking for whales at sea or read in a book.
Vancouver Island was already in our hearts forever, but one of the most beautiful days was yet to come. After our time on the west coast, we drove to Campbell River on the other side of Vancouver Island.
One of the best trips we made there was a seven-hour whale watching tour looking for whales. We saw more than 20 humpback whales that day, but what surprised me the most was the natural spectacle around Bute Inlet near Stuart Island. Nature is unparalleled and unspoilt there. The difference in ebb and flow of the surrounding islands results in tidal rapids and vortices. These are rapids like on a river, but then in the sea. Along and in the currents we saw sea lions hunting salmon. Sometimes you saw a sea lion emerge with a large salmon in its mouth. Osprey sat in the tops of the trees or flew past us.
Thanks to the good infrastructure, health care, equal opportunities policy and the fantastic climate, Vancouver Island is one step ahead. The answer to the question “what is your favorite place in the world” is, partly due to the above points, but undoubtedly also because of it’s unspoiled and beautiful nature, Vancouver Island.
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