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Vancouver Island is an oasis of nature shaped by its geography Vancouver Island is a natural balance of ocean ecosystems coastal rain forests Mountains and Human habitation, there is a mystical quality found here that evokes a sense of balance that is drenched in life Our island visit starts in the city of Victoria, British, Columbia The harbour of Victoria is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world in my opinion We have the Parliament Buildings the legislative buildings right in the background One of the things that’s really interesting is the capital city of British Columbia is right here on Vancouver Island the city of Victoria And it’s got an incredible amount of history and against the the reason that there’s some great art architecture And really interesting buildings to to see in and around the city As well as the grand old Empress Hotel But also a great walkway along the harbor where visitors can walk a Good amount of the distance seeing what’s happening out in the harbor which is always very active between little pickle boats running around and float planes taking off The Royal British Columbia Museum near the harbour has a collection of totem poles carved in the styles of Aboriginal peoples from throughout, British, Columbia If you listen closely you can almost hear the ancient tribal whispers Built between 1887 and 1890 craig derek castle was constructed for a Scottish immigrant named Robert Dunsmuir Who made his fortune in the coal industry? It’s a marvelous accomplishment built from stone and fine wood finished interiors Craig Derrick stands proud with its exquisite grounds overlooking the city of Victoria a Visit to Craig Derek Castle is like going back in time Aptly named after the two beacons on mount beacon beacon hill park is a Nature retreat right in the heart of Victoria with a colorful history starting in the 1860s the 200 acre park was turned over to the city in 1882 and has been in trust every since the abundance of life and peaceful flowing waters are a retreat for the soul a Visit to Victoria would not be complete without seeing a horse-drawn carriage winding its way through the park The park has become home and habitat to many animals such as turtles many different kinds of waterfowl

The manicured gardens are home to hundreds of plant species many considered threatened or endangered Beacon Hill Park is also home to the graceful Blue Heron who nest in the park safe haven Fisherman’s Wharf is one of Victoria harbors most interesting destinations Visitors will enjoy the unique floating homes that each have their own distinctive style There are great restaurants on the docks fresh seafood and some of the local residents are extremely entertaining There are great views of downtown Victoria and the Empress Hotel from this vantage point A trip to Vancouver Island and Victoria would not be complete without a visit to the world-famous Butchart Gardens which our gardens has existed for over a hundred years it began in 1904 and By Jenny Butchart, Butchart gardens are still owned by the Butchart family So it’s now the great great granddaughter of Jenny Butchart. Who began it is now the current current owner of the gardens We are a floral garden where a show garden We build it on the whole idea that people are going to say WOW when they come here and probably say it a number of times The area of Butchart gardens that is best known for is a sunken garden Where that was the quarry the limestone was removed from that and Jenny Butchart was one of the very early pioneers in kind of? greening things up Duncan is a pedestrian-friendly

Walkable community with a mix of art and architectural history that brings you back in time downtown feels like something out of an old movie with that small-town inviting feel The old railway station is still in use as a travel hub for visitors and residents What Duncan may be best known for is its tour of the totem poles of which it has many Just follow the yellow footprints in you’re headed in the right direction Chemainus is world-renowned for its larger-than-life murals Faced with a failing natural resource industry Chemainus reinvented itself through art and lots of it Take a stroll through the historical downtown and take in the many wall murals that Chemainus is known for And if you’re lucky you’ll even get to experience a bit of the local flavor Ladysmith like so many Vancouver island communities has a history that you can still feel to this day The railway and coal industry were central to lady smith’s beginnings The town is known for its historical stretch of buildings that look like something out of a postcard We’ve got some coastline to cover so it’s time to start moving up Island Located 111 kilometers north of Victoria is Nanaimo the harbour City The waterfront is busy with naval civilian and seaplane activity The seawall and the nearby islands make for splendid ocean views Right in the heart of the action is Maffeo, Sutton Park with miles of seawall pathways This is a pedestrian friendly way to explore Nanaimo oceanfront and Harbour acres of greenery reward your eyes and the smell of the fresh ocean air piques your senses Nanaimo has a delightful marina with ample shopping and restaurants

Visitors can take a leisurely ferry ride out to nearby prospect island to the world-famous dingy dock pub and restaurant This completely floating restaurant is a unique and tasty midpoint on a short and enjoyable tour of the area Heading north we come to the picturesque community of Qualicum Beach This area is known for its long stretches of beach and brilliant sunsets It’s time to visit the western side of the island On our way to Tofino, and Ucluelet we come across the village of Coombs Coombs has some unique shops, you won’t find anywhere else And you have to look up to see what Coombs is really known for Where else would you see a family of billy goats living in a roof these characters certainly know how to put on a show Some of the oldest growth forests Canada can be found here in the Cathedral Groves of Macmillan Provincial Park Towering Giants over 800 years old soar overhead with an ancient and commanding presence It’s impossible to witness these impressive Giants and not be struck with a sense of humility Loop Trails take you through douglas-fir Western hemlock and red cedar rain forests seething with the presence of life

This is a magical and spiritual place that will immerse you in well-being and give you a sense of place in a natural world Steeped in the wisdom of the Ancients On the unprotected west coast of Vancouver Island the true power of the Pacific Ocean comes into play Powerful waves and strong ocean winds have shaped a landscape that is rugged and twisted from the search The village of Ucluelet sits on the edge of Pacific Rim National Park Rugged ocean hikes take you along the edge of rainforests meaning into the surf Tidepools abound with sea life and lets you get up close without getting wet Starfish Sea anemone and many other sea creatures within reach and bring out the curious in all of us Continuing along Pacific Rim National Park, we head towards Tofino Here the land meets the surging ocean head-on Forests are shaped by the elements where only the strong survive Powerful winds big waves make this a Surfers Paradise Long Beach is an ideal place to walk along the beach or try your luck in the waves Here power meets beauty in a dance that has been happening for a millennia The town of Tofino suits on the protected inside edge of the peninsula, surrounded by islands and common lands With up to 1 million visitors a year Tofino is one of Vancouver Island’s most visited places The views here are incredible and like many places on the island

There’s lots of water plane activity taking people to and from adventures Tofino definitely has a surfer town feel you’ll see many vehicle sporting surfboards Even the ubiquitous Volkswagen van. It may get busy here, but it still feels like a small town Whale watching is a popular activity here Jaime’s whaling station is a great launching pad for whale watching adventures with professional guides and state-of-the-art boats It’s a safe and enjoyable way to look for whales and with over 22,000 gray whales visiting the area every year Chances are pretty good. You’ll spot one As the day winds to an end make sure you head to the beach the sunsets here are simply unreal Let’s continue up to the northern tip of Vancouver Island The drive-up island is one of the most interesting parts of visiting, Vancouver Island First stop, Campbell River the Gateway to the north Campbell River is a beautiful Oceanside city that still has a small-town feel Located midpoint on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, this is a community connected to the ocean with quaint marinas scenic beaches and an abundant marine ecosystem The salmon fishing capital of the world as they call themselves has become a major ecotourism destination with activities like whale and bear watching And started to get the bear watching trips four years ago when we started the company up With the idea of taking people up to do it Inlet because of the reputation up there Has a pretty long history of being a real popular bear spot. We’ve been fortunate enough to do have some real good success over the last four years and Lots of people going in there and experiencing the Bears and everything that goes along with them, so it’s been fabulous for Our trip starts on the state-of-the-art boat built specifically for Discovery marine safaris the tenacious three The trip to Bute Inlet takes about two hours Our certified experienced guide tells us about the wildlife. We’ll encounter along the way The voyage is scenic and enjoyable On this trip the water provides many wildlife sightings such as sea lions And a group of dolls porpoise that took some time to playfully ride the bow of our boat

They really look like they were having fun As we pull into the Bute Inlet we enter the territory of our hosts the Hamalco Nation band These experienced native guides take us by minibus to raised bear watching Platforms where we can safely watch the Grizzlies hunting for salmon This male is walking in the water to get a better view These two salmon don’t want to be lunch just yet This is an annual feast that Bears have been making for thousands of years salmon are high in protein and fat Which is a great chance to fatten up for the coming winter hibernation? And here a mom with two cubs passes through cautiously She senses the male’s presence and decides to go somewhere else to fish The Cubs are vulnerable to attacks by males at this age, so it’s best just to move on We move up River, and there’s yet another male he sees something moving in the water Success Another female bear with a single cub passes through the same area This little cub is tired and decides to take a short break It’s not long before mom says it’s time to move on These picturesque valleys are another example of the abundance of life on the canadian west coast If You drive up island to where the pavement ends you’re in Port Hardy The small town sits on the edge of Cape Scott Provincial Park, and is a gateway to many other adventures Rotary Park is a great place for an evening stroll and a view of one of Vancouver’s most interesting town signs This is a place where people are connected to the elements Logging and fishing are the major industries here, and there’s a feeling here that is uniquely, Vancouver Island And because it’s more remote, there’s a very good chance of seeing black bears and bald eagles up here You just haven’t seen Vancouver Island unless you’ve made it up island here for a visit and Sunrise here is particularly beautiful Heading back down island not far from Port Hardy a winding road takes you to the town of Port Alice We arrived on a particularly foggy day, but this was a blessing. There is a spirit here You can only experience on the island in just this type of weather Looking out into the dreamscape of water and fading islands my seal pops its head up for a visit in The stillness of this morning with just the two of us there our mutual curiosity was quite enlightening Our last visit on the island is the picturesque village of Telegraph Cove visiting here is literally like going back in time

the old lovingly restored buildings sit up high perched on the docks with a history going back to the 1920s What was historically a fish cannery in lumber mill has turned into one of Vancouver Island’s most beloved Destinations the boardwalks here bring you back in time and take you away from the worries of the outside world The whale museum in telegraph cove is one of the most interesting places you will ever get to visit You can see full well skeletons up close and get a sense of the mammal that evolution has taken to the seas There is an abundance of information here So spend some time and take it in there are skeletons for many marine mammals here such as orca dolphin and even a giant fin whale Vancouver Island’s oldest and environmentally ethical whale-watching companies calls telegraph cove home Stubs island whale-watching is owned and operated by Jim and Mary Borromini will built a reputation for responsible wildlife viewing that has true Educational merit Jim has worked for 30 years to protect the whales through responsible practices in education Both her grandsons and her granddaughter’s Sometimes a killer will family may even have four generations with great grandchildren traveling with the group as well It’s a magical world for them. Everything they do is with sound they navigate they find their food They stay in touch with their family, and they find their mates all using sounds underwater our whale watching adventure begins on the Gikumi, a lovingly restored boat originally built in 1954 to the owner of the telegraph cove sawmill This wooden vessel with its natural warmth is just another piece of history that brings you back in time She has a way with the water that feels so natural We’re very fortunate to have Jim as our captain’s Stubbs Islands other vessel to Luke hua is heading out with us – she’s newer and more technologically advanced But she still has a spirit about her that is uniquely telegram Cove This is a very steady platform to view Wales from and a pleasure to be on Whales have been spotted and the radio comes to life with reports from other boats We respect the creature space and never get too close with Our engines turned off these giants come in closer for a visit These resident orcas are beautiful and travel as a family unit led by female matriarchs These pods have been together for a very long time and even have their own unique dialects These powerful males have long or shaped dorsal fins that are unique as fingerprints and help researchers identify them with great accuracy These top marine predators are hunting for salmon and are very successful group hunters A little further up the coast and we’re fortunate enough to see a humpback The signature tail fluke comes up just before the whale goes down for longer dive Canada’s Pacific west coast is a magical ecosystem where Mankind and nature have found a balance that you won’t find anywhere else Here power meets grace and a dance that has been going on between the mountains in the ocean for a millennium To visit the west coast is a life-changing experience that will give you a sense of balance in an ever-changing world As the Sun lowers into the ocean one can’t help, but think this is where Beauty goes to rest You

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