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VANCOUVER ISLAND - Where to Next?

7 Day Epic Vancouver Island Road Trip itinerary with a crazy 25 Stops

written bySteven Eckert

Last ModifiedJune 14, 2024

This image features a man standing on a rocky shoreline on Vancouver Island, looking out over the ocean. He is viewed from behind and wears a blue jacket and jeans. The scenery includes clear blue skies and a calm sea, with distant mountains visible across the water. Text overlay at the top reads "7-DAY ROAD TRIP South to North Seven Day Trip Across Vancouver Island," suggesting the theme of a travel itinerary.

25 stops, 7-day Vancouver Island Road trip. Full Itinerary of Vancouver Island's lesser-known spots.

What to expect on this road trip itinerary:

Regions:
South Island, Cowichan, Central Island, North Central and North Island.
Distance:
1700km including 3 back roads
Locations:
Easy to moderate hikes, waterfalls and the island’s lesser visited locations.
7 day Vancouver Island Road Trip map

Spring is an ideal time for a 7-day road trip with my dad, who came from Alberta to explore Vancouver Island’s back roads. The crowds were non-existent, and accommodations in the northern areas were just beginning to open for the season.

Father and son in front of Ammonite waterfall during a 7 day road trip across Vancouver IslandThis post is for those who love driving and packing numerous stops in a short periodStarting in Sooke, we journeyed up Vancouver Island to explore the back roads of North Central Island and North Island. We navigated logging roads and discovered charming small towns and back roads that often go unnoticed. 

My Dad (Marvin) and I have travelled together a few timesand we both enjoy discovering what’s around the corner. At 74 years old, he hasn’t slowed down. Marvin was game for it all, embracing every adventure along the way.

Vancouver Island Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1
Sheringham Lighthouse
Sandcut Beach
Botanical Beach

Day 2
Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree
Harris Creek Spruce Tree
Somenos Conservation Area
Hand of Man Museum
Qualicum Beach

Day 3
Telegraph Cove
Whale Interpretive Centre
Alert Bay

Day 4
Dakota Memorial Hike
Hidden Museum Coal Harbour
Port Alice Loop
Eternal Fountain
Devil’s Bath Recreation Site

Day 5
Antler Lake Loop
Tahsis

Day 6
Leiner River Recreation Site
Boulder Patch
Upana Caves
Cala Creek Falls
Tsuxwin Viewpoint

Day 7 
Heritage Forest
Ammonite Falls

 

Day 1 – Sooke to Port Renfrew

Day one of our road trip across Vancouver Island This map displaying a route for a road trip from Sooke to Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. The route, highlighted in blue, stretches approximately 73.3 kilometers and takes about 1 hour and 11 minutes to travel by car. The map shows key geographic details including various towns, water bodies, and notable locations

We began our trip with a leisurely drive from my home in Sooke up to Port Renfrew, kicking off the day with a visit to the famous Shirley Delicious Restaurant. After breakfast, our first stop at the Sheringham Lighthouse offered stunning views, setting the tone for our adventure, with a plan to spend the afternoon exploring Botanical Beach. If you’re starting from Victoria, be sure to factor in an additional hour to your day.

The road to Port Renfrew is paved but narrow and winding in places. As you approach Port Renfrew, you’ll encounter several narrow one-way bridges and a few kilometres of driving where the pavement is rough and uneven.

Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Panoramic view of a coastal lighthouse situated on a rocky cliff. The red and white lighthouse stands prominently against a clear sky, with the vast ocean and mountainous horizon in the background.

Sheringham Point Lighthouse, Shirley

Every time I visit Sheringham Lighthousethere is a new addition added to the area for a better experience. 

Located in Shirley, the lighthouse offers a quintessential Canadian coastal experience. Visitors can expect breathtaking ocean views, easy access from the highway, and well-kept trails leading down to the lighthouse.

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society maintains the site, which features informative plaques, donation options, and a small parking lot at the end of Sheringham Point Rd. It’s perfect for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and travelers of all kinds! The gates open from 9 a.m. to dusk daily. Admission is free, but a donation of $5 per person helps maintain and enhance the site.

The walk back up can be challenging for those with health conditions, but the views and overall experience are breathtaking.

What to expect when visiting this Iconic West Coast Lighthouse

 

Sandcut Beach

A man standing next to Sandcut Beach waterfall cascading off a rock overhang onto a pebble-covered beach on the Juan de Fuca. The surrounding environment includes tall trees and clear skies. The man, wearing a blue jacket and jeans, appears to be observing the waterfall or walking towards it. A peaceful, natural scene, on the west coast of Vancouver Island

Sandcut Beach Waterfall

Sandcut Beach has always been a favourite of mine, although this visit was unplanned. Located just before Jordan River, it provided the perfect spot to spend an extra hour while waiting for low tide at our next stop, Botanical Beach.

The round trip to the Sandcut Beach waterfall takes about an hour and covers two kilometres. The hike begins with a magical journey through a dense rainforest featuring a mix of old and second-growth trees. As you continue, you’ll encounter a small creek and boardwalk. Be prepared for stairs and some steeper sections along the way.

As the trees open up, revealing the beach, head left along the pebble shoreline until you reach the waterfall. If you’re feeling adventurous, there is a trail to the left of the falls that will take you to the top.

Maps, photos, descriptions, and when is the best time to visit Sandcut Beach Waterfall

 

Botanical Beach

A man standing on a rugged tidal flat covered with barnacle-encrusted rocks, facing the expansive view of the ocean. He is looking towards the horizon where small rocky islets dot the waters under a vast blue sky with wispy clouds. The scene is serene and untouched, emphasizing the natural beauty of the coastal landscape, captured during a low tide revealing the textured sea bed at Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew

Botanical Beach

Botanical Beach is a must-stop for anyone visiting Port Renfrew. It has the best tide pools on Vancouver Island, along with a rugged west coast shoreline and even a taste of the famous coastal Vancouver Island trails

The trail loop is just 3 kilometres, but expect to walk over 5 kilometres to fully explore the beach, and it’s not an easy trek. The rugged, uneven rock and the trail connecting Botanical Beach and Botany Bay offer a taste of the mud and roots found on some of the famous West Coast trails.

Tips

  1. Watch the tide information, you’ll want to visit when the tides are lower to have the chance to view the tide pools.
  2. Start by heading down the trail to Botanical Beach. After exploring, you can decide whether to finish the loop based on your energy levels.

Explore Botanical Beach – more maps, tips and tricks.

 

Night Port Renfrew – Hikers Hut

Located in Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, A series of rustic Hiker Huts set against a backdrop of dense evergreen trees under a clear blue sky. The cabins are connected by a large wooden deck, equipped with small porches and entryways. Each cabin displays a unique number and a simple, functional design, suggesting a serene retreat in a natural setting, designed for hikers or eco-tourists.

Night Port Renfrew – Hikers Hut

For our first night in Port Renfrew, we opted for the hiker huts, which proved to be both easy and affordable. These huts are ideal if you’re simply looking for a comfortable bed to rest on. We found them to be impeccably clean and cozy, and their proximity to local restaurants was a fantastic bonus.

Pricing and booking for your stay

 

Day 2 – Port Renfrew to Telegraph Cove

a map showing a road trip route from Port Renfrew to Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island. The journey, marked in blue, covers a distance of 517 kilometers and has an estimated driving time of 6 hours and 38 minutes. Key locations along the route include Cowichan Lake, Duncan, Hand of Man Museum Qualicum Beach and Telegraph Cove. The map highlights major roads and landmarks, providing a clear visual guide for this scenic drive across diverse terrains of the island.

On day two, our mission was to drive from South Island to North Island, making a few stops along the way.

The first 140 km of our trip is the north section of the Pacific Marine Circle Route up to Cowichan Lake to Duncan. The entire route was paved, with some rough spots on the narrow and windy stretch from Port Renfrew to Cowichan Lake. However, after Cowichan Lake, the highways improved significantly, offering smooth and pleasant driving all the way to Telegraph Cove. 

 

Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree

An image captures a serene scene featuring a Bonsai tree growing from a large, moss-covered log in the middle of tranquil fairy lake. The tree is adorned with yellow , and its reflection, along with that of the surrounding forest, is clearly visible in the still water. The background consists of softly blurred green foliage, enhancing the calm and isolated atmosphere of the scene. This setting conveys a sense of solitude and the resilience of nature.

Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree

Ten minutes after leaving Port Renfrew, we made our first stop of the day, the Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree is located just along the side of the road. We quickly pulled over on the gravel shoulder as we reached Fairy Lake to view what might be Vancouver Island’s most photographed tree. 

A short distance from the shore, a single log juts out of the water at an angle. Remarkably, despite the lack of protection and being surrounded by water, this small tree has managed to survive and grow on it.

Location and more photos of the Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree

 

Harris Creek Spruce Tree

A photo featuring a man standing on a forest trail next to the massive Harris Sitka Spruce Tree, which is covered in lush, green moss. He is dressed in a blue jacket and jeans, leaning casually against a wooden fence that encloses the tree. The background is dense with various shades of green from the surrounding forest, emphasizing the natural, tranquil setting of the scene. This photo captures a moment of admiration or contemplation of nature's grandeur

Harris Creek Spruce Tree

Halfway between Port Renfrew and Cowichan Lake, there’s a turn-off marked by a single sign that’s easy to miss, so you might want to mark it on your map.

A small parking lot and a very short trail lead you to the giant Harris Creek Sitka Spruce Tree. This huge tree, located along the Harris Riveris worth the stop.

Location and photos of the Harris Creek Sitka Spruce Tree

 

S’amunu | Somenos Conservation Area

A man walking on a wooden boardwalk in S'amunu | Somenos Conservation Area in Duncan on Vancouver island. Amidst lush greenery and leafless, thorny branches under a clear blue sky. The boardwalk has shadows of the surrounding foliage are cast across it, creating a patterned effect

S’ammunu | Somenos Conservation Area

This was an unplanned stop. We had set out early to start the day and needed to fill some time before the Hand of Man Museum opened. It turned out to be a relaxing and enjoyable stop.

Located in Duncan along the Trans Canada Highway, the Somenos Wildlife Management Area has boardwalks that take you through a marsh filled with young trees, birds and wetlands. The one-kilometre relaxing walk around the Somenos Conservation area is an easy way to spend 30 minutes.

Directions

 

Hand of Man Museum

This image showcases the interior of the Hand of Man Museum on Vancouver Island. The scene is densely packed with various exhibits including a large dinosaur skeleton, tribal masks, animal skins, and an array of historical artifacts. Richly patterned rugs cover the floor, adding to the eclectic and visually intriguing environment. The museum's diverse collection highlights both natural history and cultural artifacts, displayed in a well-lit, spacious setting.

Hand of Man Museum

The Hand of Man Museum is a fascinating private collection that features an incredible array of artifacts from various cultures around the worldHoused in a charming old school building, the museum showcases everything from exquisite art pieces to dinosaur skeletons, as well as a diverse range of animals on display from across the globe. 

This eclectic mix creates a truly unique experience far from your typical museum visit. The museum’s intimate and personal touch, coupled with its extensive and varied exhibits, makes it a must-see destination for anyone with a curious mind and a love for history and natural wonders.

Directions

 

Qualicum Beach 

This image captures a scenic view of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. The photo shows a clear day with a few clouds in the sky, and the coastline stretches along the frame, lined with driftwood and pebbles. To the left, people walk along a paved path that runs parallel to the beach, passing by a small building and trees. In the background, residential areas and forested hills can be seen under the backdrop of distant mountains.

Qualicum Beach

We made a quick lunch stop in the quaint town of Qualicum Beach. This charming and quiet town left such an impression that I plan to return with my family to explore more thoroughly. 

A fun fact about Qualicum Beach is that you won’t find any chain stores or restaurants here—they’re not allowed, which adds to the town’s unique and local charm.

Directions

 

Telegraph Cove

 This image depicts the picturesque setting of Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island. A rustic red building labeled stands prominently on a wooden pier, surrounded by dense, lush greenery. The calm waters reflect the cloudy sky, and several boats are moored along the docks, which jut out into the serene inlet. The scene is a blend of natural beauty and quaint maritime charm, typical of this popular tourist destination.

Night Two, Telegraph Cove

After a long drive and some great stops, we made it to Telegraph Cove.

This is the perfect spot to use as a base to explore northern Vancouver Island for the next three days. This unique experience has history and experiences. A restaurant, whale museum, whale watching tours, kayak tours, cafe, and it’s just fun to walk up and down the historic boardwalk.

Directions

 

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Day 3 – North Vancouver Island 

This image is a map showing the route from Telegraph Cove to Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. The route, highlighted in blue, covers a distance of 38.5 kilometers and has an estimated travel time of 1 hour and 8 minutes by car and ferry. The map also depicts the rugged terrain and numerous water bodies characteristic of the regionDay 3 was more relaxed, with fewer miles and only a couple of hours in the car. We began our morning at the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove before heading to Port McNeill for breakfast. Afterward, we took the ferry to Alert Bay, where we spent the afternoon having lunch exploring the history of the small island.

Whale Interpretive Centre

This image captures the interior of the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island. The photograph showcases a large whale skeleton, prominently suspended from the ceiling, surrounded by several other marine skeletons and informative displays. The wooden beams of the ceiling add a rustic charm to the educational space. Below the skeletons, various educational posters and exhibits provide visitors with information about marine life, contributing to an engaging learning environment focused on marine conservation

Whale Interpretive Centre

Our first stop of the day was conveniently close—we simply walked down to the end of the boardwalk from our room to the Whale Interpretive Centre. Whales have played a significant role in the history of Vancouver Island, from the extensive whaling history up to the 1960s to the thriving tourism industry today. The museum features giant whale skeletons and offers a wealth of information about the various whale species that visit the area annually.

 

Alert Bay

This image features the 'Namgis Original Burial Grounds in Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. The foreground prominently displays a carved totem pole with a striking eagle figure spreading its wings at the top, symbolizing important cultural narratives. Several other weathered totem poles stand in the background, surrounded by a lush green forest. The burial grounds, covered in grass and dotted with wildflowers, convey a serene and respectful memorial space dedicated to preserving Indigenous heritage and customs.

 Alert Bay

A 45-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill brings you to the vibrant community of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, rich in history and culture. Upon arrival, you’ll first notice the remnants of a once-thriving fishing village. As you explore the island and visit its landmarks, the artistry and ancient history come alive through numerous new carvings and historic totems at the original burial grounds. Alert Bay offers a rare insight into West Coast First Nations traditions and history, making it a truly unique and enriching destination.

Highlights you don’t want to miss:

  • U’mista Cultural Centre
  • Namgis Big House & Worlds largest totem pole
  • ‘Namgis Original Burial Grounds

 

Back to Telegraph Cove

Dinner on the boardwalk and off to bed to prep for another day of exploring Northern Vancouver Island.

 

Day 4 – North Vancouver Island 

Our day began with breakfast in Port McNeill, a day filled with history and scenic logging roads. We explored a World War II crash site and discovered a hidden museum in Coal Harbour. We then cut across, using logging roads as we made our way to Port Alice.

Note: This logging road is only accessible during evenings and weekends when logging trucks are inactive. 

We then proceeded to the Port Alice Loop, navigating more logging roads with varying conditions. This route is not suitable for small cars or RVs.

 

Dakota Memorial Hike

This image depicts the Dakota 576 crash site located in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. The scene shows the fragmented remnants of an old aircraft partially engulfed by the dense forest. Twisted metal and scattered debris litter the forest floor, surrounded by tall trees and undergrowth. A small memorial plaque stands amid the wreckage, suggesting a site of historical significance.

Dakota 576 Crash Site

This challenging 4.5 km hike took us just under two hours. It led us along rooted trails with some rope sections to assist us in steeper spots. The destination is a historic WWII airplane crash site, where a monument honours the lives of the pilots who perished.

Maps, photos and more information on the Dakota Crash Site

 

Hidden Museum Coal Harbour

Outdoor view of the hidden museum in Coal Harbour on Vancouver Island. The scene features a large, WWII weathered wooden hangar with several seaplanes parked in front, including one with prominent red and white floats. The surroundings are rustic with various industrial equipment and vehicles scattered around the area, backed by lush greenery.

Coal Harbour Museum

As you drive up, a single sign points you towards the museum, but from there, it’s a bit of a guessing game, as the building itself lacks signage, making it a hidden gem. 

This site is rich in history, from its World War II heritage to its days as a bustling whaling station. Inside the large WWII hangar, you’ll discover a unique private collection that has been growing since the 1970s, featuring everything from cars to chainsaws.

Directions

 

Alice Lake Loop

Port Alice Lake Loop Map Up until now, our trip had been all pavement, so we decided it was time to explore the logging roads and make our way from Coal Harbour to Port Alice. 

The road we chose allows public access only on weekends and evenings. We made it to Port Alice and drove through town to an unnamed waterfall before continuing the loop, stopping at the Eternal Fountain and the Devil’s Bath Cenote.

The logging roads past Port Alice had no gates and allowed public access, but they were a mixed bag of quality, our speed ranged from 25 km to 55 km, making for a long day in the car.

 

Unnamed Waterfall

A beautiful waterfall cascading down a moss-covered rocky cliff into a serene pool surrounded by lush green forest, located south of Port Alice on Vancouver Island

From my research, this waterfall doesn’t have a name and may be a local hidden gem. Just south of Port Alice, take Marine Drive past the Port Alice Golf & Country Club and through a commercial zone. You’ll find the waterfall on your left. For the adventurous, there’s a challenging climb that offers a view of the top half of the two-stage falls.

Directions

 

Eternal Fountain

A small waterfall flowing through a moss-covered rocky area beneath a wooden boardwalk in a lush forest setting at the Eternal Fountain Recreation Site

Eternal Fountain

A short detour off from the Lake Alice Loop road leads to the Eternal Fountain Recreation Site. Here, a small parking lot serves as the trailhead for a brief hike to the fountain. A boardwalk takes you over the waterfall, which mysteriously emerges from nowhere and disappears into the ground. The trail continues into the forest, revealing sinkholes and small caves along the way.

Directions

 

Devil’s Bath Recreation Site. 

A view of the Devil's Bath, a large cenote surrounded by dense forest and towering rock cliffs, located on Vancouver Island.

Devil’s Bath Recreation Site

Located along the main road, the Devil’s Bath Recreation Site features a viewing platform overlooking one of Canada’s largest cenotes (flooded sinkholes). The parking lot includes a picnic table, a map, and a challenging trail for those eager to explore.

Directions

 

Back to Telegraph Cove

Dinner on the boardwalk and off to bed to prep for another day of exploring Northern Vancouver Island

 

Day 5 – Telegraph Cove to Tahsis

A map showing a route from Telegraph Cove to Tahsis on Vancouver Island, highlighting a drive of approximately 3 hours and 28 minutes over 210 kilometers, passing through Nimpkish, Vernon Lake, and Gold RiverOn the only rainy day of our trip, we planned to head to Tahsis and return to Gold River. However, due to two days of logging roads and continuous rain, we made just one stop to do the highly recommended hike at Antler Lake and continued onto Tahsis.

 

Antler Lake Loop

A wooden carving of an owl placed beside a bench along the Antler Lake Trail at Gold River, with a wooden boardwalk winding through a lush, green forest in the background.

Antler Lake, Gold River

The Antler Lake Loop Hike offers a bit of everything. This 5 km, 2-hour hike takes you around the lake through mature and old-growth forests. Along the way, you’ll encounter giant Douglas firs, red cedars, creek crossings, and lake views.

The trail is well-maintained and marked. In addition to the old growth, there are a few charming spots where you can find wood carvings, wind chimes, and unique rock formations.  

Directions

 

Tahsis

A serene dock scene Westview Marina in Tahsis on Vancouver Island, featuring a docked fishing boat with a red and black hull, calm reflective waters, and mist-covered mountains in the background.

Tahsis

We made it to Tahsis, and while I was initially concerned due to our lack of plans—especially since it was early in the season on a rainy day—our visit turned out to be delightful. 

As we explored, we met some locals, found a room on the water, and enjoyed fresh prawns. Spending the night in this small, friendly town was a treat. However, be aware that this small community has limited options, particularly in the off-season, so make a better plan better than I did.

Directions

 

Day 6 – Tahsis to Qualicum Beach

A map showing the driving route from Tahsis to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, covering a distance of approximately 278 kilometers and taking around 3 hours and 45 minutes. The route passes through locations such as Gold River, Tsuxwin viewpoint, Strathcona Provincial Park, and Campbell River.With limited breakfast options on a Sunday morning in Tahsis, we settled for a couple of breakfast bars and set off towards Gold River. Rejuvenated by the sunshine, we hit the road with renewed energy.

A full day lay ahead, promising numerous waterfall sightings and the much-anticipated exploration of Upana Caves.

 

Leiner River Estuary Trail 

A man standing on the rocky shore of a calm river at Leiner River Recreation Site near Tahsis, surrounded by lush forest and mist-covered mountains in the background.

Leiner River

Just outside of Tahsis, there’s a quick and easy boardwalk loop perfect for a morning walk. With two meadow viewpoints as it leads you to the mouth of the river, it’s an ideal spot for wildlife sightings. We were fortunate to watch a bear for 10 minutesenjoying fresh morning dew grass.

Directions

 

Boulder Patch

A hiker exploring the Boulder Patch trail near Tahsis on Vancouver Island, surrounded by dense forest with moss-covered trees and large boulders.

Boulder Patch

This spot doesn’t have a designated parking area, so we parked next to the bridge. Just off the road, a small wooden sign says “Boulder Patch.” Though the ditch is a bit steep to access the trailhead, the trail is well marked as it winds through the trees, leading you around large boulders and along the river.

The river was high and flowing when we visited, but it transformed into a calm creek with clear green pools during the summer. This short hike was a bit more challenging than our first hike, but it was a fascinating area to explore.

Directions

 

Upana Caves

A person standing at the entrance of a large, rugged cave with moss-covered rock formations at Upana Caves near Gold River on Vancouver Island.

Upana Caves

In my opinion, this was the highlight of the trip. Upana Caves can be as adventurous as you want to make it. The more you are willing to explore, the more you will find. We weren’t ready to slide around on our bellies but we still found openings that lead to some exciting discoveries.

There are multiple viewpoints and cave entrances, each offering a unique experience. If you are planning to go exploring, bring a flashlight and proper clothing. And watch your head—I came out with a couple of new bumps from not paying attention.

Directions

 

Cala Creek Falls

A cascading waterfall at Cala Creek Falls near Gold River, with water flowing over large, moss-covered rocks surrounded by dense forest.

Cala Creek Falls

Just a couple minutes from Upana Caves, these falls are a quick pullover with room to park at the bridge. A short trail leads you closer to the bottom of the falls for a better view. 

Directions

 

Tsuxwin Viewpoint

A waterfall cascading down a rocky cliff face at the Tsuxwin viewpoint south of Gold River, with a green metal guardrail and a road in the foreground, surrounded by dense forest.

Tsuxwin Viewpoint

Head south of Gold River, and there is a viewpoint pullover on the left-hand side as you pass the waterfall flowing next to the road on the right.

Directions

 

Night in Qualicum Beach

We had finished with the gravel roads and arrived at Qualicum Beach for our final night of the trip.

We stayed at the Ocean Crest Motela basic yet recently renovated place that met all our needs. It was within walking distance of the ocean and a fantastic German restaurant. For supper, we enjoyed some wiener schnitzel, took a last stroll to burn off the weissbier, and then called it a night.

 

 

Day 7 – Qualicum Beach to Sooke

A map showing the driving route from Qualicum Beach to the Sooke Marine Boardwalk on Vancouver Island, covering a distance of approximately 174 kilometers and taking around 2 hours and 32 minutes. The route passes through locations such as Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Cowichan Bay.Spending seven days one-on-one with my dad has been an amazing experience, but now it’s time to head home. From here, it’s all open highway driving, which is a relief since the winding logging roads had worn Marvin out by the end of day three. To break up our journey, we planned two stops before high tide to try and catch our supper.

Heritage Forest 

A wooden entrance sign for the Heritage Forest of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, featuring a roof covered in moss. The sign is surrounded by dense forest, with a trash can and an information board visible nearby.

Heritage Forest

Up early again, we received a recommendation to visit Heritage Forest, a pleasant two-kilometre walk featuring old-growth trees right in Qualicum Beach. It’s a leisurely 40-minute stroll with plenty of informative signs to read along the way and a great way to start the day.

Directions

 

Ammonite Falls 

A picturesque view of Ammonite Falls near Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island, showing a waterfall cascading down a moss-covered cliff into a tranquil pool, surrounded by lush forest. A safety railing and caution sign are visible in the foreground.

Ammonite Falls

Ammonite Falls is situated 10 km from downtown Nanaimo and served as a perfect final destination for our trip. The in-and-out hike is a 6 km round trip with an elevation gain of 222 meters. We spent about 2 hours on the well-marked trail, which led us to a stunning waterfall.

Upon reaching the waterfall area, you’ll find steps leading down to two viewing platforms and eventually to the creek bed, offering numerous photo opportunities.

Directions

 

Catching Dinner in Sooke

Sooke Boardwalk

We returned in time to pick up my daughter so she could join Grandpa for some crab fishing off the Rotary Pier along the Sooke Boardwalk. We caught three crabs that were big enough to keep and enjoy with our family dinner. What a way to end the day!

 

 

Travel with the ones we love creating new memories

This journey across Vancouver Island was incredibly meaningful for both my dad and me. I couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion, as we both share a passion for adventure and curiosity. We love exploring new places and then moving on to the next. 

Over seven days, we made 23 stops and travelled 1,700 km, encountering all kinds of road conditions and discovering unique spots, from waterfalls to caves. We visited some of the strangest museums and spent countless hours in the car, always finding something to talk about.

This trip was truly special, and I hope our experiences inspire you to explore. Whether you live on Vancouver Island or are visiting for a week, there is so much to see and add to your bucket list.

Where to Next?

 

 

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Enjoy a day of paddle boarding on gorgeous Thetis Lake, a popular hang for families with a beautiful sandy beach. After a few...
Victoria Photographer
Localgrapher is the largest network of professional photographers and videographers with more than 600 destinations around th...
Rodfather Fishing rod 2b
You Keep Catch Catch Cleaning & Fileting Rods, reels & Tackles 4hr & 8hr options 3 person 21'boat Inshore Fishing...
Sidney Pier beacon park
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Sidneys' Beacon Ave

Full of charm and character, visitors can explore Sidneys’ many boutiques and art galleries, stroll along the waterfront boardwalk, or simply relax and enjoy the view.
Two hikers exploring a forest trail near a the Mary Vine cascading waterfall near Sooke Potholes in winter months. The image captures a dense woodland with moss-covered trees and rocks, and the waterfall's white water rushing down amidst the greenery. A person in a pink jacket is stepping carefully on the trail, while another in a blue jacket looks on, both surrounded by the serene beauty of nature.
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Mary Vine Waterf...

Mary Vine is a beautiful winter waterfall located on the trail up to Peden Lake starting off at the Sooke Potholes
Colorful floating homes line a tranquil dock at Fisherman's Wharf, with a clear blue sky overhead. Pedestrians wander along the boardwalk, while kayaks are stacked neatly beside the red houseboat, and calm waters reflect the vibrant buildings and moored boats
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Fisherman's Wharf

Indulge in restaurants, unique shops and eco-tour adventures while afloat on the harbour. Stroll along the dock and enjoy the afternoon admiring the floating houses and commercial and pleasure boats in the harbour.

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

Vancouver Island Guides & Maps
snorkelling Adventures Vancouver Island
Snorkelling Adventures Around Vancouver Island
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Vancouver & Victoria - Lonely Planet
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Vancouver Island Folded Map
Back road maps
Backroad Map - Vancouver Island

Discover new places and find your way around Vancouver Island. Many areas do not have cell service so maps and guidebooks can be very helpful for the curious.

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