October 09, 2010 | Tips from Travellers >
Campbell River, Wildlife Tours
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We’re just back from an absolutely fantastic holiday in BC and can’t wait to go back! Having had the holiday of a lifetime we thought we'd share our top tips/experiences with you.
First for the big one. Knight Inlet Lodge
– the most amazing experience, such that I'd suggest rearranging your entire holiday if necessary to get this in! It’s a floating lodge up in the middle of nowhere (quite literally – access is via floatplane from Campbell River!) set in the most amazing unspoilt scenery.
Your days are packed, and I do mean packed (breakfast is at 6:30am, dinner at 7pm) full of various activities allowing you to see grizzly bears in their natural environment and at close quarters. We were there when the pink salmon run occurs – though this year numbers were incredibly low which was worrying. Having said that, it didn't spoil it as we still managed to see lots of bears.
Bear watching via boat, from watching platforms, from kayaks (a must-do even if you’ve never kayaked before), oh and some bear tracking action too. It really is incredible, there’s no other way to describe it.
The staff at Knight Inlet are seriously fantastic, so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about bears and conservation it makes the entire experience unforgettable. If you can, maybe keep it near the end of your trip as you’ll be exhausted – if in the nicest possible way – at the end of it.I wish I could go back!
And a few other little tips...
If you're in Vancouver
and it’s a nice day, hire bikes and cycle the sea wall round Stanley Park
. It's a totally different perspective on city life and there are some great views on the way round and plenty of nice spots to sit and have a picnic. When it comes to restaurants, try the restaurant at the Century Plaza Hotel
, we really rated it (the hotel is super nice and brilliantly positioned too). They also have a huge wine list…
If you're heading to Victoria
, we’d highly recommend the Inn at Laurel Point
– fantastic position for the views, super quiet and very swanky. Definitely one of our favourites. If you’re going whale watching, try Great Pacific whale watching tours
– our guide was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable and we had great success – saw countless orcas (two pods met the day we were there which is unheard of apparently), grey whales and humpbacks. Not bad!Whistler
– if you do one thing make it zip-trek
, in other words flying through the trees on a zip wire. It’s seriously good fun – even in the pouring rain – and a great way to see the rainforest and valley from all sorts of angles (even upside down!). And if you haven't considered it, look into getting the Rocky Mountaineer
back down to Vancouver – I'm not a big train person but I absolutely loved it. The scenery is breathtaking.