Vancouver Island Adventure Activities

11 August 2013
Read Time: 1.7 mins

Vancouver Island in British Columbia, is sparsely populated and boasts one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Expect wild, rugged country, breathtaking natural beauty and thrilling wildlife. Explore the beaches, mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and meadows. Whether you’re camping, caving, cycling, kayaking or hiking, you’ll love Vancouver Island’s natural beauty and its outdoor adventures.

 Fisherman's Wharf, Inner Harbor, Victoria, Vancouver Island

This is camping, but not as you know it. Vancouver Island offers some of the most spectacular natural settings in the world, and you can take your pick from public or privately owned campgrounds as long as you’re prepared. Avid adventurers will love the remote hike-in sites, while the "glampers" and those with young children might prefer more resort-style sites, with stores, laundries, and a full program of family friendly activities.

Explore the inter-connected Upana Caves  near Tahsis, with their underground river and white marble walls, or Provincial Park’s Horne Lake Caves, and marvel at a seven-storey waterfall, which flows into a crystal cavern. Experience a theatrical or operatic show here, in Canada’s only Cave Theatre. Little Huson Cave in Regional Park features a river that disappears beneath the rock, and a natural rock archway, which provides an ideal frame for intrepid Instagrammers. Take a guided tour into the red rock passages of Eternal Fountain Cave – Devil’s Bath – near Port Alice before you wrap your spelunking trip.

With such natural beauty all around you, why not embark on a cycling tour? Vancouver Island’s designated cycling tracks, lush forests, old logging roads and perfect year-round conditions make it ideal for cycling, with trails to suit every level of fitness. Novice and experienced riders alike will enjoy Mount Godfrey Regional Park, Mount Washington, Doumont Road Trails, and Top Bridge Park and Hammerfest Course. Try an additional challenge in the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.

Kayaking is one of the best and most affordable ways to see much of Vancouver Island, around the bays and coves, in the rivers and lakes, the fjords, and among the inlets and islets, seeing many areas that are otherwise inaccessible. The best spots for kayaking include Nootka Sound and Kyuquot Sound, Quatsino Sound Area, Cambell River, Discovery Islands, Broken Group Islands, and UNSCO’s first biosphere reserve, Clayoquot Sound. The calm waters, and abundant fauna and flora of Comox Valley and Baynes Sound, make these areas ideal for beginners and children. Join a tour to venture outside of the protected areas, and make sure your paddling skills are at the "strong" end of the spectrum.

Get amongst Vancouver Island’s spectacular scenery when you choose a challenging hiking trail. World famous is the region’s West Coast Trail, located in Pacific Rim Park, and stretching through 75 kilometres of rainforest, beach and surge channels and taking six to seven days to complete. Less strenuous trails include the hundreds of shorter tracks, the Log Train Trail, and Ahousaht Wildside Heritage Trail, taking hikers to the top of Mount Flores.

Xanthe Coward

Xanthe's favourite travel destinations are the Greek Islands, Indonesia, Fiji and Vanuatu. With a background in performing arts, fine food, wine and good times, Xanthe enjoys travel that brings her close to the locals and their leisure activities. Being a theatre reviewer means that Xanthe will always do dinner and a show before checking out the late night city scene and still be up early to find the markets and a decent pot of chai.