Have you finally decided to visit Vancouver Island and expose your kids to the great Canadian outdoors? There’s no better place to start an outdoor family journey than in the Pacific Rim National Park.Encompassing 511 sq km (197 sq mi) land and ocean, this famous British Columbia park covers three geographic areas including Long Beach, the West Coast Trail, and the Broken Group Islands.
So, What’s So Exciting About This Park?
Each year, the Pacific Rim National Park welcomes about a million visitors who can’t get enough of its natural beauty and its variety of outdoor activities.It also prides itself on being the only park on Vancouver Island that works to protect the lush rainforests in the area.
Apart from the spectacular sights, the place is also rich in history.For thousands of years, this territory was inhabited by Nuu-chah-nulth people, which explains the existence of archaeological sites in the park.Get to know all these and more when you and your family pay a visit.
How to Get There
Orca Airways offers flights from Vancouver International Airport to Tofino, a nearby town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s also possible to reach by ferry or bus.Lady Rose Marine Services has 4.5-hour ferry rides from Port Alberni to Ucluelet, another nearby town.
Greyhound’s Vancouver Island Coach, meanwhile, has daily trips between Victoria and Tofino.If you prefer a private road trip, which is a popular option for most families, drive to Tofino, Long Beach, or Ucluelet, all of which are situated on Hwy 4.Drop by the Pacific Rim Visitor’s Centre, north of the Ucluelet at the junction of Hwy 4.
There are Recreational Activities for Everyone in the Family
The Pacific Rim National Park abounds in recreational activities that your family will love.These include camping, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, diving, fishing, hiking, backpacking, surfing, windsurfing, and whale watching. One of the best areas for camping is the Green Point Campground in Long Beach.It has 94 campsites for tents and RVs. It operates from March 15 until the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Broken Group Islands has more than 100 islands and islets – thus, the name. And it’s one of the world’s most awesome places to go on a kayaking adventure.It’s bustling with lagoons, blowholes and mini isles that provide spectacular views.Make Gibraltar Island your family’s first destination, and then stop by Gilbert, Willis, Turret, Hand, Nettle and Dudd Islands.
It’s also in this area where you can have an amazing scuba diving experience.The waters in this national park are teeming with grandiose marine life and captivating shipwrecks. Puffin Islet and Hankin Island are ideal for novice divers. Those with more experience can have fun at Pinnacle Rock and Plumose Gardens.Younger kids may not be able to go on a diving adventure just yet but teenagers would probably love the exciting experience.
Sadly, for cyclists, most hiking trails in the park don’t allow bikes.But don’t fret. If you want to take your kids for a bike ride, there’s one area that offers bicycle paths and that’s Long Beach. Florentia Bay, in particular, has more than six kilometers of shoreline that’s best explored on a bicycle.
Don’t leave the park without taking your kids on whale watching activity.If this is the highlight of your trip, then see to it that you visit during the peak season, which starts in late February until the end of May.
Mid-March to mid-April is the best time to get a glimpse of the annual migration of Gray Whales that would surely astound your little ones.Check out Pacific Rim Whale Festival Society (250-725-3414) for updated information on whale watching tours.
You and your family will love experiencing Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. Don’t miss it!
Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.