C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND
PACIFIC RIM An Island paradise
Vancouver Island’s celebrated Pacific Rim is home to spectacular scenery and numerous outdoor adventures. Port Alberni, west of Parksville off Highway 4, is a renowned sport fishing destination teeming with natural and cultural attractions. At the heart of Vancouver Island’s awe-inspiring Pacific Rim region, fishing charters operate year-round and saltwater rewards include halibut, cod and salmon. Freshwater anglers take to local streams for cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead trout. Other activities include everything from kite-boarding and diving to golfing and wildlife viewing. An
PHOTO COURTESY JAMIE’S WHALING STATION
excellent network of heritage attractions includes the Alberni Valley Museum, and a 35-minute scenic steam train excursion from the Port Alberni Railway Station near the harbour to the McLean Mill National Historic Site. The Rollins Arts Centre and Gardens features work by local artists and summertime tea on the terrace, while the Alberni Harbour Quay is a colourful collection of waterfront shops, galleries and eateries where you’ll also find the Maritime Discovery Centre and the boarding area for the MV Frances Barkley, a passenger and freight vessel offering scenic trips to Bamfield and Ucluelet. Near Port Alberni, popular spots include Sproat Lake Provincial Park and J.V. Cline Bird Sanctuary. Along the Pacific Rim Highway is the Island’s year-round West Coast playground of Ucluelet, Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park, home to surfing, winter storm-watching, beach combing, wildlife excursions and much more. On the edge of spectacular Barkley Sound and bordered by ocean on three sides, Ucluelet is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Fishing guides and charters will get you on the water or join the local experts on a West Coast wildlife tour. In
harbour, visit the Ucluelet Aquarium. Kayaking opportunities range from the inner harbour’s calm waters to the challenging Broken Group Islands, while hikers’ destinations include the scenic Wild Pacific Trail. Take to the trees for a ziplining adventure and return for winter stormwatching. Just past the far end of Long Beach, overlooking Clayoquot Sound, Tofino has flourished as a tourism destination in the heart of some of the world’s most pristine wilderness. To help to protect this spectacular region, Tofino was designated BC’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Outdoor activities include whalewatching, fishing, kayaking, diving and guided bear-watching tours. Hikers enjoy the many trails in the Long Beach area and surrounding the townsite. Tofino is also Canada’s surfing capital, with year-round opportunities to catch a wave and fine surf schools to get you started. Unique attractions include the Whale Centre Museum and Hot Springs Cove. Despite its popularity, Tofino retains its peaceful, rustic ambience, with quaint shops art galleries and cafés blending easily with world-class resorts and fine dining establishments.
FOUR AMAZING TOURS experience them all!
bird & pelagic
Tofino’s whale specialists since 1984
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call to reserve your spot! 1.888.474.2288 | www.tofinowhalecentre.com 42 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca Whale Centre — Cruise through the spectacular waters of Clayoquot Sound
What to do. What to see. How you get there.