Camping & Sightseeing on Vancouver Island? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-23-2007, 03:28 PM   #15
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Thank you, my eyes were starting to roll looking at the map of Vancouver Island and trying to figure out distances and driving times. We will keep it simple this trip---just come get the trailer and explore a little of the vicinity, but we most certainly will be back to explore more of this vast and beautiful country and charming provinces.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:35 PM   #16
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Thank you, my eyes were starting to roll looking at the map of Vancouver Island and trying to figure out distances and driving times. We will keep it simple this trip---just come get the trailer and explore a little of the vicinity, but we most certainly will be back to explore more of this vast and beautiful country and charming provinces.
I've stayed in an RV park that is also a marina, and you can take a water taxi to downtown -- it's small, but quiet and nice. Westbay Marine Village & R V Park - 453 Head Street, Victoria, BC V9A 5S1, Canada (250) 385-1831.

Tofino -- way-ay-ay too far up-island for your legnth of trip, with winding roads and a new trailer -- I'd give it a pass. The southern tip of the island is a nice drive and you can find great walks in the parks/beaches as nearby as Sooke. Metchosin has potteries and farmstands, and it's on the way. Have a great trip!!
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:53 PM   #17
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I've stayed in an RV park that is also a marina, and you can take a water taxi to downtown -- it's small, but quiet and nice. Westbay Marine Village & R V Park - 453 Head Street, Victoria, BC V9A 5S1, Canada (250) 385-1831.

Tofino -- way-ay-ay too far up-island for your legnth of trip, with winding roads and a new trailer -- I'd give it a pass. The southern tip of the island is a nice drive and you can find great walks in the parks/beaches as nearby as Sooke. Metchosin has potteries and farmstands, and it's on the way. Have a great trip!!
Wow contact info and everything--thanks, Julia! No, we definitely aren't ready to be taking the long and winding road that leads to... (anyone else a Beatles fan?)...the other side of the island. Just keeping it simple this time will be good.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:20 PM   #18
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You should also be aware that the first weekend in August is a holiday weekend in Canada which will put camping spots at a premium. A reservation (even sight unseen) would be in order and delay could cause problems for you.
Good luck
cheers
Ian
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:46 AM   #19
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Thank you all. I just made online reservations at one of the campgrounds that was most recommended for its beauty--two nights. We will pick up our trailer and explore the area from there.

I have saved all recommendations in a "Vancouver Island" file so that we can return at a future date to do more exploring!

We are very much looking forward to this visit!

Val
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:13 AM   #20
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Thank you, my eyes were starting to roll looking at the map of Vancouver Island and trying to figure out distances and driving times. We will keep it simple this trip---just come get the trailer and explore a little of the vicinity, but we most certainly will be back to explore more of this vast and beautiful country and charming provinces.
Val, everything on the lower end of the island is pretty close together. Driving time from victoria to Nanaimo is approx. 90 minutes up and over the Malahat (a bit windy, but traffic flows along at 80-90 km/hour as it is a highway). There are a couple of spots to pull out along the way up if you want to stop and take a look at the scenery.

As Ian said, there is a ferry that goes from Nanaimo to Tswassen -- , so if you want to bypass the drive back down the Malahat to Victoria, you can go direct. Just make sure that you head for the Duke Point terminal in Nanaimo. If you go via Departure Bay you will arrive at Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver, and will have navigate over the Lions Gate Bridge and then south thru Vancouver. Twswassen terminal is closer to the border.

It is the long weekend (BC day!), so expect a bit more traffic on the road than usual. Happy camping!
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:24 PM   #21
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Val, everything on the lower end of the island is pretty close together. Driving time from victoria to Nanaimo is approx. 90 minutes up and over the Malahat (a bit windy, but traffic flows along at 80-90 km/hour as it is a highway). There are a couple of spots to pull out along the way up if you want to stop and take a look at the scenery.

As Ian said, there is a ferry that goes from Nanaimo to Tswassen -- , so if you want to bypass the drive back down the Malahat to Victoria, you can go direct. Just make sure that you head for the Duke Point terminal in Nanaimo. If you go via Departure Bay you will arrive at Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver, and will have navigate over the Lions Gate Bridge and then south thru Vancouver. Twswassen terminal is closer to the border.

It is the long weekend (BC day!), so expect a bit more traffic on the road than usual. Happy camping!
One more thing for you to consider is getting a ferry reservation. living on the island, we pretty much take ferry line-ups for granted, but it can be pretty frustrating to sit through a 2-sailing wait. If you know which ferry to catch, you can make a reservation online through BC Ferries right up to about 2 hours before your sailing. Given that it is the long weekend, EXPECT FERRY LINEUPS, which you can avoid by making a reservation. you can also check schedules, and for some routes, also check online to see if there is a lineup. www.bcferries.com
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:37 PM   #22
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Aug. 5 is the day of an annual Victoria event, the Symphony Splash. The Victoria Symphony Orchestra is afloat on a barge in the city's Inner Harbour, and tens of thousands of people line the harbour, setting up lawnchairs and picnic blankets early in the day for the evening concert. Symphony folk pass the hat to make this a fundraiser. And the show always ends with the 1812 Overture, complete with cannon fire. The Inner Harbour is about a half-hour from Goldstream Park, or if you're at Westbay, take the water taxi. If you drive from Goldstream, prepare to park and walk a good distance because it's quite the crowd, but full of friendly Canadians.
Also please be aware that this long weekend is the busiest traffic time of the year for BC Ferries. You might want to stay an extra day or two to avoid the rush, and still not be able to take in all the sights.
Cheers, Ian
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:09 AM   #23
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My, what a grand weekend we picked to come up! We are going to try to map out our schedule much more specifically, but we really will have no idea when we'll be there and no idea what ferry to reserve. Trying to estimate a specific arrival time is tricky because we have to drive through three states: CA, OR and WA, then take a ferry from Port Angeles to get to Victoria and we don't know what road conditions we will encounter along the way. If we end up having to wait for the ferry through two trips out, then I guess we will just have more time to people watch and meet locals! Nothing like standing in line waiting to get people to chatting... I've met the most delightful people at the post office and grocery store during long wait times!
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:30 AM   #24
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Val;

One last word of advice, you plan to take the ferry from Port Angeles, be careful with that! The ferry only crosses twice a day. You best call ahead and make a reservation, OR, drive north on I-5 to the Peace Arch and cross into Canada there. The highway changes number to Canadian Hywy # 99 but it remains straight. Follow that highway, keeping an eye out for the ferry symbol (a boat). The highway ends at the ferry. The Canadian ferries leave every two hours. Even then you would be wise to call ahead when you are about Seattle and get a reservation. That is a busy weekend.

I hope this isn't information overload but, it is a word to the wise.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:10 AM   #25
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Thanks Ken,

Not at all overload. We picked a busy weekend and want to plan ahead as much as we can. Going through the mainland to catch the ferry there, and calling for a reservation from Seattle sounds like the best idea, since we can't be positive of arrival time until we are closer in, and don't want to be stranded overnight in Port Angeles. Thank you for that excellent suggestion!
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:14 AM   #26
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Dear South Vancouver Island Residents: Can anyone please confirm whether this is the best way to get to Cobble Hill from the mainland Vancouver area (per your suggestions, we changed our route to head up the I-5 through Washington to Tsawwassen so that we would be able to take that ferry, since it has more frequent departures throughout the day). This was done on a AAA TripTik and some of the directions (in italics don't seem to make sense to me, but then I don't know if there are little quirks to getting around, like there can be in some cities):

I-5 to Hiwy 99 North
Take Exit 28 toward Hiwy 17/River Rd./Tsawwassen/Ferries
Left on 62B Street
Straight on Hiwy 17 South
Left onto 56th Street to Tsawwassen
Go South (is that Left or Right?) on 56th Street toward View Crescent, then make a U-turn
turn Left to get onto Hiwy 17 SouthWest

Turn Slight Right onto an access street
Take the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay Ferry

Go Straight on Hiway 17 to McKenzie/Nanaimo/Hwy 1/Trans Canada Hiwy
Turn Slight Right onto McKenzie Ave.
Turn Right onto Hiwy 1 North toward Malahat
Continue going Northwest on Hiwy 1
Turn Slight Left onto Hutchinson Rd.
Turn Right onto Cobble Hill Rd
Turn Right onto Fisher Rd.

Assuming we get there fine on Monday, we are then camping at Goldstream once we pick up the trailer (Kersti also offered graciously to have it delivered to the campground for us that first day, but we don't know our site # until check in and, since we have no experience with Equalizer hitches and such, would rather do the walk-through and first hitch-up at the dealership in Cobble Hill before setting out... of course that will mean having to back up into a campsite on our own, but we'll try to remember Ian's lesson at the Rally on how to hold and steer the wheel). So any suggestions on the drive from Cobble Hill to Goldstream and driving tips will prevent us from looking like the lost tourists we are. Thanks much.

We will gladly return your generous advice, navigating directions and kind reassurances if any of you wonderful Canadians venture South to the Phoenix area (it's beautiful here in winter and early spring).
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:22 AM   #27
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I-5 to Hiwy 99 North
Take Exit 28 toward Hiwy 17/River Rd./Tsawwassen/Ferries
Left on 62B Street
Straight on Hiwy 17 South
Left onto 56th Street to Tsawwassen
Go South (is that Left or Right?) on 56th Street toward View Crescent, then make a U-turn
turn Left to get onto Hiwy 17 SouthWest

Turn Slight Right onto an access street
Take the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay Ferry
Well, Ken James came through with a tidy clarification and abbreviation to the above hodge-podge:

Quote:
Just follow I-5 to Canada and continue on Hywy 99 following the ferry signs to Tsawwassen. There you will turn left and go out on the point on hywy 17.
Yes, that is a heck of a lot more straightforward, thank you, Ken.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:32 AM   #28
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Dear South Vancouver Island Residents: Can anyone please confirm whether this is the best way to get to Cobble Hill from the mainland Vancouver area (per your suggestions, we changed our route to head up the I-5 through Washington to Tsawwassen so that we would be able to take that ferry, since it has more frequent departures throughout the day). This was done on a AAA TripTik and some of the directions (in italics don't seem to make sense to me, but then I don't know if there are little quirks to getting around, like there can be in some cities):

I-5 to Hiwy 99 North
Take Exit 28 toward Hiwy 17/River Rd./Tsawwassen/Ferries
Left on 62B Street
Straight on Hiwy 17 South
Left onto 56th Street to Tsawwassen
Go South (is that Left or Right?) on 56th Street toward View Crescent, then make a U-turn
turn Left to get onto Hiwy 17 SouthWest

Turn Slight Right onto an access street
Take the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay Ferry

Go Straight on Hiway 17 to McKenzie/Nanaimo/Hwy 1/Trans Canada Hiwy
Turn Slight Right onto McKenzie Ave.
Turn Right onto Hiwy 1 North toward Malahat
Continue going Northwest on Hiwy 1
Turn Slight Left onto Hutchinson Rd.
Turn Right onto Cobble Hill Rd
Turn Right onto Fisher Rd.

Assuming we get there fine on Monday, we are then camping at Goldstream once we pick up the trailer (Kersti also offered graciously to have it delivered to the campground for us that first day, but we don't know our site # until check in and, since we have no experience with Equalizer hitches and such, would rather do the walk-through and first hitch-up at the dealership in Cobble Hill before setting out... of course that will mean having to back up into a campsite on our own, but we'll try to remember Ian's lesson at the Rally on how to hold and steer the wheel). So any suggestions on the drive from Cobble Hill to Goldstream and driving tips will prevent us from looking like the lost tourists we are. Thanks much.

We will gladly return your generous advice, navigating directions and kind reassurances if any of you wonderful Canadians venture South to the Phoenix area (it's beautiful here in winter and early spring).
Val, the directions you have are right, but the detail is a bit confusing. The roads are pretty well marked, so for most of the way. The I-5 turns into Highway 99 right at the border. Once you cross, you want to stay on Highway 99 (only one way to go -- northwest) until you reach the signs telling you to exit onto Highway 17. Signage will indicate you are going to the ferry. Just follow Highway 17 and it will take you right to the Tswassen terminal.

Once you get off the ferry at Swartz Bay, Highway 17 continues. As per your above, just follow it along until you reach Mackenzie Ave. It is a fairly large, well-signed exit marked Highway 1. Follow the signs along Mackenzie Road to the west (turning right), and you will run into Highway #1 -- another right turn to begin taking you north, and you can follow the directions to your Cobble Hill address. you are basically doing a big "U", because Swartz Bay is on a penninsula, and you have to go part-way down and back up to get to the rest of the island.

Hope that's clear! we don't have nicely gridded roads here in Victoria, so can be easy to get lost!
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