Get into the great outdoors in Vancouver for alpine adventures aplenty. Selene Donovan from Flight Centre Auckland shares the top attractions and tips from her Canada holiday.
Whistler Peak to Peak
Gondolas go up Whistler Mountain, at the top of which is the Whistler Ski Lodge with restaurant and shop. The views were amazing and you could see 360 degrees around. After walking back we took the peak-to-peak gondola over to Blackcomb. Spectacular scenery and the chance to look out for bears and other wildlife, this is great to show the vastness of the mountains and area.
Zip lining at Whistler
An awesome experience and lots of fun with experienced guides. We started with a short, easy zip line to get used to it before heading on the rest that follow a route through the trees. Heaps of fun and spectacular scenery as we zipped across the valley and river and back again. The last zip line is the ‘freestyle’ line where they encourage you to turn yourself upside down!
A huge gondola (holding 100 people) takes visitors up the mountain where the facilities at the top include a large lodge hosting a bistro, café, gift shop and clothing store. The bistro has a large fireplace that many people were huddling around after completing the ‘Grouse Grind’ hike up the mountain. You can also watch films about the history of the mountain and the story of the two resident grizzly bears Coola and Grinder, orphaned and rescued when young and now living in a natural, open enclosure.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
This is a great day out especially for families, letting you experience Canada nature without being far out of Vancouver. We had a guided tour that was very informative about the history of the buildings and bridge as well as the nature in the area. We walked across the bridge followed by a tree canopy walk and nature trails. The trip is worth combining with Grouse Mountain if short for time.
Great exhibitions and layout with plenty to see and enjoy by both adults and kids. There are scheduled feedings or shows for the dolphins, seals and beluga whales, as well as a 4D film that is very popular.
The Buchardt Gardens outside Vancouver are beautiful, changing with the seasons. Definitely popular with older travellers, I also really enjoyed it despite not being a gardener myself.
- The Rocky Mountaineer Sea to Sky coach service is a good way to get to Whistler from Vancouver.
- A handy way to see all the sights of Vancouver is on the hop-on/hop off trolley, which goes to all the key sights around the city including the Aquarium and Granville Island.
- Stay overnight in Victoria - a beautiful, quaint town set around the harbour. For a unique experience reach the town by floatplane, which flies direct from Vancouver Harbour to Victoria Harbour.
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