I'm active and in decent shape and not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I'm happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.
Walking: 2-3 hours per day on gentle-gradient trails.
Other activities: On these trips, you'll be taking part in a range of other activities that focus less on building up a sweat and more on enjoying the finer things in life.
Activity Level 2
On the Move
Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.
Walking: 2-4 hours per day on gentle to moderate gradient trails. No multi-day hikes.
Biking: 1-3 hours, cruisy rides achievable by anyone, even first-timers.Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. snorkeling): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 3
Earn Your Lunch
I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.
Hiking: Typically, 3-6 hours per day on well-formed backcountry trails. Expect some significant gradient inclines and declines.
Altitude: Your trip may include some moderate altitude areas, though these don't form the focus of the trip and are generally manageable.
Biking: 1-3 hours on well-formed paths or roads where you can expect some hills with moderate climbs and descents.
Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. caving): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 4
I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.
Hiking / Trekking: Typically, 4–6-hour hikes with options for more, sometimes with limited or no vehicle support and nearly always with ascents and descents.
Altitude: Some trips at this level will reach a significant altitude. We are here to help you manage that and make your experience one to cherish for a lifetime.
Biking & Kayaking: If one, or both, of these activities are 'your thing,' there are trip options in this range, allowing you to be on two wheels or with a paddle in your hand for most of the day.
Activity Level 5
The Upper Limit
I'm ready to put in the hard work to reap the rewards. I'm a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.
Trekking & Altitude: This is classic trekking, at altitude. Some might even call it 'expedition-style.' We've had folks from all walks of life achieve their dreams on our grade 5 trips, so if you're in for a challenge get in touch to find out if this is for you.
Discover wild, rugged beauty and relaxed, welcoming charm on this 6-day Vancouver Island Multi-Sport Adventure
Breathe in the crisp, fresh air of the Pacific Northwest and set off to discover the wild beauty and relaxed charm of Vancouver Island. Stand in awe before centuries old Douglas firs and towering cedars. Understand the deep connection between the First People of Canada and the lands you explore each day. Get your blood pumping on daily adventures and relax in all the creature comforts Black Rock Resort has to offer. Vancouver Island is wrapped in an indescribable magic you’ll keep with you forever – there's nowhere quite like it!
This trip is operated by Austin Adventures
Vancouver Island Adventure ~ Itinerary
Trip Start: Victoria, British ColumbiaTrip End: Victoria, British Columbia
Day 1Victoria pick-up, bike ride through Cowichan Valley
Day 2Cathedral Grove and Wild Pacific Trail Hike
Day 3Sea kayaking in Ucluelet Harbour and Barkley Sound
Day 4Hot Springs Cove Boat Tour
Day 5Rainforest and Canyon Zip Line Tour, return to Victoria
Day 6Explore Butchart Gardens, say your goodbyes
Victoria pick-up, bike ride through Cowichan Valley
Your Vancouver Island adventure begins in Victoria, the charming capital of British Columbia. After a brief welcome meeting, you’ll head north to start our bike journey in Cowichan Valley. Our route utilizes abandoned rail lines, and includes wonderful meadows, ponds, wildlife, magnificent views. We stop along the way for lunch at the spectacular curved Kinsol Trestle, one of eight trestles along the Cowichan Valley Trail route. At 615 feet in length and standing 144 feet above the salmon bearing Koksilah River this is one of the tallest free-standing and most spectacular timber rail trestle structures in the world. After our ride we enjoy some time at Blue Grouse Estate Winery before heading north once again to the seaside town of Parksville.
Tigh-Na-Mara or Bayside Oceanfront Resort (Lunch, Dinner)
Biking: 12 miles (20 kilometers)
Cathedral Grove and Wild Pacific Trail Hike
This morning, we venture out on a hike to Englishman River Falls to see views of the upper and lower falls from two bridges. Next it is off to wander among the giants of Cathedral Gove on a short, yet awe-inspiring hike among centuries-old Douglas firs. Enjoy lunch on the beach before hiking part of the Wild Pacific Trail to your home for the next three nights – Black Rock Resort. Relax and re-join your fellow travelers a bit later for dinner in the resort’s restaurant.
Black Rock Resort (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Hiking: 6 miles (10 kilometers) Hiking: 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)
Sea kayaking in Ucluelet Harbour and Barkley Sound
After a hearty breakfast, you’ll embark on a kayaking adventure from Ucluelet Harbour to Barkley Sound. The area provides excellent opportunities to view both marine and terrestrial wildlife as you paddle along shorelines and through island channels & reefs that can only be accessed by sea kayak. Rest and enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach before taking a costal hike to some of the beautiful coastal bays. Tonight is free to do as you please!
Black Rock Resort (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Kayaking: 3-4 hours Hiking: 3 miles (4.8 kilometres)
Hot Springs Cove Boat Tour
The wild natural beauty that surrounds Tofino unfolds before you today. En route to Hot Springs Cove – a remote area on Vancouver Island’s west coast with natural geothermal hot springs – scan the seas and the skies for whales, black bears, seals, sea lions, puffins, sea otters, bald eagles and more on a 90-minute cruise. Step off the boat and onto a boardwalk trail that winds through a lush old-growth forest. You’ll have time to soak in the hot springs, explore the jagged rock formations and steaming waterfalls, and eat a picnic lunch before your 90-minute return cruise. Discuss the day's adventures over dinner at a bistro in Tofino before returning to your hotel.
Black Rock Resort (Breakfast, Lunch)
Cruise: 3 hours Hiking: 1 mile (1.6 kilometres)
Rainforest and Canyon Zip Line Tour, return to Victoria
A thrilling adventure is in store for you this morning on a zip-line tour through Ha’uukmin Tribal Park. As you hike among the series of lines, a local guide will educate you about the history and lands that have sustained the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations people for generations. Feel the wind (and a smile!) on your face as you zip across the canyon. Refuel with a picnic lunch before departing for Victoria. We’ll break up the long drive with a short hike, allowing you to stretch your legs and take in more of the wild, rugged beauty of Vancouver Island.
Westin Bear Mountain (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Hiking: 1-2 miles (1.6-3.2 kilometers)
Explore Butchart Gardens, say your goodbyes
Take a moment to stop and smell the roses this morning at Butchart Gardens. Explore the 5-acre Sunken Garden with tens of thousands of vibrant flowers and plants and experience the peaceful bubbling streams of the Japanese Garden. Your trip ends this afternoon, leaving you with memories (and hopefully new friendships) to last a lifetime!
Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Victoria International Airport at 12:30pm in time for flights below or at a hotel of your choice in Victoria around 1pm.
What flights would you recommend?
Arrival: We recommend arriving in Victoria at least the day before your trip starts. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Victoria after 2:30pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.
Will I have contact with my guides before the trip starts?
Your guides will call your cell phone the night before your trip begins to touch base on the first day’s plan. If they don’t get through to you, they will leave a voicemail on your cell phone with all the details you need to plan for your first morning.
What should I bring with me on the first day?
When you speak with your guides the night before your trip, they will give you a detailed description of what to bring with you on Day 1. Typically, this includes a day pack with your rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, camera, etc. Anything you want easy access to during the day should go in your day pack as the rest of your luggage will go in the locked cargo trailer pulled behind the van. Your guides will provide you with a water bottle on the first morning of your trip and will always have water available for refills. There will be snacks available at all times in the van. Your guides will also have bug spray and sunscreen accessible for you to use.
What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?
You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size). We recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.
How do rooming arrangements work?
Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travellers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travellers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travellers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement.
For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:
Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.
Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.
Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path
With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.
Award-winning guides lead the way
It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!
You’ll never need to sweat the details
When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!
Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely
Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.
Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best
Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.
"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary
For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”