Skip to content

Vancouver Island

TRIP INFORMATION: 590 km round trip, 8.5 hours driving time including Tofino. This multi-day trip allows you to see many of Vancouver Island’s sights and Gardens. Allow 2-3 days to really take in all that Vancouver Island has to offer.
Day One

    The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) started with volunteers in 1979, today it is a hidden gem that captivates and inspires all year around, one of Canada’s top garden treasures. “Come for a visit, leave feeling like one of the family.”

    The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) started with volunteers in 1979, today it is a hidden gem that captivates and inspires all year around, one of Canada’s top garden treasures. “Come for a visit, leave feeling like one of the family.”
  • 1
    505 Quayle Road, Victoria, BC, V9E 2J7, CA
    https://hcp.ca/
    The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) started with volunteers in 1979, today it is a hidden gem that captivates and inspires all year around, one of Canada’s top garden treasures. “Come for a visit, leave feeling like one of the family.”
  • 2
    800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC, V8M 1J8, CA
    https://butchartgardens.com
    After filling your head with new latin names for plants and flowers you love, head on over to The Butchart Gardens (visit time 2-3 hours). Tip: after you enter the gardens stop by the Visitor Center and reserve for lunch or afternoon tea.
  • 3
    1461 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay, BC, V8M 1J5, CA
    https://butterflygardens.com
    After your visual senses have been satiated, drop by Victoria Butterfly Gardens – just 5 minutes from Butchart (visit time 1 hour).
  • 4
    2005 Sooke Road, Victoria, BC, V9B 5Y2, CA
    https://hatleypark.ca
    Haven’t seen enough and still not dark yet? Head on over to Colwood and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Hatley Castle and Gardens, including a wonderful Japanese Garden, and like The Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada. Keep in mind closing time is dusk.
  • 5
    603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC, V9C2W8, CA
    Not to be missed while you are in the area is Fort Rodd Hill which is a proverbial stone’s throw from Hatley.
  • 6
    603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC, V9C2W8, CA
    Adjacent to Fort Rodd Hill you will find an iconic Victoria landmark: The Fisgard Lighthouse
  • 7
    100 Cook St, Victoria, BC, CA
    While in the Victoria area, take in Victoria’s iconic harbour, or saunter through the gardens of Beacon Hill Park. With roughly 740,000 square metres of parkland, Beacon Hill Park is the crowning jewel in Victoria’s public park system. There are natural areas, manicured flower beds, footpaths and many sports and play features for the whole family to enjoy.
  • 8
    675 Belleville St, Victoria, BC, V8W9W2, CA
    Stay an extra day and experience one of Canada’s best museums, the Royal British Columbia Museum! 
Day Two
  • 9
    Front St, Nanaimo, BC, V9R6Y3, CA
    When you are ready, head over to the Nanaimo area and continue your adventure dining on Nanaimo’s inner harbour.
  • 10
    6357 Wicks Rd, Duncan, BC, V9L4K1, CA
    Head south, out to the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth (visit time 30 -90 minutes). Take a walk through the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth. In the words of owner Christopher Carruthers, “you won’t get lost”! Perhaps one of the most captivating features of the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth is the multitude of lavender cultivars represented. Featuring over twenty varieties, from the classic English and Mediterranean lavenders to the lesser known lemon lavender (whose scent is akin to rosemary), this diversity in colour, shape and scent is an experience not to be missed.
  • 11
    Lake Cowichan, BC, CA
    Cowichan Lake isn’t far from there, and is not to be overlooked. Don’t miss the wine and culinary delights of Cowichan when you are in the area.
  • 12
    2179 W Island Hwy, Qualicum Beach, BC, V9K 1G1, CA
    https://milnergardens.org
    Heading back north up the island past Nanaimo, continue on a little ways past Qualicum Beach, stop to take in Milner Gardens & Woodlands (visit time 60-120 minutes). A one-of-a-kind woodland estate and gardens nestled in the peace that only an old-growth forest can provide; an oasis that rejuvenates the soul.
  • 13
    403 Lowrys Rd, Parksville, BC, V9P2B5, CA
    If you’re a fan of cheese or wine, stop by Little Qualicum Cheeseworks to pick up some of their delicious artisan cheeses, and be sure to try their unique berry-based wines.
  • 14
    1084 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC, V0R2Z0, CA
    https://www.clayoquotcampus.ca/
    Canada’s westernmost public garden is friendly, whimsical and great place for children. Our excellent sculpture collection is displayed in a rainforest setting. Intimate paths and boardwalks lead visitors down to Tofino Inlet where the natural beauty of Vancouver Island’s wild west coast reigns supreme.
  • 15
    452 Alberni Hwy, BC, CA
    Head back to Nanaimo and stop and explore the remarkable Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park — you’re going to need an hour here to walk the loop and take it all in.
  • 16
    2326 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, BC, V0R1M0, CA
    Loop back and catch Goats on the Roof (the Old Country Market) in Coombs – always fun for kids and adults alike!