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Insiders Guide to Western Canada

Lake Louise
Whale Watching
Tofino 2
Tofino
Vancouver
Rocky Mountaineer
Rockies Heli
Icefields Parkway
Johnston Canyon
Waterton Lakes

Insiders Guide to Western Canada

story by: Tom Ricketts

1. GO CANADIAN CANOEING ON LAKE LOUISE
The fantastically beautiful Lake Louise really must be seen to be believed. Her glacial blue waters contrast spectacularly with the surrounding dark green forests of pine and grey granite mountains. Then to top it all off, there’s a great honking glacier hanging precariously off the mountain high above you. 
HOT Tip: Car parks are in very short supply here so arrive early! Or even better, splash out and book a Lakeview Room at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel.


2. ​KAYAK WITH THE KILLERS
New Zealanders are no strangers to whales, however Orca’s certainly aren’t abundant here as they are in Canada. And just off the coast of Vancouver, you can go kayaking with these majestic beasts, a once in a lifetime experience.
HOT Tip: Orca’s visit from April to October, but July to September is the best time to see them.

3. SHELTER DOWN IN STORMY TOFINO
Tofino is a small town located halfway up the western side of Vancouver Island. The surrounding coastal area takes regular beatings from the wild Pacific Ocean making it a beautifully rugged area to explore.
HOT Tip: Stay at Wickaninnish Inn which sits on a rocky outcrop mere metres from said wild Pacific Ocean, an amazing place to watch the storms roll in.


4. VISIT VAN
The city of Vancouver is smooth, sophisticated, and effortlessly cool. It’s a very cosmopolitan city with a perfect blend of commercial and residential properties downtown meaning there’s always people ‘oot and aboot’, even in the middle of winter!
HOT Tip: Granville Island has something for everyone, lots of shopping for mum, a brewery for dad, and a dedicated kids market.


5. TRAVERSE THE ROCKIES BY LUXURY TRAIN
The Rocky Mountaineer is known around the world for its luxurious service and jaw dropping scenery. The two day journey takes place between Vancouver and the Rocky Mountain resort towns of Banff or Jasper. 
HOT Tip: There’s three different routes, so talk to your House of Travel consultant to find which one suits you best.


6. SEE THE ROCKIES FROM THE SKY
The Canadian Rockies have got to be one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world. Their soaring stone peaks are permanently covered with snow, glaciers feed beautiful aqua blue lakes, and miles and miles of dark green pine forests cover the lower reaches. The area is so remote, the only way to see it is by helicopter.
HOT Tip: Combine your heli ride with a snow show adventure in the back country, or have them drop you at the top of a mountain and ski or board your way down.


7. SELF DRIVE THE ICEFIELDS PARKWAY
The incredibly scenery along the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is nothing short of spectacular. In summer the forests are full of wildlife and waterfalls, whereas in winter everything is covered in snow and frozen solid. 
HOT Tip: Stop midway to take the huge Ice Explorer vehicles up the mountain to explore Athabasca Glacier.


8. ICE WALK THROUGH JOHNSTON CANYON 
Near the resort town of Banff is the gorgeous Johnston Canyon. In summer the narrow canyon has a small but fast flowing river carving its way through the hard rock. The delightful walk takes you along narrow ledges and platforms built onto the side of the canyon to a waterfall at the end. However in winter the river completely freezes over and that becomes your walkway as you head up to see the same waterfall which is completely frozen too!
HOT Tip: Be sure to take your camera to snap the cute squirrels and marmots you’ll no doubt see (summer only!).


9. ENJOY A NIGHT OR TWO IN THE REMOTE WILDERNESS
Ask your House of Travel agent about some of the accommodations outside of the towns which have some truly spectacular settings and unbeatable views. 
HOT Tip: If travelling in winter, enquire about the Hidden Ridge Resort which has onsite hotpools and wood cabins complete with a roaring fireplace to warm you up after a day out skiing or sightseeing. 
 

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