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Rainforest to Rockies - Self Drive

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The ultimate driving itinerary for curious and adventurous personalities, you'll encounter Canada's rugged west coast, Whistler and the Canadian Rocky Mountains with plenty of time to take in the sights and relax in wonderful wilderness lodges. Enjoy the cosmopolitan delights of Vancouver and Calgary, the small-town resorts of Banff, Jasper, Whistler and Tofino and take your choice of included tours and activities along the way.
Canada
Self-Drive
Independent Holiday Packages

Start your journey in Vancouver, with sightseeing options taking you from city to nature, and across air, land and sea. In just one day you can find yourself on a culinary walking tour of Granville Island Public Market to discover home-grown specialties and local flavours, to taking a breathtaking simulated flight over the country with FlyOver Canada.

Board a ferry and enjoy the scenery of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia. From
Swartz Bay continue on to the charming Vancouver Island to explore the beauty of Butchart Gardens and the historical port town of Victoria.

Travel to the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island and head to Pacific Rim National Park. En route stops should be made at Duncan the ‘City of Totems’, where you may visit the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village, which will provide you with an insight into the lives of the northwest coast people.

In Tofino, you will have the choice of searching for bears from the comfort and safety of a 24’ Zodiac
vessel, cruising through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound to view beautiful scenery and wildlife, or head out on a food tour to discover why Tofino is truly one of Canada’s best food scenes.

Depart Tofino for your return journey to the East Coast. En route, picture stops should be made at Cathedral Grove to enjoy the splendour of 800-year-old Douglas Fir and Cedar trees. Continue along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler.

Travel onward to Clearwater, via the upper elevations of the Duffey Lake Road. Enjoy breath-taking views of Joffre Glacier and snow-capped Mount Currie. Continue the journey north to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush Trail.

Set out for Jasper along the scenic Yellowhead Highway and take in the breathtaking vistas of the steep-walled gorges and crashing falls of the North Thompson River.

Travel through the spine of the Canadian Rockies along the amazing Icefields Parkway and encompass the ultimate glacier exploration.

Take in the views of Banff National Park on a scenic Gondola or marvel at the Canadian Rockies by boat cruising across Lake Minnewanka. Navigate the waters of Banff National Park on a River Explorer Canoe Tour or saddle up for a guided horseback adventure through the National Park.

Take in the last glimpses of the Rockies before heading to Calgary where this incredible journey ends.

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Included

2 nights in Vancouver
2 nights in Victoria
2 nights in Tofino
2 nights in Whistler
1 night in Clearwater
2 nights in Jasper
2 nights in Banff
1 night in Calgary
Private SUV transfer from Vancouver Airport
13 days car hire including GPS
Return BC Ferry transfer between Vancouver and Vancouver Island
Meals Included as per Itinerary
Admission to FlyOver Canada
Ice Explorer Ride to Athabasca Glacier + Glacier Skywalk
Freedom of Choice Days

Freedom of Choice

For this package we have included Freedom of Choice days in the itinerary. Our per person price includes at least one tour on each Freedom of Choice day.

Pre-select your tours on the following days:

  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 2
  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 4
  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 6
  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 8
  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 11
  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 13

Expand the itinerary below for more details.

Optional Extras

  • Upgrade Option: Gastronomic Gastown Tour with alcoholic pairings on day 2 - $60 per person

Itinerary

Expand Collapse  all days
Day 1
Vancouver

Upon arrival in Vancouver, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred by private car to your hotel located in the historic Downtown Vancouver.

The rest of your day is at your leisure to enjoy the sights.

Overnight stay in Vancouver at Listel Hotel in a Standard Room.

Day 2
Vancouver

It's time to explore the city! Enjoy one pre-selected tours from our Freedom of Choice options:

  • Vancouver City Tour
    This tour is a great introduction to the scenic and historic highlights of Vancouver.

OR

  • Granville Island Market Food Tour 
    Granville Island is Canada’s second most-visited destination, behind Niagara Falls, and Vancouver’s destination for lovers of food, art and culture. During the tour, guests eat their way through the world-famous Public Market and hear the intriguing stories, culture, and history behind the tasty creations.

OR

  • The Stanley E-Bike Tour
    Stanley Park is uniquely situated with incredibly scenic views of downtown Vancouver, the North Shore , the Lion’s Gate Bridge, as well as English Bay and the Westend. Your guide will weave you down the pristine forest trails that criss-cross through the park, and give incisive information about this amazing wilderness city. You will walk or ride away with a deeper understanding of both Vancouver and its green treasure.

OR

  • Upgrade Option: Gastronomic Gastown Tour with alcoholic pairings ($60 per person)
    Eat and drink your way through Vancouver’s #1 foodie district, just like the locals love to do! Indulge in the boozey, foodie, historic neighbourhood with Canadian poutine, Vancouver’s best pizza, wicked desserts, cocktails, craft beer, wine and more!

Overnight stay in Vancouver at Hotel Listel in a Standard Room.

Day 3
Vancouver → Victoria

This morning pick up your rental car and drive south to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal for a 90 min ferry ride to Swartz Bay. On-board BC Ferries enjoy the scenery of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia. From Swartz Bay continue on to the charming city of Victoria.

Overnight stay in Victoria at Inn at Laurel Point in a Laurel Wing Guest Room.

Day 4
Victoria

Time to explore Victoria, with its turn-of-the-century architecture, and British traditions such as high tea and shops full of woolens and china. Today you can personalize your day by pre-selectiong one of two Freedom of Choice excursions:

  • Butchart Gardens Admission
    On its 100th birthday in 2004, the Butchart Gardens was named a National Historic Site of Canada. Explore 22 Hectares/55 acres of breathtaking gardens on the 53 hectare/130 acre estate.

OR

  • Eat like a Canadian Food Tour
    Not many people can define exactly what Canadian food is. From local ingredients to historic dishes, this tour is the best way to experience Canadian culinary culture. Sip and savour local cuisine, explore the iconic Inner Harbour, and meet the chefs and owners that make Victoria such an exciting culinary hot spot.


Overnight stay in Victoria at Inn at Laurel Point in a Laurel Wing Guest Room.

Day 5
Victoria → Tofino

Travel to the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island and head to Pacific Rim National Park. En route stops should be made at Duncan the ‘City of Totems’, where you may visit the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village, which will provide you with an insight into the lives of the northwest coast people (admission not included).

Make a stop in the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town.

Drive through majestic Sutton Pass and the Sawtooth Range of the Cascade Mountains to arrive in Tofino around mid-afternoon.

Overnight stay in Tofino at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in a One Bedroom Lodge.

Day 6
Tofino

You may wish to walk along the famed Long Beach, with its miles of pristine sandy beach and pounding surf, or explore the rain forests on a selection of well groomed trails. Today you can personalize your day by pre-selecting one of three Freedom of Choice excursions:

  • Coastal Bear Watch Cruise
    Search for foraging bears from the comfort and safety of a 24’ Zodiac vessel. Abundant on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, black bears roam the shores at low tide in search of their favorite delicacy, the Rock Crab.

OR

  • Whale Watching Cruise
    Cruise through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound to view beautiful scenery and wildlife. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter gray whales, humpback whales, sea lions, sea birds and resident bald eagles.

OR

  • Tofino Food Tour
    Taste why Tofino is truly one of Canada’s best food scenes, combined with local stories & fascinating history. This tour includes 7 delicious tastings from some of Tofino’s best restaurants & food vendors.

Overnight stay in Tofino at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in a One Bedroom Lodge.

Day 7
Tofino → Whistler

Depart Tofino for your return journey to the East Coast. En route, picture stops should be made at Cathedral Grove to enjoy the splendour of 800-year-old Douglas Fir and Cedar trees, as well as the Mars Water-Bombers at Sproat Lake, the world’s two largest water-bombers used for the sole purpose of putting out forest fires.

From Departure Bay sail on BC Ferries to Horseshoe Bay. and continue along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler. Highlights along the way include the cascading Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief Rock where climbers from all over the globe migrate to climb the granite cliffs.

Overnight stay in Whistler at Hilton Whistler Resort in a Hilton Room.

Day 8
Whistler

This charming alpine resort town is nestled between world-renowned Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Today you can personalize your day by pre-selecting one of the following Freedom of Choice excursions:

  • Scandinavian Baths Experience
    Discover this spectacular 20 000 sq ft outdoor spa, spread over three acres of natural land and overlooking Whistler’s incredible landscape. The Scandinave Spa Whistler offers the Scandinavian baths experience, also known as hydrotherapy. This year-round refreshing activity cleanse the body and skin improving blood circulation and physical conditioning.

OR

  • Peak to Peak Gondola
    Redefining the Whistler summer experience by creating limitless new ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains, this engineering marvel breaks three world records. Also, visit the Peak to Peak Viewing Gallery, a raised walkway that gives you the opportunity to see the gondola’s engineering and inner workings.

Overnight stay in Whistler at Hilton Whistler Resort in a Hilton Room.

Day 9
Whistler → Clearwater

Travel north today from the mountain village via the upper elevations of the Duffey Lake Road. Enjoy breath-taking views of Joffre Glacier and snow-capped Mount Currie that rises to a height of 2,596 metres.

Continue the journey north to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush Trail and ‘Mile Zero’ of the Old Caribou Wagon Road during the Gold Rush Years. Now the area is home to the largest Canadian producers of the medicinal plant, Ginseng.

Visit the Gold Rush Town of Cache Creek where we recomend a visit the Historic Hat Creek, which takes you back to the days of the Gold Rush.

Overnight stay in Clearwater at Alpine Meadows in a One Bedroom Chalet.

Day 10
Clearwater → Jasper

Set out for Jasper along the scenic Yellowhead Highway and take in the breathtaking vistas of the steep-walled gorges and crashing falls of the North Thompson River.

On your journey today, perhaps you will get a glimpse of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

Leaving British Columbia, you enter Alberta and Jasper National Park. Jasper was originally a tent city serving the railway, and is now a quaint mountain village.

Overnight stay in Jasper at Sawridge Inn in an Outside Room with Balcony.

Breakfast
Day 11
Jasper

Time to explore all that Jasper has to offer! Today you can personalize your day by pre-selecting one of three Freedom of Choice excursions:

  • Maligne Lake Cruise
    Cruise Maligne Lake, where you can marvel at the magnificent shoreline and Spirit Island.

OR

  • Jasper River Float
    Enjoy a gentle rafting tour on the Athabasca River for a unique perspective of Jasper National Park.

OR

  • Jasper Nature Walk
    A guided nature walk featuring a spectacular array of rolling hills, jagged peaks, forests, meadows, marshes, streams, and stunning glacial lakes.

Overnight stay in Jasper at Sawridge Inn in an Outside Room with Balcony.

Day 12
Jasper → Banff

Today, travel through the spine of the Canadian Rockies along the amazing Icefields Parkway and encompass the ultimate glacier exploration. From walking on ancient ice with the Athabasca Ice Explorer Ride, to standing on a glass platform almost one thousand feet in the air at the Glacier Skywalk (included), today’s experiences will leave you with a special appreciation for this treasured region of the Rockies.

Overnight stay in Banff at Banff Caribou Lodge in a Superior Room.

Day 13
Banff

With easy access to pristine wilderness and endless outdoor adventures, in Banff National Park you feel truly immersed in nature. Today you can personalize your day by pre-selcting one of four Freedom of Choice excursions:

  • Banff Gondola
    Maximize your views of Banff National Park with minimal exertion on a round-trip gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.

OR

  • Lake Minnewanka Cruise
    Admire views of the Canadian Rockies by boat as you cruise across the turquoise-hued Lake Minnewanka and over to Devil’s Gap.

OR

  • River Explorer Canoe Tour
    Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River and marvel at the surroundings. A fun & interactive way with your guide to explore the waterways of Banff National Park. Perfect for families. No paddling experience necessary.

OR

  • Bow River Horseback Adventure
    Saddle up for a journey through the celebrated landscape of Banff National Park on this guided horseback riding adventure.
     

Overnight stay in Banff at Banff Caribou Lodge in a Superior Room.

Day 14
Banff → Calgary

Today you will leave behind the fresh mountain air and colourful sights of the Rockies. Drive to downtown Calgary hotel, where you will spend a night before heading home. Evening is yours to explore the city.

Overnight stay in Calgary at Alt Hotel Calgary in a River View Room.

Day 15
Calgary

Drop off you rental car at Calgary airport and start your journey home.

Additional information

Official language
French & English
Currency
Canadian Dollars
2021 Packages - Book Now
2021 Packages - Book Now
14 nights
from AUD4,409
per person, twin share
Canada
Vancouver
Calgary
Self-Drive
Independent Holiday Packages
30 April 2021 - 23 September 2021

Hotel options

The Listel Hotel
The Listel Hotel

Vancouver
The Listel Hotel, located in the West End of Vancouver, is so much more than simply a place to sleep; it is a cultural tourist’s dream, as well as a leader in environmental responsibility. 129 boutique rooms and suites are filled with limited edition and original artwork and modern amenities including high speed Wi-Fi. 

Inn at Laurel Point
Inn at Laurel Point

Victoria
Overlooking Laurel Point Park, this waterfront hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Black Ball Ferry Line and a 10-minute walk from the Royal BC Museum. Featuring private balconies with water views, the airy rooms include flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, plus minifridges, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. There's a heated indoor pool, an exercise room and a Japanese garden, plus a Pacific Rim-inspired restaurant with a patio and harbour views.

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

Tofino
A 6-minute stroll from the Wild Pacific Trail, this chic oceanfront hotel built from granite and glass is also a 14-minute walk from downtown Ucluelet. Amenities include an ultrahip bar and restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and a seasonal patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There's also a serene spa with 2 hot tubs, a lounge and a seasonal plunge pool.

Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa
Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa

Whistler
Ideally situated in the heart of Whistler Village at the base of Whistler Mountain, featuring beautifully appointed spacious guest rooms, an outdoor pool area, Spa, large fitness facility, outdoor fire pit, and the Cinnamon Bear Restaurant and Pub. The Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa connects directly into the village and is steps from all of the most popular restaurants, golf courses, shops, and activities in the Village of Whistler.

Alpine Meadows Resort
Alpine Meadows Resort

Clearwater
Surrounded by mountains and set on a lake, this secluded, rustic resort is an 8-minute walk from Hallamore Lake and 30 km from Wells Gray Provincial Park. Woodsy suites with separate living rooms offer TVs, plus minifridges and microwaves. Amenities include a waterfront restaurant, a picnic area with fire pits and grills. 

 

 

Sawridge Inn
Sawridge Inn

Jasper
Set amidst the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, the Sawridge Inn is a resort style hotel that offers the rustic charm you’d expect in Jasper National Park. Beautiful guest rooms, on-site spa, decadent dining and heated pool with jacuzzi and steam room add to the luxury you want in your mountain getaway. 
 

Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa

Banff
Located in Banff National Park, the Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa offers a mountain lodge hotel, a great steakhouse restaurant and a full service spa, all in one outstanding location. This ideal vacation spot is located on Banff Avenue, the main street in the town of Banff. Surrounded by mountains, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Alt Hotel Calgary East Village
Alt Hotel Calgary East Village

Calgary
Alt Hotel Calgary East Village is located just steps from the Bow River and all of the area’s amenities and attractions. Take in the energy of a completely revitalized neighbourhood, just minutes from downtown. Hip, stylish rooms feature artsy murals and modern decor. All offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and en suite bathrooms, plus Keurig machines and yoga mats.

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