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Look, man-made structures are ace and 110% worth ogling over – but they ain’t got nothing on mumma nature.
Besides, we spend most of our time living in cities surrounded by buildings and impressive feats of infrastructure. Surely you want a change of pace when it comes to choosing your next travel destination, right?
Well, if you’re hearing where we’re coming from, then we’d like to ensure that Canada‘s British Columbia is on your radar as THE place to drop by on for all things nature. Like, if the below doesn’t inspire a bitta awe from you, then we highly doubt anything ever will (+ we recommend a strong evaluation of your existence in general, because what the?).
JUST SO YOU’RE CLUED IN: British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province sitting on the Pacific Ocean side of the country. Its largest city is Vancouver (which is where you’d land if you went) and its capital is Victoria. The notoriously friendly locals speak English (on the off chance you thought it was one of Canada’s French-leaning spots), and it follows standard Northern Hemisphere weather patterns (meaning it gets quite chilly in its winter months + lovely and warm in the summer).
So, without further ado, here are a few deadset magical, bucket-list-worthy, nature experience that you can have in BC – using Vancouver as your jumping off point to access ’em, of course.
Photo: @umaviagem / @isthisreal / Instagram.
Located in Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake is the biggest of the 61 lakes found in the park. In addition to being aptly named, IT’S ALSO OFFENSIVELY BEAUTIFUL. WHAT EVEN IS THAT?!
Photo: Wild Whales Vancouver.
There ain’t too many solid places to see orcas up close ’n personal around the world, which is why BC’s such a go-to for those keen on witnessing arguably nature’s greatest hunters do their thang.
In addition to the iconic black and white beasts of the sea, you’ll also be able to get a glimpse of Humpback Whales, Pacific Grey Whales and Minke Whales.
The best part of British Columbia’s whale watching offering is that you can get amongst the action from the region’s major cities, or add it on to your plans if you’re heading to more remote places.
You’ve got more options than you could ever want for in terms of whale watching – spend a full 12-hours in the comfort of a cruiser, go on a zippy trip on a high-speed boat, or even spend a week on an old school sailboat to really see as much as you can. But, the pinnacle of its offering has to be the fact that you can KAYAK WITH ORCAS.
Photo: Wilderness Adventures.
Yup, that’s a legit thing a human can do. Tour groups like Kingfisher will hook you up with this once in a lifetime experience.
SKY PILOT SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Photo: @bclaryco / Instagram.
Accessible via the Sea To Sky Gondola (which is an experience in its own right), the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge is one of the most breathtaking vantages in all of BC. It’s around 100 metres long and offers 360 degree views of the mountains and fjord below. This is 110% a must-see.
Photo: @hurricane_katrii / Instagram.
This ain’t a lake for those that’d prefer to keep to the beaten path. The elevation gains more than 1110 metres in just 7km during your hike to Wedgemount Lake, so it has a huge appeal to those who like to stay fit ‘n active. Locals reckon its the hardest hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park where it’s located. It is, however, very much worth it. That’s some bloody nice looking water.
Photo: Sean Scott / Destination BC.
Yes, bears might be frighteningly huge, but they’re also really goddamn cute (as long as there’s a decent distance between both of you).
BC is your go-to place for watching these fluffy guys in action. The area is home to over half of the Grizzly Bears found in Canada, a quarter of the country’s Black Bears, and the White Kermode (Spirit) Bear. Depending on where you’re at in British Columbia, you can see bears literally on the side of the road, or catch ‘em eating salmon in rivers.
One of BC’s best places to see bears is in the Great Bear Rainforest, which is home to the aforementioned and v. elusive white Kermode (Spirit) bear. The forest itself stretch for over 400kms, so there’s a lot of things to do there.
Photo: Clare Levy / Destination BC.
Then again, don’t feel like you need to go out of your way to see them – they can’t literally be found in every part of British columbia. Oh, and because of their abundance, there’s more bear watching service providers than you could poke a stick at.
Photo: @rgtingle09 / Instagram.
Whistler’s Lost Lake is a hit with locals are visitors alike, chiefly because of its proximity to Whistler itself. In winter, it’s a great spot for cross country skiing – but it really comes alive in the warmer months. From mountain biking to hiking, you can do pretty much any outdoor activity you can think of in this area. Add it to the list of must-sees, crew.
We’ve got zero qualms in admitting that we’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to British Columbia’s marvels of nature. Our advice: get over their and have a poke around for yourself.
If you’re now keen to get to BC / have been for a while, consider flying with Air New Zealand. Check out why it’s quicker and easier to transit via Auckland when heading to Vancouver (or San Francisco / LA / Houston / Buenos Aires) by heading HERE.