Just about every traveller we've sent to Canada has returned with a smile on their face, and we can understand why; there are few countries on Earth that are so clean, so quiet and so civilized (Canadians are known to be polite, but the country itself has one of the best track records when it comes to civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education).
THEN you head into the 'great outdoors' which is MUCH greater than you can imagine; it's widely known that Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world, but what isn't known is that some 80% of Canadians live in concentrations in urban areas within 150 miles of the US border; that means the vast majority of the country is pure, untouched wilderness; a combination that produces the most unique experiences, as illustrated in the video below:
Is This The Most Canadian Video EVER???
Scroll down and enjoy our guide to Western Canada; if you then find yourself considering this destination for a future trip then please do send us your questions; we'd be glad to advise.
There are regular direct flights from Sydney & Melbourne to Vancouver, but if you have the time available then we recommend a stopover for a day or two each way in Hawaii; a great contrast to Canada and an opportunity to soak up some sun!
When To Go
Although still cold, by Canadian standards the winters in British Columbia and the West Coast are a lot milder, with the temperature usually staying above 0˚c - making it great for winter sports, with places like Whistler, Sun Peaks & Panorama coming alive.
For those somewhat less active the Summer months of June, July & August are the best time to visit in order to maximise wildlife spotting BUT that means they're also the busiest and therefore most expensive. We have found that the 'shoulder' months of September & May offer a great balance; better value, equally great experiences, and only marginally cooler.
Where To Go & What To Do
Due to the big differences in the seasonal climates the 'what' needs to be carefully planned to align with the 'when' - the "we'll see when we get there" strategy does NOT work here! - but either way we'd start with a couple of days in Vancouver to try out some of the regional specialities (just one of which you'll find below) before heading into the wild.
If you're less active and looking for scenery & abundant nature then a ride aboard the Rocky Mountaineer is a MUST. We would look to finish off the trip with an Inside Passage cruise up to Alaska and back; once you've experienced your first 'calving' glacier you'll see why!
And You Have To Try... The Caesar
Invented in 1969 by Calgary restaurant manager Walter Chell, this cocktail took off to become enormously popular (more than 350-million are sold in Canada every year.) Key ingredients are Clamato juice, vodka, Worchester and a salted rim; a great hangover cure!
Although the Caesar is considered a cocktail, some restaurants turn it into a meal, garnishing the drink with all sorts of items ranging from roast chicken to cheeseburger sliders, onion rings, brownies and even roast vegetables!!! You won't taste anything like this anywhere else.