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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Help with itinerary 30 days Vancouver Island and Vancouver to Rockies

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My husband and I are travelling to Vancouver from Australia in mid July and leave late August. We will have about 4 days in Vancouver with friends then have 30 days to ourselves. As some background: We are in our 50's and are quite fit. We like photography, scenery, walking and food & wine - and don't mind the road trips - but don't like to cram in hundreds of kilometres a day. When travelling we are happy to stop and take in the sights on the way to destinations and then stay in a town (on the way) for a night or two if that is a scenic place on the way to our desitnation (in this case I guess the destination I am thinking of is the Rockies)

I was hoping for some information on 2 main things.
(1) recommendations for Vancouver Island. I would love to see Orcas in the wild and scenery that you may not see in Australia (we live on a beach in NSW). Could you recommend places to visit on Vancouver Island (or the mainland on the other side where we may go back and forth with ferries?) I have heard that at Telegraph Cove you can go on trips to see Orcas and Grizzly Bears - are there other places that won't take such a chunk of travelling time? I believe that the Skookumchuck Rapids are worth a trip?

(2) regarding going to Jasper and Banff, I have read about some different routes to take, and would like suggestions on the most scenic loop to take with lovely towns to stay on the way to and from the Rockies. From looking at the map and things to do on the way, I can see these are many different possibilities! but the 3 main different routes I can see and was hoping for some feedback on scenery and things to do along the way and towns to stay in please:
(a) Vancouver, Whistler, Cache Creek and via Clinton to Clearwater (to see Wells Gray waterfalls? or will there be similar scenery once in the Rocky Mountains), then via Valemount and Mount Robson to Jasper.

(b) Vancouver, Hope, Princeton, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon (I put these 3 towns in as I understand this is a lovely wine growing area - but am not sure where the best places to see (do a wine tour) and stay a couple of days are out of these 3 towns?) - if going as far as Vernon - then Nakusp, Revelstoke, Golden, Banff, Jasper

(c) Vancouver, Whistler Lillooet then down through Lytton to Hope (as people say that the Fraser River on Highway 1 between Hope and Lytton is magnificent - is it worth doing such a loop?) then Osoyoos< Nelson, Creston, Cranbrook, Forth Steel then up through Radium Springs and Kootenay National Park to Banff then Jasper.

If you have a suggestion on the best loop, that would be fantastic.

I am thinking that we should spend about 4-5 nights each in Jasper and Banff to see the National Parks.

I would appreciate any advice on choice of route without having a fast pace or trying to fit in too much. I would probably prefer not to drive for more than 4 hours a day (in a single stretch).

I just realise I have another question- is it advisable to pre-book accommodation at that time of year?

many thanks for your help
regards Sam

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